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  • Things won't change much.

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Thread: What would people do when robots produce everything?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    I'd vote for a tax-based income rather than individual shareholding-based income, because of simple risk considerations. Dividing and mixing of risks should be done as much as possible in order to minimize victimization of random individuals.
    No victimization. Actually a government would be an owner of shares in all companies (Though without voting rights.). The monetary value of all dividends is split equally among all citizens. Well, either way it would be a form of taxation of corporations. Dividends or corporate taxes, whatever a name we use for this.
    The idea is that this would fix the cash flow in society.
    Now it goes like this: People work in factories, they make money their, they spend money to buy stuff they produced, money from stores go to factory, factory pays employees, etc, etc. The cash flow is a closed loop. Well, generally speaking.
    Now, with more automatization and robotics in the future, this cash flow circle is destroyed. This might be happening already in top industrial countries and keeps them in constant recession like Japan, or explains stagnation of wages in US middle class.
    Machines and robots work in factory, people don't work or work less and don't make enough money to buy products made in factories. Money stays in factory, doesn't flow to society, the circle is broken. People are not making money, can't buy factory products, factory produces less and less. This might be a new form of recession. People might borrow a lot of money to keep buying, but this have its limits.
    I have a feeling that Switzerland is going the right way with "helicopter money". They will need to tax corporations more to make money flow again.
    It's used to be factories-people-stores-factories, new model must be factories-government-people-stores-factories.

    You made this comment below my item 2). Well, item 2) which is meant to reduce/control supply is not meant to prevent "Overconsumption". I meant it to be a neccessary second tool for fighting deflation. Central banks are "printing money" and doing Quantitative Easing for many years already and still had no success in fighting deflation and stimulating consumption. I believe that the reason for that failure is oversupply (~excess work) rather than low consumption, which no money in the world can change, also no basic income, unless 2) is included.
    I think it could be the problem of broken cash flow circle rather than overproduction. Overproduction will happen very often due to saturation of the market with some products. However when new products are invented people readily buy them. For example when computers and smartphones were invented it opened new market for new products and increase of GDP. Likewise when new TVs or new car models come around many people change old for new, and not only one item per family but market expended to one car and TV set per person. "Overproduction" is very fluent beast. Can you imagine how many robots per person people could have in the future? I'm sure, thanks to them, everybody can live in a mansion thanks to cheap construction cost thanks to robots building houses.



    Good point, I also thought that way initially. But I think it doesn't work because employers immediately would use the basic income as an excuse to drop wages. With official work time limits, the wage dropping is much more limited because the difference between the working and non-working people is lower. Let's take for example 4 hours official work time per day. My idea is to directly reward the idling during the rest of the day. Those who do not idle enough and work more than 4 hours (**) should be penalized for doing so because they produce harmful excess supply, without being actually more efficient. If the upper limit of work time remains constantly high as today, then the economic pressure on everybody to work maximum amount of time will increase during deflation, which in turn increases deflation even more like a race to the bottom --> vicious circle. It is important to understand that too much productivity and too efficient productivity increases deflation, thus effectively worsens economic crisis. It sounds paradoxical, but it is truth.
    Cure for this is to unleash human creativity and entrepreneurship to invent and produce new items, and not the same and more old items. Otherwise, as I mentioned above, automatization of production line, meaning factory workers working fewer hours and for less money, causing interruption of money circulation between business and consumer and back, could be the main culprit of today's prolonged recessions in many countries. This is a new phenomenon and possibly it can't be fixed by traditional market mechanisms and stimuli.


    I see it as a double-sided coin:

    1. so far we penalized only excess idling,

    but the other forgotten side of the coin is that

    2. excess work should be penalized too, because it is as harmful as too much idling (*).

    If only excess work is penalized (2), then demand overwhelms supply, which is bad obviously and leads to inflation and shortage of goods. But everybody thinks this is good ("idling is a sin, work is holy").
    If only excess idling is penalized (1), then supply overwhelms demand, which is also bad and leads to deflation. This is the unknown side of the coin which is the cause of the current deflation, where everybody wonders why printing money and working harder doesn't help.

