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Taxing Robots?

nt1953

Hot Rolled
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
The government has never believed any tax is bad, so if anyone can conceive of a tax, the government is likely to pass it. That being said, if there are no people employed, and no one has any income with which to buy anything, who do businesses sell to, and do taxes matter any more?

Population in decline? I can see that those who are generally well off (skilled, well educated) are having fewer children, and those who are generally poor (unskilled, poorly educated) are still having lots of children. If the combined trends continue (fewer jobs and more poor people) then the nature of society will fundamentally change.

The problem is that we have no idea how to change society in a way that maintains the self worth of individuals. If the government or corporations control all the wealth, and everyone is essentially on welfare, then how does the economy work at all; and how can people who accomplish nothing feel good about themselves?

These are major problems that I will not live long enough to see addressed, but my children will have to deal with them. Unfortunately, I do not see a solution.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
The government has never believed any tax is bad, so if anyone can conceive of a tax, the government is likely to pass it. That being said, if there are no people employed, and no one has any income with which to buy anything, who do businesses sell to, and do taxes matter any more?

.

Somebody still has to pay for that leetle fireworks show over in Iraq...the one that is "off the books".
 

Spinit

Titanium
Joined
May 13, 2007
Location
Central Texas
The government has never believed any tax is bad, so if anyone can conceive of a tax, the government is likely to pass it. That being said, if there are no people employed, and no one has any income with which to buy anything, who do businesses sell to, and do taxes matter any more?

Population in decline? I can see that those who are generally well off (skilled, well educated) are having fewer children, and those who are generally poor (unskilled, poorly educated) are still having lots of children. If the combined trends continue (fewer jobs and more poor people) then the nature of society will fundamentally change.

The problem is that we have no idea how to change society in a way that maintains the self worth of individuals. If the government or corporations control all the wealth, and everyone is essentially on welfare, then how does the economy work at all; and how can people who accomplish nothing feel good about themselves?

These are major problems that I will not live long enough to see addressed, but my children will have to deal with them. Unfortunately, I do not see a solution.

I guess if everyone not a owner has little to nothing then they are not buying. Then the ones who have money and property must turn to those like themselves to profit by money or power. At any rate I can not see the have nots being ignored from exploitation and manipulation.
 

_boris_

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
1. There is no need for more taxes or bigger government or more laws. None.

2. Bill is tired playing with his pile of money so he goes into giving his opinions on things and what not. Dude is detached from the real world as one can get. Buy another yacht, go save some people in Afrika, don't make my life more complicated with more bull.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
1. There is no need for more taxes or bigger government or more laws. None.

2. Bill is tired playing with his pile of money so he goes into giving his opinions on things and what not. Dude is detached from the real world as one can get. Buy another yacht, go save some people in Afrika, don't make my life more complicated with more bull.

Yup.

"Bill" got his money from US, the users of windoze, a bad program.

So instead of lowering the prices we "the customer" pays (or god forbid a rebate).... he takes his money and gives it to people that had nothing to do with his success.
 

TeachMePlease

Diamond
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Location
FL
Yup.

"Bill" got his money from US, the users of windoze, a bad program.

So instead of lowering the prices we "the customer" pays (or god forbid a rebate).... he takes his money and gives it to people that had nothing to do with his success.


Those people arguably tend to need it more than we do. There's nothing wrong with a little philanthropy, Doug. I like it when things get better for my fellow man, even a man I don't know. Don't you?
 

awake

Titanium
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Location
Angier, North Carolina
I know the focus is probably on first automation of machine tools ... but if I recall correctly, the first automation that really made a huge impact on employment and productivity was the Jacquard loom, invented in 1804 - used punched cards, the pre-cursor of the cards we used to use to program computers!
 

_boris_

Aluminum
Joined
Oct 7, 2014
Yup.

"Bill" got his money from US, the users of windoze, a bad program.

So instead of lowering the prices we "the customer" pays (or god forbid a rebate).... he takes his money and gives it to people that had nothing to do with his success.

don't get me started on ethics of Microsoft's business practices or more precisely lack thereof. If Bill didn't get his sweatheart deal from IBM that became the cash cow behind push of crappy products with every slimy trick, he would still be the same looser dropout doing meaningless gigs like he did before winning the lottery thanks to his mom.

Microsoft f-ed over quiet a few startups with legitimate innovations. Just like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Rhodes ... first you screw and exploit little men to get your pile of cash, then you get all philanthropic to secure your "legacy".

As Slav saying goes, "care for your shirt from the moment it's new, and your honor from your youth". I'm sorry, but Bill Gates got nothing of value to teach.


