Re: Robotic nation

From: Brendan Coffey (
Date: Fri Jul 25 2003 - 14:14:13 MDT

  • Next message: Rafal Smigrodzki: "RE: Robotic nation"

    On Thu, Jul 24, 2003 at 01:42:23PM -0700, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

    > >>> American society has no way to deal with a situation where half of
    > >>> the workers are unemployed. During the Great Depression at its very
    > >>> worst, 25% of the population was unemployed. The robotic future will
    > >>> be twice as bad, and it will be permanent."
    > >>
    > >> ### You might want to apply Ricardo's Law of Comparative Advantage,
    > >> and also briefly think about the price of robots in relation to the
    > >> average income of the unemployed. If you add these two simple
    > >> considerations, you could conclude that there is no need to "deal"
    > >> with any situation here, and especially not deal as in the New Deal,
    > >> which resulted in losses to the economy which continue to this day.
    > >> The robotic future will be many times better than you imagine, as
    > >> long as you don't spoil it by "making jobs".
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    > > Precisely how do you envision those without jobs making it in such a
    > > scenario?
    > >
    > ### They go to the store, buy a robot, and ask it to work on their behalf.
    > In other words, they invest their capital, instead of their labor. Since the
    > return on their capital is higher than the return on their labor (obvious -
    > they can't sell their labor because it's too expensive compared to the labor
    > of a robot), they end up being richer than before, in absolute material
    > terms, at least as a first-order effect.
    > Where they get the capital to invest is a different issue altogether.
    No shit. So what is your suggestion?


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