    * By "idling" I mean idling in terms of real labour work. Of course everyones idle time remains an option to work for personal hobbies.
    ** The 4 hours per day is an example only, and is meant to be an average. Of course everyone is free to work 12 hours per day for a couple of weeks or months, but he has to go in vacation eventually for as much as he accumulated overtime work. Else he has to pay penalty tax, which will be used to reduce work and supply somewhere else instead.
    Well, the strict control of time worked by employees might be too artificial to be of any service to society. Likewise, how can we calculate when the overproduction exists and of what products? I would let market forces to determine this.

    In the future it might be easier to figure things out, you can give people certain amount of money but let them chose what and how much they will buy. Consumer likes to have choices and factories will have input what to produce. Even in moneyless society, people could place orders in advance for some major products through smart devices, this way factories will know how much to produce. However, such simplification of the market, might lead to production inefficiencies, lack of new investments and humper creativity of new products. There might be a solution in the future for this that escapes my imagination, and surely will be, giving a genius of human brain. Not mentioning smart supercomputers of the future.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Don't put much thought into it. From technological point of view we have no idea how even start acting on this downloading mind process. Just because somebody have this "dream" it doesn't mean much now.
    Right, but yet they waste efforts for this silly god complex rather than something useful like finding a cure for cancer.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Just forget about money.
    It is not a good idea if it will be no money. We will lose our freedom and all our life will be manipulated more than now. Robots shout be our property, work for us and we decide then what we want purchase with money or/and equivalent (IBAN transfer).



    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Robots produce the goods (the countries GDP), all the time, every day and month. They pack what you ordered by phone in a container and ship it to your house on weekly bases. How is that for you, can work?
    Yes, that sounds good but each human should decide when his order should be delivered at home and how he want pay fort it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    The Value, the products, are made by robots. People are given the value. It is like today's parents work, make money, buy goods, and give them to kids. I'm sure you experienced that, right? As a kid you didn't need to work for first 20 years, and yet you had food, home and rest of the stuff. In a future, robots will act like working parents, and we all will benefit like kids today. Benefiting without working.

    Yes, our parents will be also replaced by robots. In the future humans do not need parents. Robots can reproduce kids in test tubes and look after them. We must pay attention what politicians and current business world decide for us.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    The government will be "your rich grandfather" and will give you money, points or just allowance how much you can buy.
    That is not a good idea for freedom. It is better, my robot will give me the money, because he works for me and not a government.

    In the case that a goverment will be „my rich grandfather“ then only should it be a goverment with direct democracy (like Switzerland) which people themselves decide how their life should be in the future. Swiss People also can change decisions at any time if they are wrong.

    The only problem of direct democracy is that a country should be small. EU or even Germany is too big for it. Regions and direct democracy with basic EU rights and our personal robots which work for us could be a good way.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Plus you are going to have robots producing and working in your house. You won't need to give them money to get stuff.
    I think, we have to give them something for paying resources like metals, wood etc.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    There is a solution for it. Robots can't have feelings. Without feelings they will only act on our orders and not on their feelings or will. Fortunately, we don't know how to create an electronic emotion chip, and we have no idea how to go about this. And in future if it happened that accidently we create a robot who feels something, we should destroy it immediately and related piece of technology. No feelings, no emotions, no free will, no moral dilemmas. Without feelings they won't care if they exist or not, if people exist or not, if they only serve humans or die for humans. Morality will be simply programed: robots will not harm humans, robots will serve humans, robots will die for humans, etc. No feelings, no pain, no dilemma.
    I agree. No emotions and free will for robots or we will get huge problems.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    No victimization. Actually a government would be an owner of shares in all companies (Though without voting rights.). The monetary value of all dividends is split equally among all citizens. Well, either way it would be a form of taxation of corporations. Dividends or corporate taxes, whatever a name we use for this.
    The idea is that this would fix the cash flow in society.
    Now it goes like this: People work in factories, they make money their, they spend money to buy stuff they produced, money from stores go to factory, factory pays employees, etc, etc. The cash flow is a closed loop. Well, generally speaking.
    Now, with more automatization and robotics in the future, this cash flow circle is destroyed. This might be happening already in top industrial countries and keeps them in constant recession like Japan, or explains stagnation of wages in US middle class.
    Machines and robots work in factory, people don't work or work less and don't make enough money to buy products made in factories. Money stays in factory, doesn't flow to society, the circle is broken. People are not making money, can't buy factory products, factory produces less and less. This might be a new form of recession. People might borrow a lot of money to keep buying, but this have its limits.
    I have a feeling that Switzerland is going the right way with "helicopter money". They will need to tax corporations more to make money flow again.
    It's used to be factories-people-stores-factories, new model must be factories-government-people-stores-factories.
    Exactly.

