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Andrew Yang: Yes robots are stealing your job

By tovarichpeter follow tovarichpeter   2019 Nov 14, 8:39pm 84 views   9 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share

“During the last Democratic debate, in Ohio, there was a moment that stood out. Elizabeth Warren and I got into a debate over the impact of automation versus trade on the elimination of manufacturing jobs. Joe Biden also chimed in, agreeing that the fourth industrial revolution is costing jobs, so it’s important to deal with the root causes.

Immediately, fact checkers were quick to point to a study showing that 88 percent of factory job losses from 2000 to 2010 were caused by automation. Yet, in the days following that debate, some prominent media figures asserted that the threat of automation is not real. The Times columnist Paul Krugman even called it “a sort of escapist fantasy for centrists who don’t want to confront truly hard questions.”

It’s easy to cite incomplete statistics that ignore the full picture and the situation on the ground, but I’ve done the math while spending time in struggling communities. Venture for America, the nonprofit I founded, sent me across this country, to Detroit, St. Louis, Birmingham, Ala., and other communities, where we attempted to spur entrepreneurship and create jobs. It was during this time when I spoke with workers who had lost their jobs to automation and couldn’t find more work. My organization was helping to create jobs, but automation was displacing tens of thousands of workers in these states. We were pouring water into a bathtub with a giant hole ripped in the bottom.”
2   NoCoupForYou   ignore (5)   2019 Nov 14, 9:49pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

How can we do anything in a postmodern culture with few shared values?

That being said, the biggest rise in productivity was in the 90s. The rise in the naughties was small, and the rise since the Great Recession minimal.

The real shock drop in employment happened in 2002, the first full year that China ascended to the WTO.

Most of your smartphones, clothes, etc. aren't done by robots in China; they're done by people hunched over a bench with a soldering iron or a sewing machine, just like it was in US factories, be they unionized ones Upstate NY or Ohio, mass produced furniture and gov't contractor textiles in South Carolina, or in fly by night LA Sweatshops full of illegal Chinese women, well into the 90s.
4   rd6B   ignore (1)   2019 Nov 15, 9:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yang is not wrong, but his solutions are probably wrong.
What can the average flyover-country blue collar worker do these days to earn decent living if he is not in TX (where work in oilfields is lucrative, just returned from W. Texas and was rather impressed)? Forty years age he would work in a coal mine, steel mill, textile plant, but now? Should he just go on popping painkillers, which is what a lot of middle America do?
5   HEYYOU   ignore (46)   2019 Nov 15, 10:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Just waiting for AI with quantum computer speed to eliminate losers that sit on their asses & get paid to type on a keyboard.

" A 30-qubit quantum computer would equal the processing power of a conventional computer that could run at 10 teraflops (trillions of floating-point operations per second). Today's typical desktop computers run at speeds measured in gigaflops (billions of floating-point operations per second).

How fast can you type?
6   Rin   ignore (4)   2019 Nov 15, 10:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Just waiting for AI with quantum computer speed to eliminate losers that sit on their asses & get paid to type on a keyboard.

That's a lot of white collar workers these days.
7   OccasionalCortex   ignore (4)   2019 Nov 15, 12:28pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

tovarichpeter says
Immediately, fact checkers were quick to point to a study showing that 88 percent of factory job losses from 2000 to 2010 were caused by automation.

Yeah, right...automation being done out of the country. Mostly in China, where the American jobs were moved to long ago. Why didn't the fact checkers make that distinction? Oh wait...that completely blows the narrative.

And how do they justify what job is lost to automation here in the US and what isn't? Nobody get's told "We are letting you go because of automation" when being laid off. The guy saying so in this article is full of shit, period.

That would mean a factory gets closed, refurbished completely from the ground up with robots, AI, etc and everyone is let go. And that rarely happens. And if it does, it usually is paired with simply offshoring the facility either to a cheaper state or Mexico as well, etc.

What happens 99% of the time instead is that automation is done a) piecemeal and b) usually is used in conjunction with a human worker to make that worker more productive. Productivity goes up and the firm produces more. But then a recession hits, demand goes down and they lay off the surplus workers at that point. Thereafter the firm doesn't hire as much people moving forward. That is how jobs are 'lost' when a high-growth economy goes into production recession and stays there for a long time. None of this is new. It is why in 1900 70% of the US workforce was either directly or indirectly working in the agricultural sector of the economy while only 3% do today.

This was classic Obama Recession 101 and it will happen also in the next recession because 90% of the politicians' economic advisors are Keynesian idiots. And the longer the recession lasts the more firms will avoid hiring people and seek automation instead.

And throwing others people money at people isn't good. FDR realized this when he had all those 'dig holes and fill them up again' public projects done (in Swing states, btw) -- against the advice of 'experts' that told him it was more efficient and less costly to simply mail people a check instead. Hell, even the Chinese know this. They have gone to the extremes of building entire ghost cities to keep the economy going because they know this. Now they are building huge projects outside of China as well.

Automation is going to hit workers...but it will hit them hardest in countries where our jobs were already 'automated' away via robots called 'cheap foreign labor'. In fact, it already has and has been doing so for some time.

As for here, we have a decade at least before the big swarm of true robotic replacement kicks into high gear. I mean, they still can't get the SDC shit to work right despite all the projections that our roads would be filled with things by now.
8   NoCoupForYou   ignore (5)   2019 Nov 15, 12:51pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I dispute the automation as the main driver to US job loss.

The simple reason is 95% of the stuff sold retail or to businesses are still labor-intensive manufacturing, like the soldering girls up above.

Yes, there are some high tech highly automated factories being built in China and Mexico.

BUT, the industrial costs of Electricity -required by automation- is higher in China and Mexico than it is in the USA. The US comparative advantage - which will increase over both China and the EU (and eventually Japan if they continue to de-nuclearize) is cheap electricity.

Most of the jobs being exported are in labor intensive industries, like soldiering parts to boards for electronics.
9   SunnyvaleCA   ignore (1)   2019 Nov 15, 1:31pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Here's two ideas:
(1) Don't allow more immigration of people whose jobs are likely to be lost to automation.
(2) Don't allow more immigration of people whose jobs are likely to be the ones USA citizens will need to take when those citizens lose their jobs to automation.
So, if you follow Andrew Yang's logic, then the best president isn't Andrew Yang, it's Donald Trump.

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