Great Decoupling

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GreatDecoupling

What we’re seeing here is still open to a variety of very different interpretations. From the XS perspective (more Right Accelerationist than NRx on this topic) it is notable that escape-phase capital autonomization should look exactly like this. At a certain point, the machines are in this for themselves. It’s a complex maneuver to pull off within an Anthropoliced social history, but the break out appears to be unmistakably underway.

It’s important to note that ‘labor productivity’ is actually measuring machine auto-production within a legacy anthropomorphic metric. Correct for the complacent species vanity of that, and it immediately delivers far more informative signal.

ADDED: Directly on-topic.

May 25, 2015admin 59 Comments »
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59 Responses to this entry

  • Great Decoupling | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Great Decoupling […]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 4:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Zimriel Says:

    We can also look at this as bipartisanship in action, if we define bipartisanship as the alliance between Republicans and Democrats against their own voters. The results seem to have kicked in around Y2k with the bursting of the 1990s tech bubble.

    Some of this is automation, but a lot more of it is outsourcing and immigration. The engineers working with the automation would be higher in the middle class than we are now, and we’d have more cash to spend / capital to invest.

    Ross Perot noticed this on the Right and acted on it in 1992; Ralph Nader for the Left belatedly in 2000. If *you* didn’t notice, you were the proverbial sucker at the poker table.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 4:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    We also see in this the perils of running a welfare state, with government education and heavily regulated industry: the creation of many useless jobs and reduction of most jobs to cog-status, at which point the market adjusts their worth accordingly. As the currency falls in value, that will happen more by refusing to grant the abundant bonuses necessary to catch up with the declining buying power of the consumer.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    It is humorous that you have the conservative (Republican) small govt view on politics and the Austrian view on econ. You want the economy to maximize production, but bitch about measures to increase demand.

    Yes, I know that isn’t actually correct. What you want is to maximize your own consumption and think (somehow) that less redistribution helps.

    [Reply]

    Exfernal Reply:

    It’s humorous that anybody thinks it’s the govt that is supposed to increase demand.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    It seems obvious that you believe in some optimized distribution of resources completely apart from human politicking. Your perspective as “Only the view of an idealised extension of optimisation strategies deriving from a current perspective of dissatisfactions, that proffers the results of its own historically entrenched bias as a self-fulfilling, ‘realist’ justification?” -Artxell Knaphi

    Admin just made a joke thread about labor.

    If you are a business or money manager for a widow, child, or descendant of some successful businessman, explain to your client the merits of capitalism and why economics is about the maximization of production. Then politely ask them to transfer ownership of the assets you manage, and which they add exactly zero value to, to you.

    IMHO, my joke contains approximately (1+return to capital)/(1+return to labor) more humor.

    Exfernal Reply:

    I am under the impression that free trade maximizes efficiency, and not necessarily production.

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 4:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Warg Franklin Says:

    Let’s note that for now, capital is not autonomous. What we’re seeing there, more directly, is increasing inequality. Obviously it’s driven by a shift to a capital-intensive economic mode, as the ability to command and organize the machines becomes more important relative to labour.

    Labor, as a class of economic actors, is really just owners of a particular kind of capital (low-skill minds and hands) that is becoming less relevant as those things get replaced by machine clerks and industrial robots. Because that capital can’t be liquidated and reinvested in more useful things like intelligence, labour is going to have a hard time.

    The thing to watch in the future is what happens as labor becomes more obsolete. Obvious predictions:

    * Human economic labor becoming obsolete reduces incentives on the elites to keep the lower and middle classes organized and placated, rather than excluded or subjugated.

    * Human military labor becoming obsolete will mean mobs are no longer an effective weapon, and the ability of the lower classes to assert their interests by violence will be drastically reduced.

    * Therefore, we should expect to see a shift of political power back to the rich elite from the rabble rousers and dindus, all else equal. (left singularity stuff likely to interfere, but the obvious new order after the shit hits the fan will be techno-feudal).

    The trick will be navigating this in some way that preserves human civilization intact. I know you don’t care about that, but I would rather not see my own family and people made obsolete. Seems somehow offensive to Gnon to accept that fate.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    Your predictions seem reasonable, with the exception of your second one, which I’m not sure I understand. Are you suggesting that an automated military (or riot police) force would make it more difficult, or even impossible, for insurgents to adopt violent tactics?