    I think it could be the problem of broken cash flow circle rather than overproduction. Overproduction will happen very often due to saturation of the market with some products. However when new products are invented people readily buy them. For example when computers and smartphones were invented it opened new market for new products and increase of GDP. Likewise when new TVs or new car models come around many people change old for new, and not only one item per family but market expended to one car and TV set per person. "Overproduction" is very fluent beast. Can you imagine how many robots per person people could have in the future? I'm sure, thanks to them, everybody can live in a mansion thanks to cheap construction cost thanks to robots building houses.
    I disagree. Innovativeness of consumer products can be saturated too. As I said, eventually people will prefer to hoard their money rather than spending them for luxury like multiple slave robots, which become cheaper over time anyways, even if luxury price drops to slightly above zero. Prices may even become negative, which already is happening now, for instance Germany rewarded the destruction of your old car with thousands of EUR back in 2009, if you buy a new car. Currently the government plans to reward purchase of electric cars with several thousands of EUR. Did I mention negative interest rates already?
    Another problem is that innovation rarely affects only consumer goods (e.g. personal robots in mansion for everybody and for low price) but also productivity in general.

    Cure for this is to unleash human creativity and entrepreneurship to invent and produce new items, and not the same and more old items.
    Right, but currently this creativity and entrepreneurship primarily increases productivity, resulting in layoffs, unemployment, "unneccessariat" and bullshit jobs. All these are the symptoms of depression/recession/deflation. The nice thing about reducing the maximum work time country wide by law is that the depression is transformed into equal distribution of work load and increased living standard (by increased basic income and excess work time taxation). Even more, creativity and entrepreneurship is unleashed much more than now, because there would be no cheap escape for inefficient companies anymore. They won't simply layoff people and drop wages that much, instead they will be more innovative.

    Otherwise, as I mentioned above, automatization of production line, meaning factory workers working fewer hours and for less money, causing interruption of money circulation between business and consumer and back, could be the main culprit of today's prolonged recessions in many countries. This is a new phenomenon and possibly it can't be fixed by traditional market mechanisms and stimuli.


    Well, the strict control of time worked by employees might be too artificial to be of any service to society.
    Strict control of time worked doesn't have to be more strict than it is already now (currently ~8 hours limit, in various flexible variants). Excess work time is also punished already to some meaningful extent, else we would still work like in Manchester of the 19th century. Recently it was mainly China's cheap labour which contributed most to stagnation of living standards, less innovation and more deflation. But other countries like Bangladesh too of course. If basic income and oversupply penalization is introduced everywhere, then robot's cheap labour wouldn't be harmful but beneficial, except for the robot slaves. This is what we want.

    Likewise, how can we calculate when the overproduction exists and of what products?.
    Just take the typical crisis symptoms as indicator: unemployment, wage decreases, price decreases. One might also consider the GINI coefficient.

    I would let market forces to determine this.
    Market forces already do this: they create crisis, manifested by layoffs and price reductions. The goal of basic income + oversupply taxation is to merely transform these destructive market reactions into raising living standards. Nice thing is that also entrepreneurship and creativity are boosted by these measures.