The entire idea is non-sense. Jobs are not just automated away, we evolve and create new kinds of jobs. Old kinds jobs disappear. And if you can believe it, all this going on naturally without involvement of bureaucrats. Don't buy into this idea, you don't need government or robots to wipe your own bottom (unless you are in Japan, but those guys are special)
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Those people arguably tend to need it more than we do. There's nothing wrong with a little philanthropy, Doug. I like it when things get better for my fellow man, even a man I don't know. Don't you?

Do you buy from your neighbors ?

Or go for the lowest cost material supplier, cheap Chinese stuff, and screw the neighbors ?

Either way, with Bill's Beelions...the product was/is way overpriced.
A "little philanthropy" ???

How about spending some on us ?

How many of you think the "Carnegie Libraries" are a good thing ?
 

TeachMePlease

Diamond
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Location
FL
Do you buy from your neighbors ?

Or go for the lowest cost material supplier, cheap Chinese stuff, and screw the neighbors ?

Either way, with Bill's Beelions...the product was/is way overpriced.
A "little philanthropy" ???

How about spending some on us ?

How many of you think the "Carnegie Libraries" are a good thing ?

Not an owner, so I don't buy material...

But in my personal life, yes, I do buy from my neighbors. My girlfriend's sensitive skin soap is handmade with all fresh ingredients by a friend of ours who lives around the corner. My lawn is mowed by 2 high school kids who live 3 blocks over, who showed initiative by going door to door and looking for work, so I pay them the same as I would pay a faceless lawn service, even though they don't do quite as good of a job, I appreciate what they're doing, and think it's good for them as young men. I buy my fertilizer and lawn care supplies from a guy who lives about 10 houses from me, he runs the local lawn/pool/outdoor supply store in our little town. I fired home team pest defense (again, faceless corporation) and get my pest control from my friend Chad who lives about 11 houses down from me, right next to the guy who owns the lawn/pool/outdoor store. My son takes Tae Kwon Do in the martial arts academy that shares a wall with the local gas station, because the guy who runs it lives in our city (different neighborhood, same city). I eat at the 4 or so local restaurants occasionally, even though they're a bit higher priced due to us being kind of remote, I try to support local business. I buy my girl scout cookies from my friend/neighbor four doors down, because she works with the girlscouts in the underprivileged community on the outskirts of our town.

So yeah, I DO practice what I preach.
 

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
don't get me started on ethics of Microsoft's business practices or more precisely lack thereof. If Bill didn't get his sweatheart deal from IBM that became the cash cow behind push of crappy products with every slimy trick, he would still be the same looser dropout doing meaningless gigs like he did before winning the lottery thanks to his mom.

Microsoft f-ed over quiet a few startups with legitimate innovations. Just like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Rhodes ... first you screw and exploit little men to get your pile of cash, then you get all philanthropic to secure your "legacy".

As Slav saying goes, "care for your shirt from the moment it's new, and your honor from your youth". I'm sorry, but Bill Gates got nothing of value to teach.


The entire idea is non-sense. Jobs are not just automated away, we evolve and create new kinds of jobs. Old kinds jobs disappear. And if you can believe it, all this going on naturally without involvement of bureaucrats. Don't buy into this idea, you don't need government or robots to wipe your own bottom (unless you are in Japan, but those guys are special)

Yabutt... didn't Billy get screwed over by his one time long ago business partner? A certain place that makes $1000 smart phones and $1200 monitor stands (yes just the stand)... maybe he learned sumthin...
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
"Bill" got his money from US, the users of windoze, a bad program.
He didn't get no money from me. I was a devout OS/2 user until forced to move to yewnix. If they had any cadcam for OS/2 I'd still be there ... you know, people talk "quality" but if it means they have to go out of their way, la di da. Even a modern Apple quad-core pos can't multi-task as well as OS/2. Fix the fucking finder, stevey-boy !

But I do have a couple cardboard boxes of $1 windoze software. Nanner nanner nanner Bill, come get me, asshole ! :)

Intuit/TurboTax lobbied Congress heavily -- just another hidden lobbyist -- to keep things complicated enough so they could keep charging for their software.
Free market, babe ! You get the regulations you can pay for :D
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
. . . Jobs are not just automated away, we evolve and create new kinds of jobs. . .

Well, that was certainly the case a century ago. We automated agriculture, but then the former-farmers came to places like Detroit to work on assembly lines.

So far we've automated millions of jobs out of existence and mostly taken up the slack with a combination of service jobs (health care workers, pizza delivery, Uber drivers, yoga teachers, bell hops, prison guards, etc.). That plus shoving more people into lower paid and part-time work. It seems a reach, at least to me, that we'll end up with an economy where most everyone (besides the few of us growing food and still making stuff) scratches someone's else's back -- and gets paid to do it?

And, yeah, I know -- it seems to work for the chimps . . . Not sure that's entirely comforting.