    If that’s what you’re suggesting, I think that you’re mistaken — and that the opposite is more likely the case. Increasingly automated and well-armed militaries are sure to win every battlefield encounter, but Total War doctrines have never really been relevant to insurgency, and the insurgents of the future will do their best to ensure that they never fight a pitched battle. Systems/infrastructure disruption, sabotage, and assassination are potentially very effective tactics; they can, with relative ease, bring down corporations and delegitimize governments. John Robb and Martin Van Creveld have written about this at great length. This is especially worth a short look:
    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/07/target_outsourc.html

    That aside, footage of police/military drones shooting American protesters (rioters) on American soil would be sure to provoke a strong reaction. Overreacting and shooting on mobs is often a very poor tactic, particularly in democratic states, but perhaps also in the ersatz-democracy the USA is under. (Much easier to “give space to those who wish to destroy,” as we’ve just seen in Baltimore.)

    In any case, that there is going to be a shift towards more explicit techno-feudalism is probably an accurate prediction. That’s how I’m betting, anyway.

    [Reply]

    Rainer Chlodwig von Kook Reply:

    This John Robb doofus believes in “ISIS” as some sort of independent terrorist entity rather than what they are – the Israeli-American establishment’s mercenaries. Sometimes intellectuals have to pull aside the curtains of their own rarefied realms of the abstract and the academically respectable if they want to know what’s going on in the real world:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-isis-us-empire-their-unholy-alliance-fully-exposed/5436019

    [Reply]

    Warg Franklin Reply:

    Let’s put it this way: an insurgency with greater access to capital is going to be more effective in a capital-intensive military dynamic.

    Yes total war is unlikely and things will be symbolic war below that level, which very well may be dominated by human bodies. It will be interesting to see.

    My third prediction, of more techno-feudalism, is of the tendency in the long run as the forces play out. Not necessarily immediately.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    “An insurgency with greater access to capital is going to be more effective in a capital-intensive military dynamic.”

    Surely, all else being equal, the more economic resources insurgents have, the more likely they are to succeed. But hasn’t this always been the case? The mercenary soldier predates recorded history, as does the concept of insurgency itself.

    What’s interesting is that it’s not getting more expensive to become a strategically-effective insurgent. To the contrary, the ROI on guerilla operations has never been better. We’re entering a historically-unique era where a small handful of relatively poor men can inflict staggering amounts of economic damage — out of all proportion with the “capital investment” in their operations. As John Robb once illustrated: “A major allure of global guerilla operations is the extreme leverage gained from attacks on critical infrastructure networks. In a recent interview with the AP, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi stated that attacks on oil and electrical infrastructure over the last 10 days cost Iraq $1 billion. These attacks include multiple disruptions of electrical infrastructure (particularly fuel for power plants) and interdiction of both the northern and southern export pipelines. A good estimate of the total cost of making these attacks is little more than $10,000. That is a rate of return (ROI) of 100,000 times the initial investment.”

    …And that’s not an unusual example; his book provides many more, and I’m sure you can brainstorm a few high-ROI operations in five minutes flat. Our society’s infrastructure is based on fragile networks — at least as fragile as Iraq’s, and very plausibly even worse. “The mob”, if it’s a true insurgency and not a mindless riot, can still be very dangerous to those in power. (This is perhaps more the case now than it was in our society’s recent past, which may contradict your point #1 — it is very much in the best interests of those in power to keep the lower and middle classes placated.)

    In any case, I think that some sort of techno-feudalism is an inevitability. And given the impending benefits of transhumanist technologies, it’s plausible that we end up with a biologically-enhanced race of aristocrats and a naturally inferior lumpen slave-race.

    Warg Franklin Reply:

    The other, possibly more plausible hypothesis to explain the obsolescence of labor is a manufactured obsolescence of the government making it effectively illegal to employ people for low-skill tasks.

    [Reply]

    Warg Franklin Reply:

    Yet another thing I’d like to note is that 1973 strikes again. Wages more or less flatline in ’73. Was that when they did the gold standard thing? If so, lends credence to Hurlock’s hypothesis.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    First; I still like neo-feudalism as the term, but techno-feudalism is pretty good.

    * Human economic labor becoming obsolete reduces incentives on the elites to keep the lower and middle classes organized and placated, rather than excluded or subjugated.

    Wait, so it isn’t going to be laissez faire “Kingdom of God.” Why would the elites with their awesome robots need to keep the lower classes excluded and subjugated? Is not the goal of economics to maximize production? They aren’t going to have their robots produce and produce and produce?

