Great Decoupling II

The hushed question guiding the world:

“How much robotics escalation are we actually getting in exchange for those hamburgers?”

A (comparatively rare) XS prediction: The Great Decoupling is a transitional event that isn’t going away, and can be expected to accelerate. The ‘capital goods sector’ — today probably more reliably captured as B2B enterprise — has shifted to a permanently higher level of economic significance, indexing the secular decline in labor-power acquisition as a central resource requirement of automated capital. In strict reciprocal conformity with this, consumer goods production is steadily shedding its privilege as the ultimate justification for economic activity in general, and can be expected to undergo roughly continuous decline as a proportion of overall business activity.
Hail Mary Pass for status quo preservation: a basic income.
Cultural re-narrativization in compliance with the trend: the ‘new economy’ requires every individual to adopt a corporate identity. Tap into the B2B traffic, or drop out of the game.

May 27, 2015admin 56 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy


56 Responses to this entry

  • Orthodox Laissez-fairist Says:

    Problem lies in, among other things, stuff like minimum wage, mandatory worker benefits, etc. that increases the price of labor. In Laissez-faire, with no minimum wage, everyone would have jobs and we would have fulfilled the Keynesian (albeit fulfillable only by Austrian methods) dream of full-employment. If it was cheaper in a long-term to hire a worker than buy a robot, wouldn’t you hire a worker? If you could afford a man-servant, would you not want one?


    Brett Stevens Reply:

    In Laissez-faire, with no minimum wage, everyone would have jobs and we would have fulfilled the Keynesian (albeit fulfillable only by Austrian methods) dream of full-employment.

    Why not feudalism?

    …tiptoes away…


    Orthodox Laissez-fairist Reply:

    To ignore the fact that feudalism blocks the Exit for serfs, it’s because feudalism is founded upon forcing a class of people to do agricultural work on certain piece of land. In the age of tractors and combine harvesters and the rest of agricultural mechanizations there is no need for large percentage of the population to be in agricultural sector. One could, however, always use a servants and manual laborers, provided that they’re affordable. It’s economically inefficient to have entrenched class that does one type of work only, market mechanisms can distribute them exactly where they’re needed (and/or wanted), and also allow for the social mobility, so that those capable and hard-working can rise above their economical birth-stations.


    Orthodox Laissez-fairist Reply:

    Pardon me, servants, not *a* servants.

    Note that I wrote economical birth stations, not social birth-stations. Concerning social mobility between ruling class(es) and non-ruling class(es), NBSteves was asked on his The problem with monarchy is the lack of social mobility that the ancien regime exemplifies which disallows the cream from rising to the top due to the vested interests of the hierarchy seeking to preserve their status,leaving them hostile to any upstart geniuses or talented men.
    His answer was: Agreed that this is a major problem for any modern aristocratic republic. The barriers between castes must be *somewhat* permeable. But not so permeable that they may be gamed by mere money or cleverness. IOW we need a way to encourage Bill Gateses to exist and prosper without “buying” political influence, or equivalently, “Jesusy-ness”. It’s a tough problem. And unsolved one IMO.

    I though that solution to that problem is eugenic marriage. Namely, males from ruling class(es) should marry only genetically highly gifted women from non-ruling class(es); while women from ruling class(es) should marry the most successful men from non-ruling class(es), in exchange for said men denouncing (=selling away) their business(es) in order to gain access to ruling class via marriage. Then, hopefully, Gateses will be invested in state as that will be their only business if they chose so (one shouldn’t be allowed to sit at two “chairs” at the same time, so to speak).

    A.B Prosper Reply:

    The ruling class would never go for Feudalism. They couldn’t tolerate the level of reciprocity required or the religiosity either.

    They’d far rather have a slave state.

    As for a basic income. Good luck with that. Giving every American adult about 20k a year which is barely enough for food and housing in many areas would require the State manage to collect 5 trillion in taxes.