    In the future it might be easier to figure things out, you can give people certain amount of money but let them chose what and how much they will buy. Consumer likes to have choices and factories will have input what to produce. Even in moneyless society, people could place orders in advance for some major products through smart devices, this way factories will know how much to produce. However, such simplification of the market, might lead to production inefficiencies, lack of new investments and humper creativity of new products. There might be a solution in the future for this that escapes my imagination, and surely will be, giving a genius of human brain. Not mentioning smart supercomputers of the future.
    I don't see that simplification of the market, at least not more than it is already the case now, principally.


    It is interesting that in Germany there is already a law called "Kurzarbeit" (Short time) since many decades. It is an opportunity for struggling companies to essentially receive a basic income for each employee if working time is reduced. If employees exceed this reduced working time, they and their employer will be penalized harshly. It was a great success during the 2008 credit crunch. It is time to introduce "Kurzarbeit" everywhere!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    ...
    In 2009, the German government had budgeted 5.1 billion euros on the program, which replaced some of the lost income of over 1.4 million workers. The program was favorably cited in a 2009 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, which stated that it had saved nearly 500,000 jobs during the recession.[3][4][original research?] Besides helping to avoid mass layoffs, proponents of the program also cite its keeping skilled work groups together and avoiding the atrophy of their skills during extended layoffs, while critics have expressed concerns about its expense and that it might prop up non-viable firms.[5][original research?]
    ...

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    No victimization. Actually a government would be an owner of shares in all companies (Though without voting rights.). The monetary value of all dividends is split equally among all citizens. Well, either way it would be a form of taxation of corporations. Dividends or corporate taxes, whatever a name we use for this.
    The idea is that this would fix the cash flow in society.
    Now it goes like this: People work in factories, they make money their, they spend money to buy stuff they produced, money from stores go to factory, factory pays employees, etc, etc. The cash flow is a closed loop. Well, generally speaking.
    Now, with more automatization and robotics in the future, this cash flow circle is destroyed. This might be happening already in top industrial countries and keeps them in constant recession like Japan, or explains stagnation of wages in US middle class.
    Machines and robots work in factory, people don't work or work less and don't make enough money to buy products made in factories. Money stays in factory, doesn't flow to society, the circle is broken. People are not making money, can't buy factory products, factory produces less and less. This might be a new form of recession. People might borrow a lot of money to keep buying, but this have its limits.
    I have a feeling that Switzerland is going the right way with "helicopter money". They will need to tax corporations more to make money flow again.
    It's used to be factories-people-stores-factories, new model must be factories-government-people-stores-factories.
    I think this „helicopter money“ is too new for the majority of Swiss people and they will not vote positive for it at the moment. But I saw a discussion in the Swiss TV „Arena“. They discussed about the three biggest Swiss firms (Die Post, Swisscom and SBB). The biggest owner of these firms is the Swiss government and Swiss people always can decide what the goverment must change.


    The people at that discussion were talking about that these firms should be for humans a not only for making money. Better work situations and better services for clients.


    That is also the best way to integrate our robots in human civilization.

  7. #32
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    when robots produce everything there will be even a lot more useless people then there are allready today
    they don't have to fight for survival as our ancestors did and they don't find any sense in their life
    people will be heavily influenced by the amusement industry and social media, even more so then it is allready today

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    when robots produce everything there will be even a lot more useless people then there are allready today
    Yes, but the discussed idea (essentially a global Short Time of the german model which is without much wage cut) aims to distribute uselessness more equally and to turn it into an advantage.

    they don't have to fight for survival as our ancestors did and they don't find any sense in their life
    people will be heavily influenced by the amusement industry and social media, even more so then it is allready today
    Yes, humans remain the problematic unknown beings.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mani View Post
    I think this „helicopter money“ is too new for the majority of Swiss people and they will not vote positive for it at the moment.
    That's what I'm expecting too. But if they reject it this time, then the same question will become more pressing later and they will eventually reconsider. Eventually it will come, else there will be violent destruction in some form. Switzerland is more deflationary than EU, btw.

