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Thread: Technology causes high unemployment?

  1. #1

    Default Technology causes high unemployment?

    This gaming forum that I like to visit has a political sub forum, where this user there said that businesses are doing very well in this economy and that the high unemployment is due to an uneducated workforce and technology replacing jobs. Here is what he said

    Oneshot it comes down to this.....you somehow are able to consider a company "crushed" even though they are having record profits.. Please explain what you mean by crushed if not a company's bottom line. Productivity is at an all time high, not in some distressed state. We are on a collision coarse--that much is true. But it's not about instability, productivity, oppressive government or inability to generate profits, its about technology replacing people, and far too many uneducated Americans.

    It's hard to sort through the mutual funds where most of our money is....but we're currently about 80% domestic.
    Anyway, I want to know what everyone here on rpf think about this. I know that people think that technology doesn't replace jobs but I don't really know the specifics of that argument.

    Here is the link to that thread

    http://www.mektek.net/forums/topic/2...if-obama-wins/



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  3. #2

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    imagine the extreme scenario. you have replicators that make and produce all your food. robot servants to make all your physicals like vehicles, houses, etc.
    human effort is no longer required to provide for anyone's needs.
    zero employment.
    but yet, you have all your time to do what you want, you have home, transportation, food. your wealth is tremendous and you work none.
    technology, increases our production which should lead to falling prices in a word of honest money. the falling prices is an increase in bounty for society.

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  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    imagine the extreme scenario. you have replicators that make and produce all your food. robot servants to make all your physicals like vehicles, houses, etc.
    human effort is no longer required to provide for anyone's needs.
    zero employment.
    but yet, you have all your time to do what you want, you have home, transportation, food. your wealth is tremendous and you work none.
    technology, increases our production which should lead to falling prices in a word of honest money. the falling prices is an increase in bounty for society.
    Exactly, and you can use this example in the other direction as well.

    We could remove technology from society completely and everybody could have a job plowing fields and harvesting crops. Everybody would have a job, but they wouldn't have much else, even food would be scarce.
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    Not to mention that technology creates its own series of new niches.

    You have people involved in the development and upkeep and marketing of the new technology, and if we get to the extreme that things are super efficient (like torch's example), you bet your butt that someone will come up with some new gadget or experience that everyone just HAS to have now that they have time for it.
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  6. #5

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    Compare the entertainment industry before & after the Industrial Revolution, and you'll have the answer. When people have more time, they find other things to do with their time, and this creates jobs to replace the ones that were taken up by technology.
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    To add to what I said, it's failure to adapt that causes high unemployment. If generations, or even individuals within their own lifetime, do not adapt to changing job markets... it's all going to go to hell very quickly.
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  8. #7

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    He is parroting the propaganda from school.
    Steam shovels.
    Looms.
    etc...

    If unemployement is so high, and technology is the cause, then how do H1B visas come into play, especially regarding the high unemployement of white collar workers.? Ask him this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    imagine the extreme scenario. you have replicators that make and produce all your food. robot servants to make all your physicals like vehicles, houses, etc.
    human effort is no longer required to provide for anyone's needs.
    zero employment.
    but yet, you have all your time to do what you want, you have home, transportation, food. your wealth is tremendous and you work none.
    technology, increases our production which should lead to falling prices in a word of honest money. the falling prices is an increase in bounty for society.
    If employment is zero, where do you get the money to purchase things with? The wealth would be with the robot owners and makers and repair men. We have seen a loss of jobs which require low skills and training and those are the people out of work today.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 10-18-2012 at 05:52 PM.
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  10. #9

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    ^I'm going to create a new theory to tackle this problem for people and I'm going to call it the Massage Therapy Theory.

    Wouldn't you like to get a really good massage once a week or more?

    What if you could give two 30 minute massages a week and live in a mansion, have a sports car and all the food you need? All for working 1 hour a week!! Would you take 20 or 40 hours of training to become a good massage therapist and be willing to live this lifestyle? I think most people who aren't already very wealthy would have no issue trading their 40 hour/week schedule for a 1 hour/week schedule, even if it means giving a couple of massages.

    Pretend that soon in the future we have all the technology in the world, but no technology yet has been able to replicate a massage from a real human. As all of the other jobs disappear, people who don't own the means of production and were once laborers move into the massage therapy field. They give massages to the people who own the means of production, who basically just sit back and do nothing and have everything they want because they own machines that produce things for people. They are willing to pay $5,000 for a massage because they all have millions and millions of dollars flowing in. A massage therapist can then make $10k/week by giving two massages, then they can go out and buy all of the things being produced by those who own the means of production. Now those people have the money again and they can spend it on more massages. The reason the basket of goods that the massage therapist can now buy has grown so much is because the basket of goods the producer has produced vs. the amount of effort they have had to put in has grown exponentially. They don't mind paying extra because they create so much with so little effort.

