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16 January 2011

Comments

Russ Steele

George,

Check out this video of Quadroter Team building structures, it will not be long before their big brothers are pouring concrete, replacing the human workers that do it now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W18Z3UnnS_0

Michael Anderson

George,

We need to get rid of the payroll tax, like yesterday. Labor-intensive industries are penalized while capital-intensive industries are rewarded. The payroll tax could be replaced with a tax on gross margins, for example. It would be more equitable.

I totally agree with your assessment that we are headed for the abyss regarding functionally and structurally unemployed persons in the first world, followed soon thereafter in the second world.

So far gov't and economists at all levels are acting as if we are still living in a 19th century agrarian society. I'm not sure exactly why that is; citing Occam's Razor, I have to believe it is due to incompetence and stupidity rather than outright evil.

Michael A.

George Rebane

Agreed Russ.

Michael, please say more about replacing payroll tax with tax on gross margins. Is the employers' payroll tax burden the main impediment to hiring labor that can, perhaps, for a short time still compete with machines? But ultimately capital supporting machines would still win out over what amounts to subsidized labor doing the same tasks, would it not?

I don't recall your critique to my proposal of non-profit public service corporations. Such companies would provide services not in direct competition with machines for the longest time that I can conceive.

http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2009/09/workers-and-work---the-coming-crisis.html

Michael Anderson

George,

I'm not in favor of stopping the onslaught of automation and technology, mostly because I think it is a losing battle. What I am favor of doing is dampening the suffering when wages go away with the jobs. Not only will there be nothing left for anyone to do, human beings won't have any money to feed, clothe, and house themselves.

All of this is mitigable if we decide that a functional human society is a worthy goal. Just as we have adjusted capitalism with past legislation and judicial rulings, we will need to do so at an even quicker pace in the coming decade or less.

I am not a big fan of the Federal Reserve, but with a Big System like the USA I don't see any alternative. Likewise, it seems like it might be time to remove the workings of the tax code from Congress and hand it off to another Big System akin to the Fed. Tax policy will still be decided by the legislature, but the details will be worked out by a body not beholden to whim or craven lobbyists.

I remember seeing your 9/12/09 "Workers and Work" post but have forgotten the details. I will review and critique on this thread. Thanks for raising the issue George, I think it is extremely important.

Michael A.

Larry Geiger

And pretty soon we will be getting about in flying cars :-)

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