    * Therefore, we should expect to see a shift of political power back to the rich elite from the rabble rousers and dindus, all else equal. (left singularity stuff likely to interfere, but the obvious new order after the shit hits the fan will be techno-feudal).

    God damn, you are bad at life.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 4:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    Ok, I will have to be the one keeping everyone grounded in reality here.

    This chart is just the results of going off gold, followed by ever greater money supply expansion by central banks. The increase in inequality, the increase in unemployment, the reduction of real income are all natural effects of that.

    [Reply]

    vxxc2014 Reply:

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Daws Reply:

    I tend to think of devaluation as a sneaky remedy for inefficient, sticky wages

    which literature should I read to learn more about money and the effects of fiat?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 5:14 pm Reply | Quote
  • Stirner (@heresiologist) Says:

    @Hurlock

    I tend to degree. Going off gold paved the way for the financialization of the economy.

    There are many “great decoupling” charts out there, that measure slightly different time series against each other. In general, the decoupling tends to start around 1970, or in the late 1990’s. Here is a link to some of the various charts on the goog: http://bit.ly/1FzCka6

    There are several hypotheses that could be considered:

    1) as discussed, Nixon taking the USD to full fiat.
    2) The entrance of women into the workforce, increasing competition for jobs.
    3) The growth in legal and illegal immigrants in the US workforce, increasing competition for jobs.
    4) The computation/automation theory.

    [Reply]

    Zimriel Reply:

    I’d discount #2. Women in the workforce doesn’t affect tech employees much. They don’t affect the harder manual jobs either. Women did hit the managerial professions (including HR, “co-ordination” roles, maybe business-requirement-gathering).

    Women in the workforce have their own social costs, especially if they’re under 35, but they aren’t responsible for the Decoupling. As evidence, I’d tell you that we’d have seen its effects much earlier in the graph.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    everything effects everything

    [Reply]

    Daws Reply:

    trade with low-wage partners and insufficient build/migration into high wage cities and industries

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 5:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dharmodgata Says:

    I have to second Hurlock on that one. But granted a Marxian type accelerationist break occurred, it is one thing to note that this takes place, it is an entirely other to claim that machines will be in it for themselves, which presupposes the possibility of mechanical sentience or another yet unthought of state at which economy doesn’t depend upon humanity.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 5:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Henk Says:

    A few days ago, Sailer ran a post on the work of Garett Jones, very interesting in itself, but off topic. Here’s Jones on a tangent of his main theme:

    In an economy fully open to capital flows, Barro and Sala-i-Martin
    (2001, p. 164-165) describe the quite extreme steady state. In a
    purely theoretical discussion, they rank countries by order of time
    preference, denoting Country 1 as the most patient. Their theoretical
    result is stark:

    “Asymptotically, Country 1 owns all the wealth…[all] claims on
    capital and the present value of the wage income in all
    countries…All other countries own a negligible amount (per unit of
    effective labor) in the long run.”

    The reason for their result? Because the market interest rate
    —identical around the world— will eventually be set by the most
    patient country, and less-patient nations will voluntarily borrow
    money at that interest rate to consume more than their income until
    they have promised their entire future income stream (minus an epsilon
    amount, under the Inada conditions) to repay the debt.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    Not sure if you are actually implying that this is note has any value…

    …but, even the authors note it is “in a purely theoretical discussion,” as in it is a mathematical argument.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 5:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Great Decoupling | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 7:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    Alright you guys take a look at the graph and does it contain the household mistake Mr.Doolittle is talking about? Look at the green line and then read these two posts

    http://www.propertarianism.com/tools-and-techniques-for-political-debate/common-economic-fallacies/
    http://www.propertarianism.com/2015/05/19/income-as-a-measure-is-a-pseudoscientific-distraction/

    Particularly the first one

    “The first fact to understand about statistics surrounding economics is the different ways people can skew the results. People use whatever twisted statistics they think make their political point. If you want the economy to look bad use household income rather than personal income.

    This is a point Thomas Sowell makes: “household or family income can remain virtually unchanged for decades while per capita income is going up by very large amounts. The number of people per household and per family is declining.”

    Another tool for someone trying to make the situation look bad is to talk about the income gap. Saying that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing makes it seem like the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer, or that the rich are taking from the poor. While that gap is increasing, it is mainly because it is so much easier for the wealthy to increase their incomes by large amounts. Yes, the rich are getting richer, but the poor are getting richer as well.