    Assuming we could manage Canadian costs providing basic health services for every American would also require another trillion and a half , give or take

    Throw in another trillion for existing pension obligations so that State isn’t voted out and another trillion and a half for the military, basics of the state and infrastructure repair

    So 9 trillion or so, probably a little less so figure it as half the entire US GDP

    Absolutely no way that the State can collect that much revenue or has the level of skillr required to allocate it carefully.


    admin Reply:

    If any of that was politically imaginable, we’d surely be having an entirely different discussion. Politicians have to bribe electorates with promises which market-based life outcomes do not remotely satisfy.


    Jesse Reply:

    ” If it was cheaper in a long-term to hire a worker than buy a robot, wouldn’t you hire a worker?”

    Once robots can self-replicate (i.e. once we have fully automated factories where all the work is done by robots, and these factories can build more factory robots), then at that point it won’t be cheaper to hire a human worker than a robot even if you didn’t have to pay the human worker a cent, because your robots can increase their numbers exponentially at a rate much faster than it takes for new generations of people to grow old enough to start working.


    Xoth Reply:

    The robots would also need an integrated supply chain to put “I, Pencil” to shame, and reproduce themselves without any accounting or planning software whatsoever.


    Jesse Reply:

    Yes, you would need a vertically integrated company to do this, or perhaps just some sort of agreement between the companies that own all the factories involved in the chain of production so that all the machines needed for all the types of factories involved would be replicated and given to the company that owned that type of factory. But I don’t see why you think the robots would need to be able to reproduce themselves without accounting or planning software–as long as the computers that run such software can themselves be replicated by robotic workers, then the system as a whole is a self-replicating one. And programming such software would presumably be easier than programming robots to take over all factory work and construction, since people are predicting we will soon have “distributed autonomous corporations” where all the management is done by AI, whereas the predictions I’ve seen say it’ll be decades before robots are good enough at navigating complex real-world environments to take over all factory work.

    Also, the point about it being cheaper to have robots than human workers still holds if you need a small staff to give the computers high-level directives about when to replicate and where to do it, since the end result would still be a rate of exponential growth in the number of factories the company owns, a rate of growth which wouldn’t be possible if you had to rely on a basically fixed population of human workers (ignoring population growth on generational timescales), no matter how cheaply they’d be willing to work. And of course, in a laissez-faire system you can’t actually pay workers arbitrarily small amounts of money since eventually they won’t have enough to pay for food and will die of starvation (and the cost in food of keeping a human worker in good enough health to do his job would probably be higher than the cost in energy of keeping a factory robot working for the same time period, since the human body has not evolved to be optimized for factory work).

    James James Reply:

    “There was always a wage at which all these horses could have remained employed. But that wage was so low that it did not pay for their feed.”

    -A Farewell to Alms


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    What happens to Xenosystem when there is no acceleration? At all. All there is deceleration, then stasis, then decline. Slow as hell all of it.

    Brezhnevian stasis. Which, when you think about it, isn’t that different from old Confucian China.


    admin Reply:

    Under those conditions (universal decline), XS would retreat even deeper into idle foot-tapping mode, and probably cough up a Deadlines episode every week.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    At least the foot-tapping would be accelerating


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The problem with universal basic income is that it is essentially socialism and will create a vast pool of useless people. Socialism is failure incarnate and anything tainted by its idea of subsidy before production should be considered pants-on-head stupid.

    What seems to be happening is market consolidation. We have had no new technological advances in a while; the Internet boom was, like the sale of Soviet assets to new Russian techno-kulaks, merely a selling of military assets as a commercial property. That boom is now over; people expect search engines to work like running water and internet to be like cell phone messaging. They are not interested in new products. Even the cell/tablet boom, probably always mostly hype, appears to be dying.

