peak jobs, post-scarcity society ? ?

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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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31 Jan 2013, 9:20 pm

Quote:
America Has Hit “Peak Jobs”

in TechCrunch, essay by Jon Evans

http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/26/americ ... peak-jobs/

' . . . Trouble is, America, more than any other nation, is built around the notion that all able-bodied adults should have jobs. That’s going to be a big problem.

'Paul Kedrosky recently wrote a terrific essay about what I call cultural technical debt, i.e. “organizations or technologies that persist, largely for historical reasons, not because they remain the best solution to the problem for which they were created. They are often obstacles to much better solutions.” Well, the notion that ‘jobs are how the rewards of our society are distributed, and every decent human being should have a job’ is becoming cultural technical debt.

'If it’s not solved, then in the coming decades you can expect a self-perpetuating privileged elite to accrue more and more of the wealth generated by software and robots, telling themselves that they’re carrying the entire world on their backs, Ayn Rand heroes come to life, while all the lazy jobless “takers” live off the fruits of their labor. . . '



See also the graph in this article. It's a bell-shaped graph with the fat thick part skewed to lower incomes and with a long tail (the last two bars are grouped categories).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Distr ... States.png

Okay, one solution might be if it was more of a societal norm that it was considered majorly uncool to ask a person on salary to work more than 40 hours a week. This would help to spread out available jobs.



dajand8
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31 Jan 2013, 9:47 pm

Try Socialism and the labour movement for answers. People have been thinking about this for a long time.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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31 Jan 2013, 9:48 pm

Prefer a mixed system myself. :wink:



Philosoraptor
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31 Jan 2013, 11:46 pm

If post-scarcity is even possible (it isn't unless we can make time infinite, as time is also a scarce resource), then the costs and prices of goods and services will be virtually nonexistent as absurdly high supply will make prices plummet. The result would be an extremely high standard of living, even for the poorest in such a society.

I do think that, naturally, the work week will likely decrease relative to the salary paid as the amount of human labor required decreases (for the same reason the post-industrial service economy has much lower working hours, better conditions and better pay than the industrial manufacturing economy and the pre-industrial agrarian economy).



NowhereMan1966
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10 Feb 2013, 12:44 am

Haven't posed in a while but I often wonder if things keep progressing as they are, the paradigm will shift so much that neither the left or right, socialist or capitalist will have all the answers or even both sides together have all the answers. I think there could be some sort of movement made towards a guaranteed minimum and livable income. I'm an Ayn Rand fan but it takes not only people who want to exchange their time to work for income and the job makers want to exchange wages for work, but I just think with all the automation and so on, that could send things off kilter. My idea is we'd either have a minimum income paid to us by the society or laws regulating that only humans can do the work unless it is too dangerous (like using a robot to inspect inside an atomic power plant) for people to do it.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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18 Feb 2013, 11:51 am

I like this. :D A laissez faire advocate being open to a minimum income. And then more people would free to start businesses, pursue art or philosophy, or pursue whatever other projects strikes them as worthwhile. People would no longer be so tied to the necessity of a drudge ware job.

I welcome this as part of a wide-ranging discussion addressing the issue that, no, there currently are not enough middle-class jobs.



NowhereMan1966
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19 Feb 2013, 12:34 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I like this. :D A laissez faire advocate being open to a minimum income. And then more people would free to start businesses, pursue art or philosophy, or pursue whatever other projects strikes them as worthwhile. People would no longer be so tied to the necessity of a drudge ware job.

I welcome this as part of a wide-ranging discussion addressing the issue that, no, there currently are not enough middle-class jobs.


Well although maybe it should not be society's burden to provide a minimum income, there is a realist side in me where as time goes on and there are fewer jobs and/or if robots and automation take over, something has to fill the void. Nature abhores a vacuum and something will have to take its place. We certainly don't want people in the streets and crime to skyrocket. IIRC, I think even Dr. Milton Friedman advocated that where we might have to do that at some point. This is one of the few areas I differ with the standard party line but there are times I'd like to think things out and make up my own mind too. I am more right than left (although I see politics as being two (or perhaps even three) dimensions, not one), being a libertarian, there are times I get both sides mad at me. ;) Unless we blow ourselves up, we are entering into something where it seem both the classic left and right answer seem to fall short here, as my last message said, the paradigm is changing.