    EDIT: I have to correct myself here. I don't know whether Switzerland is really more deflationary than EU, but it struggles with Swiss Franc vs. EUR appreciation, making swiss exports more expensive. In any case, living standard in Switzerland is much higher than in EU average, and wages are up to twice a high as in Germany.
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 06-06-16 at 00:37.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    when robots produce everything there will be even a lot more useless people then there are allready today
    they don't have to fight for survival as our ancestors did and they don't find any sense in their life
    people will be heavily influenced by the amusement industry and social media, even more so then it is allready today
    Is surviving really the sense of our life ? We could do things that are more useful for society: Spend our time with our children and help our parents, conserve the nature. Then we have our hobbies and friends etc. I’m sure you also will find a better sense of life than working as slave for the current society and getting sick and unhappy because you aren’t free and can’t decide yourself how to spend your short life.

    But this is only possible if the robots work for you (for humans) and not for future global players. It will be better if governments could be the owner of global firms and human society the boss of these goverments.

    Or our goverments tax all global players so that they can pay all unemployed people.

    But I think, this will be not possible because high taxes destroy firms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    That's what I'm expecting too. But if they reject it this time, then the same question will become more pressing later and they will eventually reconsider. Eventually it will come, else there will be violent destruction in some form. Switzerland is more deflationary than EU, btw.
    I agree.

    I think it will help if they see the problem in combination with the future robotic market.

    I hope some of Swiss people will read our thoughts and discuss it on TV soon.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    when robots produce everything there will be even a lot more useless people then there are allready today
    they don't have to fight for survival as our ancestors did and they don't find any sense in their life
    people will be heavily influenced by the amusement industry and social media, even more so then it is allready today
    That's how I see it as well. Yes, there's a certain segment of the population who would love to have lots of time to devote to music, reading, studying multiple disciplines, various sports, cooking, photography, and on and on. For people like that, life is too short for all they want to learn and experience.

    How many people are like that, though? Even if the economics of it all would work out, the majority would just watch or listen to mindless media, the more violent and overtly and gratuitously sexual the better, and spend their days either drunk or high. It's already the norm for a lot of people who are on public assistance, and becoming increasingly the norm among young people in general. Just as an example, I've been paying a monthly fee for Netflix. I'm seriously considering cancelling it. Most of the new shows are just disgusting, celebrating the worst of human nature.

    I was fed a lot of nonsense in university about how if you just "free" children to learn on their own, they'll explore so many things. The contrary is the case, as educators have finally started to admit. Without discipline and consequences, a lot of children will diligently study absolutely nothing. That's why they're increasingly ignorant.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I was fed a lot of nonsense in university about how if you just "free" children to learn on their own, they'll explore so many things. The contrary is the case, as educators have finally started to admit. Without discipline and consequences, a lot of children will diligently study absolutely nothing. That's why they're increasingly ignorant.
    Ignorants are good for business. You can sell them every bullshit. You can manipulate them if you like, but they are not so easy to conserve like a robot.