    As a result, instead of expanding into new areas, the market is reducing the number of actors through internal competition. This can be destructive, but it can also reduce these things to the place they should have always had: as background to the real process of life itself, which is not found in jobs/shopping but in self-refinement and community.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find some donuts. Gob bless America!


    admin Reply:

    Yes. A universal basic income would be a cosmic-scale historical catastrophe.


    A.B Prosper Reply:

    It would but do you have a better idea?

    I suppose we could start with mass repatriation of people to reduce the population in the West and pay people not to have children but .8 forever is not a social success.

    Singapore has that birth rate and every 2.25 couples being replaced with one couple even with massive immigration is a failure point. There will be no Singapore in a historically short time, no one to buy those good, no need to produce them. No person, no problem to quote Stalin/

    Fact is there are just too many humans alive today for our societies to support. Its a social bottleneck and I have no idea how to overcome it.

    Our technology means we don’t need workers nearly as much, no workers means fewer people to but the stuff. A classic efficiency trap

    Now its solvable via the combination of border control, repatriation, sustained low fertility , work sharing (20 hour work week) and social democracy/social credit but the current economic paradigm and culture is against that.


    Jesse Reply:

    Do you think it would be a catastrophe because it would cripple the economy, or do you think there would be some kind of social catastrophe in having a lot of people not working (or doing self-directed forms of work for reasons other than money, like writing their own books or performing in local bands) even if the economy is doing fine with robots taking care of the labor?

    If the former, that should cease to be a worry once robots get good enough at physical labor to take over all relatively unskilled physical work, because at that point they’ll be able to self-replicate, which should cause every good manufactured by robots to become very cheap. And this sort of large price drop on all manufactured goods would mean that the amount of basic income someone needed for a comfortable middle-class lifestyle would be much smaller than today, small enough that it could be funded by pretty modest taxes on those who still do work for pay (and until the advent of fully human-like AI, there will still be a good number of jobs requiring intellectual, creative, or social skills that can’t be automated).

    The logic here is that if the robots in a fully automated robot factory could manufacture and assemble all the parts of another robot factory, then the only costs involved would be the raw materials, energy, and some land to build the new factory on (and each new factory could then get to work on building another, and so on). And the materials/energy/land to create each new factory is just a one-time investment, after that factory can continually churn out goods to sell with the only additional costs to the owner being the raw materials and energy that go into each manufactured good. So a robot factory owner could potentially charge only slightly more for any given good than the cost of raw materials and energy needed to make it, and make enough profit to continually build more factories and have some left over to pocket. This suggests that as long as there’s still some kind of market competition in this kind of world, the prices of goods produced in robot factories will soon be driven down to not much more than the costs of the raw materials and energy that went into them, which for most goods would be incredibly cheap compared to today (and the costs of raw materials and energy could themselves get cheaper since robot factories could churn out huge numbers of cheap solar panels for energy, along with robotic miners and mining equipment).


    Xoth Reply:

    Don’t forget to make sure the robot economy is controlled and owned by the equivalent of an HFT box. Actually, there will probably be several competing robot economies colonizing the human economies, and each other.

    Exfernal Reply:

    Widespread dysgenics would be a catastrophe, albeit a slow-motion one.

    Jesse Reply:

    “Widespread dysgenics would be a catastrophe, albeit a slow-motion one.”

    It’s not clear it would have dysgenic consequences, after all raising kids is work that many people content to live on basic income might choose to avoid, and there may be improvements in contraceptive technology like the one discussed at which make it easier for people to avoid accidental pregnancies. And note that there’s some evidence against the idea that smarter and better-educated people have fewer children in the US today, see and (hat tip to slatestarcodex for both links). I think ultimately the relation between intelligence and fertility depends a lot on social mores whose future development is hard to predict.