    Now you have a massage therapist who decides they want to give 8 massages a week for a few months, save up some money and buy their own means of production so they don't have to give massages anymore. Eventually more massage therapists begin to own their own means of production and they leave the field. Now there is a high demand for massages and few massage therapists left. Now a massage costs $10,000 and at some point some rich people decide they don't really need massages, they can take the next best alternative of a jacuzzi or massage chair. Yet others still want their massage at the higher price.

    The fact is, humans will always want services performed on them, people love being pampered, served, etc.. The people who pamper will get paid a lot if there is a lot of stuff being produced by the people who they are pampering.
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  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If employment is zero, where do you get the money to purchase things with? The wealth would be with the robot owners and makers and repair men. We have seen a loss of jobs which require low skills and training and those are the people out of work today.
    if robots produce everything, prices are zero.
    how could you charge for replicated pasta when anyone could get their own?

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  12. #11

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    Yes, the technology that allows the government to allow in millions of foreign workers to displace American ones
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    It would still cost to make the robot and service it, transport goods, produce energy, and to provide the materials for the task the robots perform. Everything free? If the robots were free why would they be produced? No incentive.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 10-18-2012 at 05:59 PM.
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  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If employment is zero, where do you get the money to purchase things with? The wealth would be with the robot owners and makers and repair men. We have seen a loss of jobs which require low skills and training and those are the people out of work today.
    Not in boom times. Only in busts, where labor competition becomes much more fierce, as more educated people start reaching out for jobs formerly occupied by idiots and functional illiterates. It's that same competition and glut of labor that causes a citizen in China to need a four year degree just to get a decent job at a shopping mall.

    Malinvestment extends to labor, like any other resource that is mis-allocated in a non-free market economy. In a sound economy, with no booms or busts, supply and demand for labor would simply stabilize, given that it is no longer subject to malinvestment.

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    There has never been an extended period without booms and busts.
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    Advancing technology simply shifts labor to new and different lines. A man must have lost his job on a shovel to gain the ability to drive a backhoe. If he destroyed the backhoe, he would be still on a shovel. I guess that could be considered unemployment from a one sided perspective. Unions love this message, it helps them sabotage true progress.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPfan1992 View Post
    This gaming forum that I like to visit has a political sub forum, where this user there said that businesses are doing very well in this economy and that the high unemployment is due to an uneducated workforce and technology replacing jobs. Here is what he said



    Anyway, I want to know what everyone here on rpf think about this. I know that people think that technology doesn't replace jobs but I don't really know the specifics of that argument.

    Here is the link to that thread

    http://www.mektek.net/forums/topic/2...if-obama-wins/
    Technology helps eliminate brain dead jobs, but it also makes it easier to start your own business, thus making competition go up. Most people don't get this because they only want pointless brain dead jobs working for someone else.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    It would still cost to make the robot and service it, transport goods, produce energy, and to provide the materials for the task the robots perform. Everything free? If the robots were free why would they be produced? No incentive.
    i put out the extreme future star trek reality(plus the A.i. type robots who could self repair. people could tend to those task- but the fewer people require the almost zero you get in price.
    where do other people come in? what will people do when they don't have to work? entertain. create themed outings. whatever.
    people will always find a way to serve one another in even the extreme scenario. there would always be a basis of trade in a sense, but it wouldn't be a fight for survival as much as a fight for how much you can do with your life.

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  19. #18

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    If technology eliminates brain dead jobs would that mean people will need to spend more time being educated for a decent job? For example people would need 6 years instead of 4 years in college to get the skills needed to operate the machines.

  20. #19

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    If you think about how much real wealth has been stolen from the people in this country through the transfer of wealth that happens in the creation of money... we could be doing well- especially with our technological gains. our poor, even in this environment have cells phones and tvs.
    Our gains in productivity are stolen by the federal reserve- transfered to their member banks. this is why we are poor.
    prices are going up even with gains in productivity and efficiancy.
    the shell game worked as long as they syphoned off a little... but over time the power elite got greedy and careless... they are squeezing the turnip dry and the economy choking is the consequence.
    Last edited by torchbearer; 10-18-2012 at 06:35 PM.

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    This comes up all the time. People have been claiming this for centuries. It's not true. Technology does not cause unemployement. For a great explanation, read this chapter of a classic book, "Economics In One Lesson." If you can find time, read the entire book. It's short and an easy read.


    http://www.fee.org/library/books/eco...lesson/#0.1_L8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPfan1992 View Post
    If technology eliminates brain dead jobs would that mean people will need to spend more time being educated for a decent job? For example people would need 6 years instead of 4 years in college to get the skills needed to operate the machines.
    No.

    People who believe that would end up mired in debt with very few real skills, having been educated in a field that was "hot" when they started their higher education, but "not" by the time they obtained the appropriate degree, losing the best and choicest jobs to those with the appropriate drive and experience in many fields.

