Robot Tax - Now

Discussion in 'Markets & Economies' started by Holdfast, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    What are you? The "Everyone's Sick of You shiney!" Policeman now? :lol:

    You're avoiding the question. Why do you thank a post that has made an erroneous assumption about profit? What is your understanding of the function of profit?
     
  2. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    We're already able to make shoes, guitars, guns and prosthetic limbs using a single 3D printer.

    Why on earth would a factory owner limit themselves to only making shoes?
     
  3. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Competitive advantage?

    Division of labour?
     
  4. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    That's the subsequent question that reinforces my point. :)
     
  5. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  6. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Hawking is wrong.

    Income inequality is not a symptom of an obsolete capitalist system. he does humanity a disservice when he opines about things he is ignorant about as he has such an influence and is highly respected.

    I'm under the pump at the moment, when I get home I'll post a link explaining why income inequality is a non-issue.
     
  7. gingham69

    gingham69 Member

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    I've heard I all now...You are the biggest hypocrite on hear as you avoid most questions put to you and deflect back to your boring agenda so no point responding to your questions unless you practice what you PREACH and boy do you do a lot of preaching!
    Hawking is wrong hahaha everyone is wrong according to you or are you not reading all the posts as usual just snippets eh snippet man! :lol:
     
  8. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Regarding the link to Hawking:

    Firstly, income inequality would be a problem if wealth was static, if it was a "fixed pie" - but it's not. 1 Wealth increases. Our level of prosperity (and I'll use the terms prosperity and wealth interchangeably, mainly because "wealth": is easier to type :p ) is now the highest it has ever been on a global scale. 2 We are now wealthier than at any point in the whole of human history. This means that we are now able to meet more of our needs and desires than ever before. Wealth is not the amount of money we have, it is our ability to satisfy our needs. Donald Trump may be richer than me, but as a whole, he and I are able to satisfy just as many needs as each other, he can do it with a bit more class than I can, but I also have running water in my house, as he does, I have electricity, as he does, I can take holidays, travel in a car etc etc. He just gets to do it in more style than me. There's every chance I'll live as long as Trump because I am able to satisfy most of my needs in a similar manner to him. He and I are similarly prosperous, in fact, this is true for the vast majority of nations in the world, we are living longer and healthier lives, we are better off now than at any point in human history. 3

    Secondly, income inequality is a reflection of this increasing prosperity. Rather than being a symptom of a corrupt capitalist system in Western nations, income inequality has arisen as a direct result of a growing capacity to improve productivity and drive consumer capacity. Increasing consumer capacity to satisfy demand has resulted in those entrepreneurs who are best able to satisfy that demand reaping the benefits of higher profits. But that hasn't come at the expense of individuals or families, as it would if the wealth pie was fixed. 4 As Chelsea Follett also points out:

    Thirdly, it is all too easy to conflate economic power and political power. The real challenge facing governments is not managing ways to maintain or encourage economic inequality, but to enhance political and economic freedom. To quote the Nobel laureate Angus Deaton:

    And lastly, data compiled about income inequality is a snapshot in time. It suggests that there is no movement of people/individuals among the varying levels of income or economic fortune. The truth is different. The wealthiest individuals and families do not always remain the wealthiest, because of economic mobility ie the capacity for individuals to move from one band of economic fortune to another. Whether this is down because of failed business ventures or personal tragedies, or higher because they are better meeting the needs of consumers through innovation or productivity improvements. Just because someone possesses are fortune now, doesn't mean they will always possess a fortune. 7 and 8

    Edit to add: If we let governments interfere in the free-markets, then Hawking may end up being correct. But it won't be because technology drives ever increasing income inequality, it'll be because governments will look after their mates. Hawking has got his concerns about a Laissez-faire system, and his faith in the State arse-about. He should be railing against Crony capitalism, not Capitalism.
     
  9. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    A comment on the above Hawking link.

    with which I concur.

    It amazes me, the casual disregard by unions and workers, looking for their next 3% annual pay rise, for the rights won with blood and suffering in the past.
     
  10. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  11. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Value is subjective.

    How do the rights won with blood and suffering of a Union picket line in the 30's or the 70's, demanding say a 40 hour week or sickness benefits translate to the needs of a worker in the 21stC with different objectives and values? If a modern worker wants to trade off sickness benefits for a pay rise, or penalty rates for greater employment security then an employment "contract" signed by a bunch of long retired or dead workers at a previous point in history should present no impediment to the modern worker.
     