    Even if there was a dysgenic effect happening in society, I think it would take at least a century or two to have any significant consequences, and there’s a good chance that in that time technology will develop to the point where we have one or all of the following: widespread genetic engineering of children to increase intelligence, biological immortality, and mind uploading or some other form of human-like AI, all of which would counter any dysgenic issues. Plus, if mind uploading/AI happen then the center of civilization will probably shift away from biological humans, since even if these beings aren’t significantly smarter than humans, their minds would work much faster…in that case the upload/AI civilization would continue along just fine even if biological humans evolved to become dumber. Personally, I really only care about the fate of “humanity” after my own death because I value the long-term development of the cultural creations (ideas, art, science, comedy) that only we can presently create, but if some other form of intelligence arises that can create and appreciate these things, then although I wouldn’t want the remaining biological humans to suffer on an individual basis, I wouldn’t really care about the fate of humanity as a species. We’re fated to go extinct or evolve into something different at some point no matter what happens–what difference should it make to any of us living today if this happens in 1 million years or 1000 years?

    Ruco Reply:

    I can only imagine how much hot air is gonna be wasted on basic income in the coming years, it’s a perfect proto-solution for the brain-dead West. To counter the criticism that it’ll create a useless class (too late) we can expect suggestions of forced ‘participation’ in order to claim the pittance. Imagine the implementation of that system, it would make our current bureaucracy look efficient. What’s important is not to underestimate the entertainment value of such an idea, the comic relief alone is almost worth the folly. What can a useless class partake in if not useless labor? Labor devoid of production, who’re the robots then?


    Blogospheroid Reply:

    The capitalist argument for the basic income is that in the absence of a basic income, specialization becomes a very high risk activity. Almost everyone would prefer to be a jack of all trades for when the next recession hits.
    Ancient India solved it with a caste system. You rarely go unemployed / without prospects of marriage in a caste system. The growth of percapita income after industrialization effectively provided a safety net which boosted specialization.

    Now, if the per capita income is falling, there is no caste system and there is no macroeconomic stabilization, I speculate that specialization will suffer in the absence of a safety net.


    Orthodox Laissez-fairist Reply:

    There is no “capitalist” argument for basic income. The only Capitalist way of doing safety nets is voluntary: family, local community, religious organizations, charities, etc.

    It’s usually obvious what industry is inflation fueled bubble, so anyone with half a brain should reorient before recession hits. Of course, supply shocks also don’t come as a surprise to those that follow what is happening.


    Blogospheroid Reply:

    Actually, I agree. Of the trichotomy, ethno-nationalism and religious traditionalism would solve it your way.
    But you have to note that techno commercialism has only interactions between strangers for profit as a way open to it. Hence the basic income as a sustainable way of derisking specialization. The unsustainable way is sucking up talent from other places and IQ-shredding.

    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 3:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • Great Decoupling II | Neoreactive Says:

    […] By admin […]

    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 3:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    What is probably necessary is some sort of “artificial work” A basic income would obviously corrupt a vast percentage of people into perpetual intergenerational indolence.

    The government could nationalize Zynga, and people could all play iPhone games to earn our monthly dole. That is idiotic, but it would perhaps “work.”

    A better idea would be to drop the minimum wage to zero, and then have the government subsidize the difference between the market wage for work, and what society wants to set as a bottom floor for an annual income. You still have to work, but the “cheap” labor would open all sorts of personal service jobs, and you could scratch out a somewhat basic existence.

    The question will be how to pay for all this. The answer will probably be the answer proposed by the post-Keynesian Modern Monetary Theory: the Sovereign can simply print debt free money, up the limit where full employment starts to trigger inflation.

    This seems crazy now of course, but it may seem less crazy when the world economy is digging out of the collapse of the Euro/Dollar system.


    Daws Reply:

    “scratch out an existence”

    they’d b better off, more dignified because they’d work and wealthier because they’d live in ghettos full of people who would wash their clothes and watch their kids at little cost


    Rasputin Reply:

    I think Moldbug said something along the lines of, “in the future we will all do worthless work for worthless money”.