As this link shows, manufacturing employment has already declined from almost 35% of our workforce to around 10%. It's likely headed down still further. At the same time, the value of manufactured goods as a % of GDP is still holding up; mainly because of automation: Is U.S. Manufacturing Really Declining?

So, the serious question is what do we do when, say, we put a million truck drivers out of work? In a world where computers are already better at doctors at diagnosis -- and are poised to automate ever more jobs?

I'd like to believe there's a next new industrial revolution out there, that will employ hundreds of millions. You know what it is??

What I can see are vibrant, but smaller niches (e.g. computer security expert, super computer programmer, genomic researcher, nano manufacturer, alternative energy producer, etc.). And even in those niches we seem to be given other nations (e.g. China) leadership.

Seems to me it's pretty much an act of blind faith to assume "something will come along." As a nation, I'm not even sure anyone is even seriously investigating where those next jobs will come from. Instead, what we're hearing is ideas like taxing robots, more welfare, or guaranteed incomes.

Personally, I think there's plenty of real work yet to be done. Potholes to be fixed and trash to be picked up in most every town. Kids to be taught, will skills back up more like top five in the world than 30th or so. Infrastructure to be repaired. Healthier food to be put on tables. Science to be discovered. Even great music and sports to be played; art to be made. The question is, can we figure out a way to pay for people to actually contribute something, rather than just sit around??
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
....
As this link shows, manufacturing employment has already declined from almost 35% of our workforce to around 10%. It's likely headed down still further. At the same time, the value of manufactured goods as a % of GDP is still holding up; mainly because of automation: Is U.S. Manufacturing Really Declining?
....

As these jobs go away how much have IT jobs grown?
Computer tech support is kind of the entry machinist of old. Network manager sort of the skilled trades.
These jobs were few and far between in the 70s.
Could it be that we only see the shrinking inside "our corner of the world" and ignore the growth in other areas?
How many people are employed because of PCs, the net and cell phones?
Do you remember when none of this existed, computers took up a whole building and only those in the Ivory Tower where allowed to write programs and maintain the system?
Bob
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
As these jobs go away how much have IT jobs grown? . . .
Bob

As recently as 1980 the US had nearly 20 million manufacturing jobs. Now it's down around 12 million - a loss of 8 million.

There are about 3 million employed, total, in information technology. The number is expected to grow slowly (maybe about the same as population). Bottom line is we're now losing good jobs faster than new technology is creating them:

Employment by major industry sector : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

It's certainly true the PC's and computers have opened up new industries -- but they also seem to have displaced stenographers, typists, travel agents, encyclopedia salesmen, those setting type for the classified ads, taxi drivers, etc. etc. And the jobs making things like PC's are now almost all overseas.

One wrinkle I noticed during the years I was in the engineering software industry is that in the first wave of automation, companies needed as many techs sorting out the software to "integrate" things as they formerly had to just manually track and transcribe product and manufacturing data (CAD,CAM,CAE,PDM,MRP, MRP2, ERP, etc.). But after a third try or so, tech employment dropped way down. The whole PDM thing ("Product Data Management") was also used to make it easier to ship entire product lines and manufacturing plants overseas.

As one example of what's happening to jobs -- used to be owning a taxi cab (or a long haul truck) was a decent living. Now the taxis are competing with Uber and Lyft drivers, running their cars into the ground, for lower wages. Looks like total employment hasn't changed after automation (replacing dispatch radios with a cell phone app) -- but it's harder to raise a family or buy a home on the Uber wages. Truck drivers are, by most accounts, next. "Carpenter" may be one of the few hard-to-automate jobs left (though pre-fab units are a growth area).

I'm not a Luddite. I'm all for improving productivity (especially here, in small and medium-sized businesses). I just think we're facing a huge problem, sort of like climate change, and not getting anywhere near prepared to deal with it.

Right after WWII there was a "social contract" along the lines that as owners profited, so would employees. It's an over-simplification, but since about 1970, the profits in gains from productivity have gone not to employees, but the financiers and owners of "robots" (automation, broadly considered) or abroad. For shop owners, the recommendation is to automate what you can to remain competitive. For most everyone else it means a shrinking middle class and increasing inequality. How that ends is anyone's guess; but not likely all that well for 90% of our citizens:

LaborProductivty.jpg
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
Very misleading stats. (Three types of liars)
How many in other categories are IT or computer people? Financial, Professional services, Health care, Retail, Government?
If you run the firewall for the CIA are you IT or government. If you do the same for Walmart retail or IT?
Very few work just for IT, you work for an industry group so any number here is very questionable.
When the questioner comes I think most rate to the company they work for and it's class.
How many "computer" people in all these other categories? How many in 1974?

