Saturday, June 25, 2011

What a crock

So much of what the Lame Stream media would have you believe is a crock. Republicans running around like chickens with their heads cut off touting the the end is near unless we nearly eliminate all of government. Interestingly they weren't worried about debt when they occupied the oval office with 2 wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. And those on the other side of the aisle seemingly wringing their hands in a "what will we do attitude?" It's all a crock. The boys on Wall Street have already told both parties there will be no default. This is but Kabuki theater. A mere game to score political points. The teabagger crowd would love nothing better than cut all social programs as long as it's not theirs'. How completely stupid is it to say they want nothing to do with a government run health care plan but 'you better not touch my Medicare' which as we all know is a government run health care plan?

Even our president doesn't have a complete grasp of the economics of the work force. In a recent trip to Pittsburgh Obama was touting the need for manufacturing jobs. All well and good on the face of it but think of the long term ramifications. In touring the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon university he was in awe of the progress of their robotics program. Robots could be created to do every manner of manual labor. But there's a short sightedness about all that. Once built a robot could easily do the work of many and the need for labor diminishes. Then once robots are built to build and repair robots what need is there for humans? This is I believe something of a lemon theory also called the law of diminishing returns. Squeeze a lemon long enough and eventually there's no longer any juice to be had. I have witnessed first hand this theory over the past 20 years. When a task used to require three dozen people now takes six or eight this is a great advance in productivity but not so good for the 30 people left on the sidelines of the work force.

What's truly disheartening in all of this is that we have the laws in place to rectify many of our economic short comings yet there seems to be a disdain to actually enforce these laws. It makes one wonder exactly who is in the background pulling the strings but we only have to look no further than Wall Street and their ilk to know. But Wall Street has become such a generic term with no real faces upon which to put the blame. And with the largest theft in world history there's no question about where much of the blame should fall. Notice how only the low hanging fruit were given so much as a trial and are now serving time. And if memory serves correct that's only one or two individuals.

What a crock indeed.


BBC said...

We have the power to - do nothing about any of it.

Go boating...

Demeur said...

The only water I like is a decon shower at the end of the day.

The Blog Fodder said...

Mechanical devices have been developed to replace manual labour since someone used a pointy stick to make a hole in the ground to plant seeds. Improving the productivity of human labour is what has allowed us to create our societies of today such as they are. The crucial point is that societies MUST keep remaking themselves to take advantage of the productivity for the benefit of all and that education, training and planning ensure there is no worker left behind.

I have a copy of a letter from the Governor of NY written to the President condemning the construction of railways because of all the people engaged in moving freight on canals that would be unemployed - from mule breeders to barge workers. He was right of course, but the number of jobs eventually created by railways was multiples of those on canals.

Demeur said...

All well and good Fodder but we're getting to the point where humans are almost unnecessary. The next major shift coming is nano technology. And when they can program a micro machine to build or do anything a human can do then it's game over.

In dealing with third world problems they had to rethink how to keep people employed when they were more than able to bring in advanced technology. At present I'm not seeing any substitutions after technological advances unless of course you'd like fries with your order.

Tom Harper said...

Pretty soon bloggers will be replaced too. This comment has been written by a robot.

BBC said...

I suppose we'll also not be needed for reproduction of our species. That's okay, I'm more interested in just screwing anyway.

S.W. Anderson said...

You're right in pointing out the absurdity of our dysfunctional political situation. It's like a married couple where one partner wants to make the relationship work, so keeps suggesting ways to cooperate and get along better, work and play together, while the other partner keeps refusing to cooperate, doesn't want to get along better, work or play together, and instead just keeps shouting, "I don't like anything about you and I want you to go away." It doesn't take a Ph.D. in psychology to realize that relationship is never going to work or last.

The decline in need for repetitive manual labor has been under way for more than 200 years. Robotics is merely a more-sophisticated and powerful extension of machines developed to do those things. What robotics bring to various tasks are greater articulation, sensors and chips that make it possible for them to "evaluate" what's placed before them and do more-complex, multi-step processes.

What it's eventually going to come down to is an absolute requirement that for millions of people, a decent income level will no longer be dependent on doing commercially productive work. Go play tennis, be an eternal student, write, paint, travel, help the infirm, consume, whatever. Start your own small business if you want to try it, etc.

There will also be an absolute requirement for people to not judge themselves or others as a success or failure on the basis of whether or not they have a commercial job.

It's either that kind of enlightened accommodation of a paradigm-changing reality or there's going to be one hell of an ugly revolution. If those at the top think the Bourbons and Romanovs came to a bad end, they better brace for worse.

Marginalizing millions of human beings to a life of poverty and deprivation with no opportunity to improve their lot is as dangerous as sealing a kettle full of water and putting it over a stove burner turned up high.

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