    Interestingly, in the UK, the conservatives are touting a bill which aims to provide a “plan for every stage of your life”. The Horror.


    enjoy the collapse Reply:

    @I think Moldbug said something along the lines of, “in the future we will all do worthless work for worthless money”.

    “they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” — old soviet joke.

    modern western economic function in financialized paradise.


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 4:57 pm Reply | Quote
  • Blogospheroid Says:

    Interestingly, in the world of enterprise software, it is considered a matter of pride to have a software that is “consumer grade”. It implies a strong, scaleable software that is probably made with the latest tools, as opposed to most B2B enterprise software which is creaky due to the need for it to be backward compatible. Most personnel are dreading the day when the amazons, googles and facebooks of the world turn their highly scaled architectures to satisfying business needs tearing apart years of comfortable relations that enterprise IT purchasers and sellers have had. Microsoft is an interesting chimera here, having sold to both worlds. Apple is mostly consumer, but its culture, imho may be too foreign for it to enter the world of enterprise fully.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Apple’s enterprise things, inasmuch as I’ve seen any of them, are basically consumer items used by people in enterprise. Apple has about zero entry into the field in a real fashion.

    The level of customization required for non-shrinkwrap (shrinkwrap is the pejorative flipside to ‘consumer grade’) software makes it impossible for it to be ‘robust’ the way a lot of Apple’s better products were. To enter enterprise would in fact destroy Apple’s reputation. They won’t do it.


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 5:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • Daws Says:


    Friedman’s Negative Income Tax seems like a fine proposal. EITC made universal and minimum wage reduced / eliminated, the market would find useful stuff for people to do. Elder care, daycare, tutoring, admin assistance could all b cheaper. Every meal could b delivered by motorcycle. For-profit public transport could operate at hi frequency and hi quality. the great art works of history could b reproduced on boring walls. My house could b cleaner.

    the savings from hiring illegals would b lesser

    the troublesome part is fraud. audits would b hard, I think. maybe some corporatist favoritism toward large companies would b required

    a libertarian named Morgan War-something conceived a gov-subsidized TaxRabbit as a replacement for today’s transfers. seems worthy of a look


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 6:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Great Decoupling II | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 7:03 pm Reply | Quote
  • Vypuero Says:

    I think you mean this:

    This provides everyone with a basic income, and at least we get some value return (goods and work) for the money.


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 8:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dan Says:

    Stirner wrote:

    “What is probably necessary is some sort of “artificial work” A basic income would obviously corrupt a vast percentage of people into perpetual intergenerational indolence.”

    Thank you. Even though it has been empirically seen, and even though it should be obvious, it needs to be repeated. For the benefit of the slow and the Libertarian.


    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 9:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • haishan Says:

    Kipling knew the problems with a basic income, right?:

    “In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: ‘If you don’t work you die.'”

    A lot of people I respect (Murray, Friedman, Alexander) still like the idea, enough so that I’d like to see it tried. But I want to see it tried *far away from me*.


    Blogospheroid Reply:

    Kipling wrote this before the rise of the automated supply chain. “There was nothing our money could buy” is not correct anymore. If anything, capacity is too much in many industries.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Kipling’s dictum is still correct: the value of things bought with free money approaches zero. We don’t have simulations to predict what UBI would do to mixed populations.

    The other misunderstanding here is that automation is not free productivity, it is actually more EXPENSIVE but faster and locally more efficient productivity. Automation implementation relies on surplus in other areas to fund its construction.

    Thus at some point, real productivity would approach zero even with automation. The trouble with automation is that no one who seems to be making these decisions knows or understands this — what they’re worried about is how to keep the idle hands from making mischief.

    Total automation is where robots make things for robots and that’s it. Print all of the money you want, but there will be nothing for humans to buy with it. Automated supply chains and such just smooth out the fragility of this for awhile.