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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    There is a solution for it. Robots can't have feelings. Without feelings they will only act on our orders and not on their feelings or will. Fortunately, we don't know how to create an electronic emotion chip, and we have no idea how to go about this. And in future if it happened that accidently we create a robot who feels something, we should destroy it immediately and related piece of technology. No feelings, no emotions, no free will, no moral dilemmas. Without feelings they won't care if they exist or not, if people exist or not, if they only serve humans or die for humans. Morality will be simply programed: robots will not harm humans, robots will serve humans, robots will die for humans, etc. No feelings, no pain, no dilemma.
    I doubt this has anything to do with emotion. It is a technical optimization problem which robots will face all the time, because most of the time there are no 100% optimal solutions. That means they have to decide which compromises are good for humans (which humans? All humans? Or only a sufficient majority? The "valuable" ones? The high performers only? Or the weakest low performers only? Long-term or short-term?...). Now looking at human history and cultures, we can see how many different moral values and bloody rituals have evolved within the same one human species. I wouldn't be surprised if robots will require constant moral supervision by humans, which might turn out to be a fulltime job. Else they might come-up with a morals where sacrificing of 10 humans is OK if 11 humans can be saved, or they start to develop radical eugenics for a "better future" and "our own good", or something like that.
    In tech industry there is a phenomenon which tells us that many new things that were introduced to make things easier tend to create actually more problems later that there were before. That is because if you hide one layer of complexity (e.g. our current state of development) by another layer with less complexity (robots doing the work for us), not the lesser complexity wins, but instead both get multiplied in a very nasty way, and fixing this is multiple times harder than dealing with the first complexity layer only. Even robots themselves will eventually struggle with this problem. If this happens with robots, humans will have much more work than before. In worst case a system can collapse due to it's own complexity.
    Another similar phenomenon is, that the more we learn and know, the more questions get answered, but even more new questions appear.
    Just some food for thought, being neither pessimistic nor optimistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    Right, but yet they waste efforts for this silly god complex rather than something useful like finding a cure for cancer.
    There is always a dilemma if scientists should follow their passion and chose their own research field or public should direct their research to what public considers useful. Especially an important case when public finances the research facilities like at universities. We should have them both I think. Public money should be earmarked according to urgent issues in society. More money for research and scientists to make if they follow these guidelines.
    However we don't know from where a new big thing in science can come from, and many new inventions are accidental in nature. In this case scientists should have free hand to pursue whatever makes them excited and passionate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mani View Post
    It is not a good idea if it will be no money. We will lose our freedom and all our life will be manipulated more than now. Robots shout be our property, work for us and we decide then what we want purchase with money or/and equivalent (IBAN transfer).
    Obviously lack of money creates some problems, perhaps loss of freedom of choice of selection, saving for big items, donating money to a cause, etc. It is hard to predict if we are ever going to get rid of money. The point was that technically we can, and still receive products.


    Yes, our parents will be also replaced by robots. In the future humans do not need parents. Robots can reproduce kids in test tubes and look after them. We must pay attention what politicians and current business world decide for us.
    Not really. As long as people want to raise a child there will be no need for such thing. And we are very good in it. Also, a child needs emotional bond with parents to grow up to be a normal person. Machines might never have feelings therefore never be good parents.



    That is not a good idea for freedom. It is better, my robot will give me the money, because he works for me and not a government.
    You are really tied to the money idea, aren't you. ;)

    In the case that a goverment will be „my rich grandfather“ then only should it be a goverment with direct democracy (like Switzerland) which people themselves decide how their life should be in the future. Swiss People also can change decisions at any time if they are wrong.
    No problem with this.

    The only problem of direct democracy is that a country should be small. EU or even Germany is too big for it. Regions and direct democracy with basic EU rights and our personal robots which work for us could be a good way.
    I believe that in the future the whole world will be decentralized. Local communities will have strongest powers and big entities like countries will disintegrate with time.:
    http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads...-in-the-future


    I think, we have to give them something for paying resources like metals, wood etc.[/QUOTE]Money or not, you place an order with mining, lumber and transportation robots and they will deliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mani View Post
    I agree. No emotions and free will for robots or we will get huge problems.
    Yep, the Skynet and Terminator. :)

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    Wendy's is replacing its lowest-paid workers with robots

    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Insider
    ...
    Citing concerns about the rising cost of labor, Wendy's President Todd Penegor told Investor's Business Daily (IBD) about plans to automate the ordering process in company restaurants. Employees who once took orders from customers will be replaced by self-service kiosks. Mobile ordering and payment apps will also cut down on employee hours.
    ...
    According to IBD, Penegor says the move is a response to the rising cost of labor for the company. He says it's partly a result of rising minimum wages,
    ...
    Wendy's is not alone in the fast food world in deciding to cut the costs and difficulties of human beings out of its ordering process. McDonald's has been testing similar kiosks on a smaller scale....
    A good example for how the risen minimum wage forces companies to replace human labor with more innovative robot labor. As the basic income with proportionally reduced work time may have a cost-raising effect too (because there is no cheaper labor available), it can likewise accelerate innovation and rationalization rather than slowing it down, just with less numerous and less threatening layoffs, because everyone works less and gets proportionally less loan from the employer. In case of layoff there is at least protection by the basic income.

