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28 February 2017



I did not see anything regarding the rise of robotics as a reason for worker displacement in Eberstadt's dreary piece. He sure spent a lot of space on opioids though.

Religion used to be the opium of the people - now opium is the opium of the people.

George Rebane

BradC 1154am - Why did you expect a "rise of robotics" discussion from Eberstadt? Perhaps a peek at what Wendy's is doing will serve.

Bill Tozer


Scott Obermuller

Long term, the economy is toast. Way too much debt propping up what little growth can be measured. Stockman has been wrong before on the timing of events, but his fundamentals are solid as to why it's all going to go south eventually. Knowing what's wrong is helpful - If I could get the timing right, I'd be a very wealthy man. There's the rub.
Going into debt to pay the monthly bills just puts off trouble for a while.
We can still pile up debt as long as the dollar is supported. The dollar is still supported because if it wasn't, most everyone would lose their shirts. Slowly but surely, more and more people will separate themselves from dependence on paper money. There will be a tipping point. When and where is the only question.
He might be wrong about the date, but he's way ahead of the NYTs as to how healthy our economy is.



You are correct, long term the economy is burnt toast.

Drained pension fund has retired New York union workers pinching pennies to survive, as doom looms for reserves across U.S.

The same crisis now hitting Local 707 has been stewing among numerous Teamster locals around the country for the past decade, he said, and that includes in upstate New York.

The trucking industry — almost uniformly organized by Teamsters — has suffered enormous financial losses in its pension and welfare funds due to a crippling combination of deregulation and stock market crashes, Nyhan said.

“This is a quiet crisis, but it’s very real. There are currently 200 other plans on track for insolvency — that’s going to affect anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million people,” said Nyhan. “The prognosis is bleak minus some new legislative help.”

And it’s not just private-sector industries that are suffering, he added.

“Municipal and state plans are the next to go down — that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming,” he said. “In many states, those defined benefit plans are seriously underfunded — and at the end of the day, math trumps the statutes.”

The massive failure of pension funds will drive a recession and broad-based unrest in the country. There is little that can be done to stop the pension collapse, which is already evident in NY. Cities, Counties, States across this nation, except for a few smart ones, have accumulated an unpayable debt to their public servants. These government retirees are not going to get a livable pension and the consequences are going to be civil unrest of magnitude we have yet to experience.


GorgeR@1203 - A discussion about why people are not being hired after the recession; and why things seemed to change around the turn of the century (as many advances in technology and robotics were being made) that did not include the subject of robotics seems shortsighted to me.

George Rebane

BradC 253pm - OK, well said. I agree.

Scott Obermuller

Yep - on one hand advances in tech and the greatly lowered costs of various sensors and computing power to run the vastly improved algorithms make it cheaper to automate and the govts constant drive to greatly increase the cost of hiring a human intersect and it's no wonder there are whole classes of jobs being replaced. Add to that other countries where you can find an eager-to-work bunch of educated hustlers and we find the US labor market in serious trouble.
The lefts' solution has been to allow hordes of uneducated poor into our country illegally to soak up vast amounts freebies and run our debt through the roof.
What can go wrong?


Two articles on Tyler Cowen's new book can be found at these links:

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