    Money disguises the fact that Robot Worker A is ten times more expensive than Sueno Jose, though jacking up the minimum wage certainly creates the incentive to automate. That the business now buys a robot instead of paying a 20 dollar minimum wage doesn’t mean that the robot is any more sustainable. It simply delays the inevitable, which unlike in basic resource usage (say mining) is now pushed into the realm of an unpredictable, unknown future event.

    I wonder if we can establish as a dictum, “money hides the cost of automation”, but I doubt it.


    Jesse Reply:

    “Total automation is where robots make things for robots and that’s it.”

    Are you imagining some kind of human-like AI with its own goals and desires that we don’t control? If not–if “total automation” means we just have robots that can be trained to do any non-creative physical task, but nothing more–then why can’t they be programmed to construct any type of consumer good we have the plans for? And if these robots can also self-replicate, building more of the same types of worker robots, then as I said in an earlier comment this should hugely bring down the cost of the robots and everything they make, so that it’s no longer true that “Robot Worker A is ten times more expensive than Sueno Jose”.

    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 2:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Xoth Says:

    If you can’t get a salaried job, there’s always farming.

    Maybe you will after a while be able to rent labourers from the high rise jobs center over in the city for planting, harvesting, picking cotton and building pyramids. (Those who refuse only get the basic EBT gruel and horrors spotty internet for a few months.)

    Don’t forget the robots will need to indemnify you for any damages wrought by the unsuitables.


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 7:18 am Reply | Quote
  • A.B Prosper Says:

    Re: the topic of basic income and social credit for everyone.

    We have many examples of policies similar to this having bad social consequences, The pre Clinton era of easy welfare was pretty close and it did not make any social improvements.

    The state of Alaska actually has a basic income called the Alaska state fund. Its not enough to live on granted but the people living on that without meaningful work spend a lot of time drunk or drugged. Native villages which are heavily dependent on that are quite often a mess. Note too this is a harsh climate that naturally pushes K selected behavior.

    I can’t imagine the consequences in a benevolent climate of millions of young people with nothing to do , no way to get ahead and just enough money to get by.

    Sure a few will manage something amazing, many will just play Skyrim or post on Facebook all day but the rest will be a mob just waiting to “have space to destroy”

    As for Social Security, its not harmful because most of the people getting it are old or disabled.


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 7:19 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    In fact tech can well move us back to the age of the small essentially home artisan and craftsman with 3D printing making leaps and bounds, the internet and CNC/3D printing of parts and so on. I know ordinary mechanics who learned coding to make their own parts. Tech offers a return to the skilled artisan and micro-crafts of precision parts, manufactures.

    We have large obstacles of the Intellectuals and their State in the way.

    We don’t need basic income or the dole, we need room to live, produce and prosper.

    Machines have been going to do us in for 2 centuries, more of us than ever.

    We people will find a way if we can just get our poppy cropping elites and their Vogon State out of the way.

    BTW Dr. Land if man went into space with a fraction of the resources it puts into social spending we’d quickly find we can’t get enough labor of various skills. That’s the way forward, not a rerun of Luddite fevers and Moldbug rerun’s of “The Dire Problem.”


    Michael Reply:

    I think it will be more like artisans creating really expensive shit entirely by hand for bobo elites craving for authenticity, and guys like us using 3d printing to make inventions not possible to the home tinkerer anymore.
    this idea that the “elite” by which they can only mean a cognitive elite [since no other exists now and if it did would not make the grade] is exclusively the small percentage of high IQ whites that attend university and enter the cathedral , is the sum total of importance to the future. its indicative of how stupid these “elites” are they cant seem ro do the math of where the missing 90% of the high IQs are they are building skyscrapers running small businesses in Idaho and Alabama,they are keeping the mexicans from destroying the place , they are the ones actually working with the old machine and inventing the newer machine, If you are lucky enough to have a high IQ but not have been shunted into the university system you would see your peers all over the place we cant type read blogs like this we speak with brooklyn accents or southern drawls we tend to think we are dumb compared to educated people but if you have traveled in both worlds as i have and can compare you will understand those guys are just as smart and they have a more practical knowledge, if theres a collapse its not Land that will be ruling its some guy in montana thats turned his stream into a electric power station coupled with a hydrogen elctrolyzer for hydrogen gas he adsorbs into his old scuba tanks and has used Jerusalem artichokes to make ethanol and pine wast to make turpentine to power the plane he built. That guy has friends with similar talents and resources a whole network of competent men armed to the teeth with supportive women and children they have been discussing which bridges to blow for decades their civilization wil thrive