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    So as expected, the Swiss people voted against basic income with 78%. This idea needs a lot of new thinking, which is especially difficult for conservative people like the Swiss. Yet the initiators are celebrating their 22%, because they expected only 15%.
    Mind that in Switzerland even women had no right to vote until 1971 because the Swiss always voted against, incl. most women.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    Wendy's is replacing its lowest-paid workers with robots



    A good example for how the risen minimum wage forces companies to replace human labor with more innovative robot labor. As the basic income with proportionally reduced work time may have a cost-raising effect too (because there is no cheaper labor available), it can likewise accelerate innovation and rationalization rather than slowing it down, just with less numerous and less threatening layoffs, because everyone works less and gets proportionally less loan from the employer. In case of layoff there is at least protection by the basic income.
    I know you are really set on limiting working hours to cut production and consumption. In some case of personal consumption you are right, but there is so much more of good products and services we should get. What about more recreational building infrastructure like more recreational facilities. More efficient roads, tunnels and bridge. Desalination plants in places with water shortages. Water treatment plants from storm water runoffs from our cities. We treat sewer but not run off with road oils and all city street pollution. World wide battery recycling program (these are most toxic items we bury in the ground these days). Traffic control for drone delivery system. Just few examples off the top of my head. There are so many opportunities for work in new products/infrastructure and services. All we need is entrepreneurial spirit and smart politicians. The latter is much harder to come up with, I guess. I don't think we pay enough politicians to get the best and smartest talents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    So as expected, the Swiss people voted against basic income with 78%. This idea needs a lot of new thinking, which is especially difficult for conservative people like the Swiss. Yet the initiators are celebrating their 22%, because they expected only 15%.
    Mind that in Switzerland even women had no right to vote until 1971 because the Swiss always voted against, incl. most women.
    I was shocked to learn this few years ago, lol.
    Swiss are very interesting nation. On one hand they are very conservative, on the other they are way more progressive than most other nations. At least they don't shy away from radical ideas and have a lot of initiative. I think it will go through next time when more folks get used to the idea.
    I was hoping they will vote yes. Not that I'm sure this is the right way, I have no idea about details of this plan, but it would be nice if someone experiments with it. Otherwise how we will know if it works or not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I know you are really set on limiting working hours to cut production and consumption.
    I don't want to cut consumption, only production. The goal is to keep scarcity always slightly above zero (likewise saturation below 100%). Without scarcity there is no economy.

    In some case of personal consumption you are right, but there is so much more of good products and services we should get. What about more recreational building infrastructure like more recreational facilities. More efficient roads, tunnels and bridge. Desalination plants in places with water shortages. Water treatment plants from storm water runoffs from our cities. We treat sewer but not run off with road oils and all city street pollution. World wide battery recycling program (these are most toxic items we bury in the ground these days). Traffic control for drone delivery system. Just few examples off the top of my head. There are so many opportunities for work in new products/infrastructure and services. All we need is entrepreneurial spirit and smart politicians. The latter is much harder to come up with, I guess. I don't think we pay enough politicians to get the best and smartest talents.
    Well, I have the gut feeling that many of the politicians themselves are already members of the bullshit-job sector. I agree in so far that compared to the wages of managers in the free market the wages of politicians are laughable, which makes them susceptible for corruption. The situation in Japan is a bit different though, as manager wages are ten times lower on average than in the US.

    Your examples are mostly from infrastructure, and you are right. In the US the infrastructure is often in a critical age (crumbling bridges). But also in Germany the roads are full of holes, university buildings and schools are often still made in 1970. The question is why does private economy not target these demands, and where are the entrepreneurs? Take the german train system and british water supply for example, it started to decay since it was privatized. One would expect the opposite, but no. What is the reason? I think entrepreneurs/private companies always make calculation and today they find out that it is more profitable to retreat and liquidate, or just receive the government payments and do nothing because they are monopolists. It is no coincidence that infrastructure is the traditional sector of government consumption, which means the government is the main customer of the industry. That is because private consumers do not consume infrastructure directly. This sector is even further increasing due to saturated private consumption.
    Again Japan is ahead and they use "Abenomics", a mostly Keynesian attempt to fight deflation. The big problem of such approaches is that they happen when government debt is already critically high, especially in Japan. But nevertheless they try it, hoping for higher tax returns, but so far without success. Mysteriously they also increased consumption tax, which is very stupid. Sometimes the japanese government hires one company to dig a hole and later hires another one to close the same hole (another bullshit-job). Japan also removed pacifism from it's constitution in order to gain economic growth in the arms industry, which is another traditional sector of fiscal stimulus (government consumption). Keynesianism is very close to Mussolini's definition of fascism.