Yes in the 50s and 60s even if you could not read and write you could get a good paying job in a auto plant and I have known quite a few very excellent people exactly there.
That is for sure gone.
Bob
 

Ox

Diamond
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Location
West Unity, Ohio
Well, that was certainly the case a century ago. We automated agriculture, but then the former-farmers came to places like Detroit to work on assembly lines.

So far we've automated millions of jobs out of existence and mostly taken up the slack with a combination of service jobs (health care workers, pizza delivery, Uber drivers, yoga teachers, bell hops, prison guards, etc.). That plus shoving more people into lower paid and part-time work. It seems a reach, at least to me, that we'll end up with an economy where most everyone (besides the few of us growing food and still making stuff) scratches someone's else's back -- and gets paid to do it?

And, yeah, I know -- it seems to work for the chimps . . . Not sure that's entirely comforting.

As this link shows, manufacturing employment has already declined from almost 35% of our workforce to around 10%. It's likely headed down still further. At the same time, the value of manufactured goods as a % of GDP is still holding up; mainly because of automation: Is U.S. Manufacturing Really Declining?

So, the serious question is what do we do when, say, we put a million truck drivers out of work? In a world where computers are already better at doctors at diagnosis -- and are poised to automate ever more jobs?

I'd like to believe there's a next new industrial revolution out there, that will employ hundreds of millions. You know what it is??

What I can see are vibrant, but smaller niches (e.g. computer security expert, super computer programmer, genomic researcher, nano manufacturer, alternative energy producer, etc.). And even in those niches we seem to be given other nations (e.g. China) leadership.

Seems to me it's pretty much an act of blind faith to assume "something will come along." As a nation, I'm not even sure anyone is even seriously investigating where those next jobs will come from. Instead, what we're hearing is ideas like taxing robots, more welfare, or guaranteed incomes.

Personally, I think there's plenty of real work yet to be done. Potholes to be fixed and trash to be picked up in most every town. Kids to be taught, will skills back up more like top five in the world than 30th or so. Infrastructure to be repaired. Healthier food to be put on tables. Science to be discovered. Even great music and sports to be played; art to be made. The question is, can we figure out a way to pay for people to actually contribute something, rather than just sit around??


You sure that you are a lefty?


Good grief, next thing I'm gunna read in one of your posts is that your an NRA member. :eek:


---------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
Very misleading stats. . . Bob

Bob, I'd add two points.

First, the whole computer thing (which has been going on for close to 70 years) has been described as a second or third Industrial Revolution.There are several who dispute that notion, but let's stipulate that this has, indeed, created lots of jobs in various computer-related industries. Thing is, the growth rates in those industries have now slowed way down. I have a friend who had various businesses doing PC support, then opening a local telecom business, then a medical database. PC repair employment is mostly gone. There aren't local telecoms these days. The medical database company got snapped up by a larger medical firm, which was able to both grow and cut staff.

The kids getting great computer-related jobs now are a tiny percent of super smart geeks -- with the others stuffing tiny gadgets into oversize boxes until Amazon figures how a robot can pack them cheaper.

Second, to disentangle the stats, you'd have to look at the number employed in lawyer's offices, medical offices, etc. -- before and after computers were used to do the books, write the briefs, bill the patients, schedule calendars, send memos (email) etc. etc. Medical offices probably do hire more admin staff today -- but that's to deal with health insurance and helps us spend 2x per capita more on health care. Lawyer friends say they don't need stenographers and typing pools. I've already noted how swapping a dispatcher and taxi driver for an app and an Uber driver isn't really solving the problem of a living wage for drivers.

Far as I can tell the boom in computer-related jobs for the merely competent (say average to above average in intelligence and motivation) is pretty much over.

Question is, what's the next industrial revolution that will given hundreds of millions meaningful work? Or the economic system that will find a way to pay people for things we want (fixed potholes, nurtured kids, etc.) in a time of increasing debt and increasingly concentrated wealth?
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
You sure that you are a lefty?


Good grief, next thing I'm gunna read in one of your posts is that your an NRA member. :eek:


---------------

Think Snow Eh!
Ox

Not a fan of either label. I do want to conserve things that work reasonably well - say two parent families, thriving small businesses, and entrepreneurs. I'm hoping for progress in fixing things that seem broken -- say our many debts or our instant-and-self-gratification culture.

Didn't much like politics, but made a deal with myself back in the 70's to never vote a straight ticket -- that way I'd actually have to learn something about the issues and candidates.

NRA? Loved getting my NRA "Sharpshooter" qualification as a kid. These days I'd count the NRA as an organization that's broken.

I really do see the jobs thing as something that's coming unraveled. It's bad, not just for the economy but also the human spirit, to pay people to sit around and do nothing. Don't see that we have a good solution in hand, Ox.

Which is why I'm hoping your thread stimulates some ideas.
 








 
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