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 1:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    being one of those laborers i can tell you its mexicans not machines depressing wages vs productivity.;and triangulating the third world misery[ caused not by markets but communism and plutocracy] is not honestly characterized as market settled wages here.Outsourcing the first leg of this unsustainable plan also killed wages. Why unsustainable? in a few years will we be able to mobilize against china in a matter of months as we did against germany and japan? then none of this matters what matters is what china et al plans are.say that doesnt happen can we continue this camp of the saints economy indefinitely? the proletariat {me{ wont put up with it much longer and the bobo elites have boxed themselves into an ideological corner.
    as for this idea that elite owned robots will trade with elites for …. its circular spiraling smaller and smaller. yeah sure machines are getting very advanced and will be used more and more low skilled labor will be in less demand while socialism produces more of it eventually they cant take any more jobs from whites because they have been wiped out , buildings collapse without whites labor the third world wage actually catches up with the first, the government debt collapses theres volumes of reasons this wont go on and whats really far fetched is some sort of return to serfdom, if we could convince elites to be that ruthless there are far more humane solutions like a return to in equality as in peasants remain in peasant cultures and countries and population is decreased soft colonialism reinstated etc.
    theres a reason people with IQs over 145 dont run things youre idiots 130 is the sweet spot and even that must be tempered by real world life not an academic career


    Posted on May 28th, 2015 at 4:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Michael is right.

    BTW how many BOBO’s can actually build the precious robots? I could if I needed to…

    Shit says the Duchess.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 2:57 am Reply | Quote
  • A.B Prosper Says:

    I think you mean this:
    This provides everyone with a basic income, and at least we get some value return (goods and work) for the money.

    Ah goody. Communist style make work mixed with wage slavery, the perfect solution for “value” obsessed sociopaths and control freaks.

    On top of that it also subsidizes a great many businesses providing them with endless supply of near chattel labor lowering the market value of semi-skilled workers too.

    Its the Obamacare of welfare solutions.

    Thanks no. I’d rather just cut people a check and give them healthcare and birth control and be done with it. Its cheaper and far less distorting.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 7:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Richard Brookes Says:

    The question with basic income is whether too many people would just sit back and live on it.

    It could be that the opposite would happen–that the norm would be for even the lowest-productive to do moderate amounts of legitimate casual work for extra pocket money, replacing the subcultures today where working is basically alien.

    Note there is no conceivable justification for a minimum wage if basic income exists. On the other hand, there would be taxation of even very low earnings, bringing administrative / regulatory overhead.

    The best case would be a rebirth of a personal-and-domestic-service sector.

    Or it might be that whole subcultures would retreat into lotus-eating (in which case the costs of funding the basic income would soon become prohibitive). It could reasonably be questioned how much worse things could get than they already are in that direction, particularly in Europe.


    Marxist toady Reply:

    “The question with basic income is whether too many people would just sit back and live on it.”

    A horrific fate, that — oh, that old lurking, looming suspicion that someone, somewhere isn’t working. Reprobates! And you all try so hard to decry Puritanism.

    (Though, I imagine admin is more honest regarding Puritanism, in his private moments; I am suspicious that it is precisely the old Scottish-Augustinian hatred of flesh and exhalation of the wholly alien that drives today’s Pythia-worship, as much as it drove the reptilian Bataille-ism.)