  12. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    The society depicted in Star Trek is blatantly socialist, bordering on communist. The government controls production, distribution and just about every other aspect of the economy.

    So what comes first; the unlimited energy and space-time bending technology, or people being freed from life's minutiae of boring and largely pointless jobs so they can devote their time to developing the unlimited energy and space-time bending technology?

    And to say we'd likely end up living in a Star Trek kind of world is a ridiculous assumption. We're still having trouble deciding whether we should stop smothering our planet in polluting gasses, so we've got a long way to go before we get to relatively complicated concepts like being able to have cool stuff made by a replicator.
     
  13. Stoic Phoenix

    Stoic Phoenix Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    What amazes me is that people still sign up to be part of a union.
    Most of the union delegates I have had dealings with are more interested in where they will get their next free meal from than the workers they are supposedly meant to represent.
    In the last decade or so in this country all they do is provide false hope all whilst funneling money away from the saps whom think the unions actually give a toss about anything other than collecting dues and spending them frivolously.
     
  14. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    ^ Unions need to be more consumer responsive.
     
  15. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Inter-generational economic mobility is measurably lower in the U.S. and U.K. (where things are more capitalist) than it is in Nordic countries (where things are more socialist).

    It's not just a "snapshot in time", it's an area that's been studied for decades.
     
  16. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    If we followed your main line of argument, unions should be advocating for their members' by getting them to accept lower pay and fewer conditions on the basis that they're more employable to entrepreneurs who prefer to spend their capital on cheap labour rather than expensive labour.

    Kinda like with the proposed cuts to award wages. We'll have more jobs! Sure, they'll be shittier jobs and fewer people will be able to earn enough from them to survive, but there will be more jobs.
     
  17. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    The data collected is a snapshot in time eg if Oxfam says in 2007 that 1% of the world's population own 99% of the world's resources and then in 2017 says the same thing - it's not the same 1%. The data is a snapshot of the distribution of wealth at the time it was collected and collated, being in the top 1% of the wealthiest in 1997 doesn't mean you'll be there 10 years later as Oxfam always like to insinuate.


    Better to have them at the mercy of the government on unemployment benefits and other welfare handouts rather than earning money and working toward greater financial independence hey Big A.D.?

    :rolleyes:
     
  18. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Yes, I'm aware of that (and presumably Oxfam is too) but I'm not talking about cross-sectional studies.

    We have longitudinal studies on inter-generational economic mobility as well, and they show that in more capitalist counties, the best predictor of whether you'll move up in the world (in relative terms) is whether your parents were rich or not. That is, you're move likely to achieve the "American Dream" of financial success through hard work in Sweden than you are in America.

    And yes, in absolute terms, most people are better off than their parents were (for which you could also read "wealthier" if you were inclined to push the English language to it's limits), but when you factor in regional differences like approaches to government and social norms you do have to question why it's easier to improve your economic status in "socialist" countries where there is a greater focus on the collective good than it is is "capitalist" counties where the greater focus in on the individual good.

    It would appear, based on the data, that "everyone figures it out for themselves" isn't necessarily the best system for allowing any given individual to actually do well for themselves.

    And, in the more capitalist-leaning countries, that presents a problem when large numbers of people aren't necessary for an improvement in the quality of living standards.

    It's not a binary choice.
     
  19. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Well I was.

    So what polices do these scandinavian countries have and implement that you attribute to encouraging inter-generational economic mobility more successfully than other Western style economies?

    It is for employers.
     
  20. Big A.D.

    Big A.D. Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Well, there's more to it than that.

    Put simply, they use a capitalist economic order because it largely serves their social values well and, where it doesn't, they don't mind intervening and using other methods that produce the outcomes they want.

    And on plenty of objective measures - Gini co-efficient, GDP per capita, Human Development Index, general "are you happy with your life?" surveys - they do pretty well out of it.

    Having well defined social values is going to be more important than faith in any given economic theory, even if that school of economic thought sort of gets around to addressing the social values...in a round-about sort of way, providing you ignore a few things and don't pay much attention to some others.

    Speaking as an employer, the employer's interests aren't the most important factor in maintaining a well-functioning society.
     

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