    It is a mystery to me why the Fukushima desaster is not a major subject of fiscal stimulus. This is a real scarcity (scarcity of a problem solution). Probably the Fukushima problems are still too abstract and unnoticable for individual people, politicians and entrepreneurs in order to take action. Nobody feels personally responsible enough and there is not enough monetary reward for this good deed.

    Governments must revive the private economy and the only way I see is by cutting production. Once the private sector is up again, then there will be also more credit for sustaining government investment in public infrastructure.
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 07-06-16 at 18:20.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I was shocked to learn this few years ago, lol.
    Swiss are very interesting nation. On one hand they are very conservative, on the other they are way more progressive than most other nations. At least they don't shy away from radical ideas and have a lot of initiative. I think it will go through next time when more folks get used to the idea.
    I think that's because Switzerland has direct democracy. I don't know of any other country that has such privileges. One downside is that people's votes are always very conservative in such wealthy countries like Switzerland. They don't want to change a running system, understandably. Also, Switzerland is not the country where a basic income is especially urgent. Other countries need it much more.

    Interestingly, already Richard Nixon proposed a basic income for all US citizens.

    99.9% of normal people always believe that money is too scarce, but they don't see that the social spending is a microscopic fraction compared to the billions spent for fiscal stimuli and bank bail-outs.
    They also think that an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) will be an incentive to be lazy and drug addicted. But there is a strong counter argument: In Germany there already was a very generous social help for unemployed until 2004, since many decades. Since only the unemployed received it, it was essentially an incentive for not going to work, and indeed there was always a minority of people living on social welfare only. I think it is inevitable to have such a parasitic minority if we don't want to ruin the honestly working people. It never was a problem for Germany.
    But it was also unfair, because social welfare was only for the jobless. It effectively was penalizing the working ones. Now compare this to an Unconditional Basic Income where also the working ones would receive the same welfare. From this perspective the UBI would be even an incentive to find a job!

    I was hoping they will vote yes. Not that I'm sure this is the right way, I have no idea about details of this plan, but it would be nice if someone experiments with it. Otherwise how we will know if it works or not?
    Exactly. Economic models need continuous improvement, and discouraging experiences should not be taken too negatively, there always will be some trial-and-error.
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 07-06-16 at 16:34.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Coming back to the main question of the thread: what would people do if robots much of their work?
    They could do more sports, not only physical but also mental sports. Basically all abilities that have been required so far on the job market could be exercised as a competitive game, with fun and without fear.
    I think it partially already happened: the life-threatening hunting and gathering has been replaced by olympic games, soccer, bull-fighting and many other, depending on tribe and culture. Probably even the arts of war has been replaced by these traditional sports, including chess, go and alike. Today, there are competition challenges in war-like computer games (some people are still skeptic) and paintball. Obviously, future sport challenges should become more intellectual (knowledge, "jeopardy", programming, playing musical instruments, arguing, ...). Humans can be very enthusiastic for sports and game-like competition. This could be a way to avoid many sorts of degenerations if there is no work.

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    If anyone is an amazon.com prime member, there's a series on there called "Humans". It's about what might happen if robots did take on human jobs. The humans in the creators' imagination don't much like it. Things get worse when they're actually programmed to have human "consciousness", including "free will", and "feelings".

    It's quite well done, I think. It was originally on AMC. I don't know where else it might be available.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humans_(TV_series)

    In looking for the trailer on youtube I found the full episodes are available on there. I think they're worth looking at...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FJQpK6EVTk

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