    Richard Brookes Reply:

    I wrote, “in which case the costs of funding the basic income would soon become prohibitive.” Maybe you didn’t get that far. The only thing that would make the basic income numbers add up would be if it _reduced_ unemployment (which it might, by removing the poverty trap).

    Also, the idea that, given freedom from work, people would live in peace and happiness is an attractive and plausible one, for anyone who hasn’t watched any television or looked out of the window for the last thirty years.


    Marxist toady Reply:

    Admittedly, I was only using your post as a (very paltry) soap box; but you are doing the same with mine, –I don’t recall saying anything about “peace and happiness”– so, tit for tat, I suppose.

    Richard Brookes Reply:

    Well, you can see work either as some unpleasantness that technology and better organisation will one day free us from, or you can see it as something that gives a purpose to life that people can’t live well without. It can be some complex combination of the two, but it can’t really be anything else, so if you think the “Puritan” position is wrong, it seems to me you are leaning strongly towards the Bob Black side. I found his claims quite plausible when I read his book, but the quarter of a century since has not been kind to his assumptions.

    forkinhell Reply:

    It can be some complex combination of the two, but it can’t really be anything else


    Jesse Reply:

    “Well, you can see work either as some unpleasantness that technology and better organisation will one day free us from, or you can see it as something that gives a purpose to life that people can’t live well without. It can be some complex combination of the two, but it can’t really be anything else”

    It depends somewhat on what you mean by “work”. If someone has money that frees them from having to worry about getting a job that pays enough to live on (whether from basic income or an inheritance or because they made enough to retire), they may still spend time on projects that are meaningful to them, and perhaps to a small number of other like-minded people, but which wouldn’t pay enough to live on in the modern economy–writing a book, playing in a band, arts and crafts, taking classes in a subject just because they find it interesting and not because they see it leading to a career in that area, etc. If it ever becomes economically feasible to give everyone a basic income that one can live decently on (and as I said above, I think this will definitely happen once manufacturing work can be fully automated, though perhaps not before then), then I think a large fraction would still engage in this kind of work, rather than being completely indolent. What technology combined with a basic income could eventually do is save people from the basically unenjoyable drudge work which people do solely because they need the money, which is what quite a lot of the modern economy consists of.

    A.B Prosper Reply:

    Beyond lingering puritanism the reasons we can’t make basic income pencil out socially are open borders and Ghetto Blacks.

    The former puts too much strain on the system and the later is the source of a good chunk of our worst social pathology.

    simply White and Asian people with X-Box and Internet and weed are not going to riot.

    Of course they may not reproduce stable families either and if we take the obvious approach of encouraging low fertility, we commit suicide in the long term

    Its a no win situation.

    Still if we we could deal with the border and with Ghetto Blacks , we could have basic income which would mean a more pleasant 3rd world country than we are already going to get

    In the end the lack of demand for labor means an end to consumption anyway and once this crash induced bubble wears out rising energy and material cost will mean massive increases in poverty.

    Without a religious drive to encourage reproduction, we’ll have a die back, shrink the complex society down to one we can manage from there and life goes on.

    Now on the moral issue alone fact is most people accomplish nothing more than replacing their societies memes with a new generation and that is plenty.

    If they manage to do this and they aren’t now, the society will prosper.

    Consuming more stuff for the sake of consumption or so that the state and money grubbers can grow richer is Brave New World level pathology.


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 7:52 am Reply | Quote
  • Daws Says:

    @A.B Prosper

    does the distortion destroy more value than do mass idleness and the minimum wage?

    job site attendance = surveillance, socialization, integration into hierarchy, skill-building, distribution of tacit knowledge; work = bodily energy expenditure

    streets safer, culture richer, state nearer to solvency, monetary velocity higher, deflation in services


    Posted on May 31st, 2015 at 7:00 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/05/31) | The Reactivity Place Says:

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