    If technology eliminates most braindead jobs, or at least leaves so few that they are entry level, then it behooves people to gain experience in multiple fields, or become an innovator and MAKE the new field. College will only be useful to some at that point, though many will still decide to undertake higher education... and arrive in the workplace late to the party, and saddled with debt.
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  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If employment is zero, where do you get the money to purchase things with? The wealth would be with the robot owners and makers and repair men. We have seen a loss of jobs which require low skills and training and those are the people out of work today.
    if i own a factory that mAkes 10000 widgets and i improve the technology such that i can produce 15,000 widgets then there are now 5,000 more widgets in society. It seems unlikely that i the owner can consume all 5k additional widgets, ergo the number of people who now own widgets must have increased. If my machines made people broke by eliminating jobs how could people buy my widgets? And if people cant buy my additional widgets, why am i producing them?
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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    There has never been an extended period without booms and busts.
    That depends on just how loosely you define booms and busts, but there has also never been an extended period with sound currencies circulating in a market that is truly free. Certainly never in the United States where the bimetallic standard assured that only one currency (whichever one was overvalued by fiat) would be in predominant circulation at any given time.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    where do other people come in? what will people do when they don't have to work? entertain. create themed outings. whatever.





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    Last edited by dannno; 10-18-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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  26. #25

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    I think it's true in part. As we become more and more efficient mass armies of workers become less and less important and genius and cunning rise to the top. It's bad from a macro standpoint and will lead to more polarization. Not going anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by torchbearer View Post
    imagine the extreme scenario. you have replicators that make and produce all your food. robot servants to make all your physicals like vehicles, houses, etc.
    human effort is no longer required to provide for anyone's needs.
    zero employment.
    but yet, you have all your time to do what you want, you have home, transportation, food. your wealth is tremendous and you work none.
    technology, increases our production which should lead to falling prices in a word of honest money. the falling prices is an increase in bounty for society.
    Or the few who created the robots will benefit. The vast majority of our 300 million populace who created nothing will not benefit and there will be no jobs for them. Unless you redistribute wealth.
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  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MelissaWV View Post
    No.

    People who believe that would end up mired in debt with very few real skills, having been educated in a field that was "hot" when they started their higher education, but "not" by the time they obtained the appropriate degree, losing the best and choicest jobs to those with the appropriate drive and experience in many fields.

    If technology eliminates most braindead jobs, or at least leaves so few that they are entry level, then it behooves people to gain experience in multiple fields, or become an innovator and MAKE the new field. College will only be useful to some at that point, though many will still decide to undertake higher education... and arrive in the workplace late to the party, and saddled with debt.
    But there aren't going to be 300 million innovators. There will be a few innovators.. the 1%.... and then there will be the 99%
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  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackTerrel View Post
    I think it's true in part. As we become more and more efficient mass armies of workers become less and less important and genius and cunning rise to the top. It's bad from a macro standpoint and will lead to more polarization. Not going anywhere.



    Or the few who created the robots will benefit. The vast majority of our 300 million populace who created nothing will not benefit and there will be no jobs for them. Unless you redistribute wealth.
    why would someone build millions of robots if no one could buy them?
    once people had one robot, their needs are met.
    robot is a replacement for human effort required in meeting life needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackTerrel View Post
    But there aren't going to be 300 million innovators. There will be a few innovators.. the 1%.... and then there will be the 99%
    That is why the word "or" was included in that sentence. You can gain experience in multiple fields and stay relevant and flexible that way. You can go the college route, in which case you are gambling that you will graduate with such awesome job prospects that your debt will be repaid, and you will reap the benefits of a higher income throughout your life. You can also become an innovator and risk quite a bit in that route as well. Whichever way you choose, it's a cost/benefit leap of faith.
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  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPfan1992 View Post
    If technology eliminates brain dead jobs would that mean people will need to spend more time being educated for a decent job? For example people would need 6 years instead of 4 years in college to get the skills needed to operate the machines.
    No, that would mean schools can stop wasting kids time with brain dead classes they don't need and to improve the quality of the classes they do need. For one thing, there should be more classes teaching kids to be entreprenuers rather than slaves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enter`name`here View Post
    if i own a factory that mAkes 10000 widgets and i improve the technology such that i can produce 15,000 widgets then there are now 5,000 more widgets in society. It seems unlikely that i the owner can consume all 5k additional widgets, ergo the number of people who now own widgets must have increased. If my machines made people broke by eliminating jobs how could people buy my widgets? And if people cant buy my additional widgets, why am i producing them?
    That assumes additional demand existed for your widgets. Say the demand for your widgets did not change but technology still improved your productivity by 50%. That means you need fewer people to produce them so you lay off workers- you could get rid of one third of them and still maintain current production. But those workers were buying your widgets. Now they aren't because they don't have a job. Now you are selling fewer so you again need fewer workers. More layoffs.

    We have seen that happening with our economy in recent years. Companies started laying off workers (a lot of the early cutbacks were not because companies were themselves actually losing revenue but because they EXPECTED lower sales due to the recession hitting which actually made it worse and self- fulfilling). Now there are more people not working. They have less to spend on buying stuff so sales of goods and services go down. These same companies see the sales declines and trim the workforce further. It is very hard to get the cycle to reverse itself and get business to hire and give people more money to spend again which increased demand for goods and services which encourages more hiring.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 10-18-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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