Friday, December 8, 2017

If Robots Are Set To Displace Human Workers - We Need To Cut The Population

Again, American (and global) workers are being told two different narratives, only one of which can be true. The first is that there are abundant jobs for those with the necessary talent and who seek to find them. I skewered this balderdash in an earlier post, e.g.

Therein I noted  Lauren Weber's investigation  into why so many companies are having a difficult time filling their openings.  What she found was the "companies are reluctant to raise pay, in part to protect their profit margins".  They also prefer right now to have more money set aside to buy back their own shares if it can help their bottom line, increase share prices.  According to managing director of Aspen Advisors, Andrew Gadomski, that is "holding back hiring".   He notes that when companies lament they can't find workers to fill key openings, that is code for:

"I can find talent, I just don't want to pay them as much as they cost."

Also noted was that what employers often viewed as a labor shortage is in reality a retention problem, according to Gadomski. If you are losing workers - chasing better pay or benefits - you have to replace them. 

In the case of Colorado, the so-called job "boom" has largely been exposed as a myth. In last Sunday's Denver Post (p. 1A) we saw and read of the new exodus out of this state because once people arrived to take the promised jobs,  they found they didn't pay enough to allow them to live here. This has forced many talented people - many Millennials - to rent tiny bedrooms as opposed to full apartments. Others have just given up, packed and left to return to their home states.  The other aspect, a nasty one, is the explosion of housing costs in the West (for example) has increased the nation's homeless population to over 534,000. And there's no indication this will lessen anytime soon.

The other narrative is that nearly all repetitive jobs will be replaced very soon. E.g. 
Thus, according to a WSJ  report ('Firms Leave The Bean Counting To The Robots') in the Business and Investing section (p, B5, Oct. 23) AI -based robots will soon be taking over CFO and accounting work across the land, as well as the jobs of "accountants, bank loan officers, and insurance claims adjustors.  Even FORBES now uses an AI system called  'Quill" to pen its articles, so less need for journalists.

Reinforcing the latter narrative is the new finding by McKinsey Global Institute that over the next 13 years 70 million workers in the U.S. will have to find another way to make money. In addition, "technology could replace up to 375 million employees worldwide by 2030". (Denver Post Business, p. 1K, Dec. 3).  Again, we're informed all the jobs at risk involve repetitive tasks -  and the robots at work can already "scan Tylenol bottles and lip balm at the drugstore"   as well as "build pickups and take your grilled cheese orders at Panera Bread." McKinsey estimates that "half the duties workers handle globally could be automated."

What this means, when you boil it down, is there won't be enough paid labor for humans to do given the magnitude of worker displacement via automation. And we know that another third narrative is also false, i.e. that corporations fear regulations more than labor costs. That trope has been exploded so many times it's a wonder it still emerges in debates.   But this could be on account of too many spending excessive time on smartphones as opposed to reading newspapers, or books.

This is also what blows the mega hole into Greg Ip's arguments about "needing more humans to support older workers"  in the aging nations of the world. It also skewers the typical Neolib meme that low birth rates are undermining the global economy.

Here's the real skinny: Ip and his Neolib cohort know damned well the problem can't be solved by more human workers -  because AI systems and robots are already going to take over their jobs by the freaking millions.  There won't be support for social safety nets because you don't pay an AI system or robot. So there is no way to build up any equity or monetary resources to support the aging population - OR the growing workless population

This is exactly why - in the 1973 conspiracy thriller 'Executive Action' (based on the novel by Donald Freed and Mark Lane that exposed the real conspirators in the JFK assassination) the featured cabal-   based in Vienna, VA -  wanted to use chemical -based genocide to "reduce a large part of the global populace."  At one point one of the  lead conspirators ("Robert Foster")  puts it to Burt Lancaster's character ("James Farrington") that: "With proper planning we can reduce the population to 500 million by the end of the century. The techniques used there can be used to reduce our own excess population, blacks, poverty prone whites".  See e.g. the clip: 

"Foster's" concern was that the "overflow" mainly in Asia and Africa - had to be eliminated  - or they'd flood into the developed regions of North America and Europe.  Could such a crass and inhuman plan actually transpire? We don't know but the  human numbers projected  by 2030 and then 2050 do not allow much optimism that such a draconian solution might be under consideration by some global elites.   By 2050 we are talking about adding an equivalent population to that inhabiting all of Europe - plus all of sub-Saharan Africa.

Where will the jobs come to occupy all those beings? Where will the food come from to supply all those mouths-bellies? No one has a clue, not really. The so-called "green revolution" is itself basically over on account of the ongoing dilution of the soil.  And climate change will exacerbate all existing agricultural problems and shortages into a permanent nightmare. That's even if the planet can escape the monster fires we've beheld in California.

 A far better solution, in my opinion, is to begin immediately to reduce our human numbers by widespread, artificial birth control. o not let those numbers explode into a jobless, destitute future that might trigger the response of madmen and elitist thugs like "Robert Foster". A fictional character in a novel, true. But if you don't believe there aren't actual elites that exist right now with that conspiratorial mentality, you definitely have been spending too much time watching boxing kitties on Youtube.

Apart from the worst case scenario of a planned genocide, people need to grasp that by reproducing to appease a warped economic system they are merely perpetuating gross economic inequality by helping to sustain a vast pool of surplus labor. As Marx showed (and anyone with a brain can figure out- except perhaps the Catholic birth control dogmatists) surplus labor translates into lowest common denominator conditions and endless scarcity. It can never be  a recipe for upliftment, societal  improvement or even balancing the needs of an existing, aging populace.

The other solution, of course, would be to implement a universal basic income (UBI) - which would entail laying away trillions for that purpose starting now.  But the bugbear there is that the nations that might be able to afford it are saddled with monstrous debt.   For example, U.S. debt - set to reach over 20 trillion by the time the new spending bill is agreed on, is nearly 77 percent of GDP. 

Meanwhile, Europe is printing euros like there's no tomorrow, and debt - especially in nations like Spain, Portugal and Greece, piling up to unprecedented levels.  Then there is the Bank of Japan which has printed over 13.3  trillion yen   The Fed in the U.S. has done its own form of printing money by way of "quantitative easing", purchasing over $4 trillion in the bond market.
All of these signals in tandem show the instability of the global debt crisis and no one who looks into these can remain complacent.

It also shows that the solution of a UBI to help workers displaced by robots is a pure pipedream. It will never come to pass, especially with a preponderance of deficit hawks skulking around right now - who are just rubbing their mitts together and drooling waiting for the deficits to explode with this Reeptard tax bill.  Then they can go full throttle to suck every last remaining drop of blood from the social safety net. 

The solution is clear: our global population needs to be cut- and radically by 2030. If not,  either in Isaac Asimov's immortal words  "nature will cut it for us" (say by an Avian flu  pandemic or airborne Ebola) or the hidden powers that be might consider doing so - as portrayed in the Executive Action movie, and seen in the clip.

See also:


"Capitalists crave to replace workers with an automated labor force. The parasitic breed has always viewed workers as flesh machines, of whom, they were inconvenienced by having to pay wages. Capitalism is, by its very nature, dehumanizing. From the advent of the industrial/capitalist epoch, the system has inflicted mass alienation, societal atomization, and anomie. Moreover, the vast wealth inequity inherent to the system allows the capitalist elite to own the political class — a mindless clutch of flunkies who might as well be robots programmed by the capitalist order to serve their agendas."

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