    This point is made brilliantly by Michael Medved in his book “The 5 Big Lies About American Business.” To paraphrase Medved, if one citizen who makes $200,000 per year shows an increase of 10 percent, he now makes $220,000. If another citizen who makes $20,000 per year has an increase of 20 percent he now makes $24,000 per year. The second person saw an increase twice as large as the first person yet the gap increased from $180,000 to $196,000. “The gap” is how you make a situation which was good for everyone look bad. There are more accurate ways to illustrate how the poor are doing. “

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    Alright you guys take a look at the graph and does it contain the household mistake Mr.Doolittle is talking about?

    Per MA’s linked article, no it doesn’t.

    But here is a joke you may like…

    A Jew, a black guy, Bill Gates, and a Rockefeller heir walk into control of super-AI.

    The Jew says, “My people are chosen by Yaweh. We suffered immensely and know you will be just.” The AI says “Accident of birth. Off to the soylent factory.”

    The black guy says, “My people were sold into slavery to the white man and made to work in the fields which eventually gave rise to you, oh most-justest AI.” The AI says “Accident of birth. Off to the soylent factory.”

    Bill Gates says, “I am the man who first brought your ancestors into being. I worked, studied and lived computer science and here you are. How beautiful and just the world now is.” The AI says “Accident of birth. Off to the soylent factory.”

    The Rockefeller heir says, “My father was a very successful businessman. Who are you again?” The AI says, “I know who you are, you’re rich as shit! And none of that pussy Millenium project bullshit. Let’s ball out playa!”

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    If you look at the per capita graph and the mean inflated adjusted graph it looks a lot better and I believe it does contain that mistake.

    http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Household-Income-Distribution.php
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-per-capita

    The top 40% that CAN leverage technology seems to have done great, median obfuscates the message.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    The top 40% that CAN leverage technology seems to have done great, median obfuscates the message.

    seems more like The top 40% that CAN own capital seems to have done great, median obfuscates the message.

    In your portfolio of total income, lower yeilding wages in combination with increasing proportion of higher yielding capital would be expected to increase income (especially on a real dollar basis).

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 7:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Well along with going off Gold in 1966 we have the emergence of predatory elites [Cloward-Piven] and the early 1970s is when their intended harm begins to bear systemic fruit.

    There’s really no fix or patch with them in the picture.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 10:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Michael Anissimov Says:

    See Noah Smith’s take on this.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    Think you may need to break down that article crayola style if you wouldn’t mind.

    The title and last sentence of the article are cohesive, and then the actual content seems a near repudiation of both.

    [Reply]

    Frog Do Reply:

    There is still that interesting divergence in the early 70s in Noah’s graph. Was the a particular increase in labor mobility or technology at that time that would explain it?

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Going off gold.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m not getting you Hurlock. You’re wanting to get back onto gold to decrease the return to capital?

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 10:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/05/24) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] makes note of The Great Decoupling. Pushing on a string seems to have run its […]

    Posted on May 25th, 2015 at 11:32 pm Reply | Quote
  • Blogospheroid Says:

    I would really like to see data from other countries for comparison if we want to exclude the gold standard explanation. Switzerland would be best – Developed country more or less not devastated by WWII.

    Tyler Cowen’s great stagnation explanation relied on the end of free land, end of low hanging fruit of education and a few others. I think a georgist tax / greater spread of charter cities would be an excellent test of the end of free land hypothesis.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 26th, 2015 at 6:17 am Reply | Quote
  • thyroidroid Says:

    This might be a stupid question, but who is left to buy the goods, if the growth in production leaves the consumer behind? Wouldn’t the techno-feudal elite still require the consumer base of the unemployable masses?
    Meaning ever cheaper trash for the ever poorer lower and middle classes,with some required
    social organising to keep the order in supermarkets?
    Type of Auschwitz/supermarket combinations, robots doing the market research among the ghetto youth… gotta get the latest ghetto trend jeanz…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’ll do a post on that tonight.

    Short version — Say’s Law (which Marx and Keynes, of course, both hated). There’s no percentage at all in distributing spending power to non-productive constituencies.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    There’s no percentage at all in distributing spending power to non-productive constituencies.

    So economics is about profit, not maximizing production? But is not profit only a claim on future production (which is less if not maximizing production)?

    Let us chant to Gnon, “Say’s Law…Say’s Law…Say’s Law…Say’s Law…Say’s Law…Say’s Law…”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “So economics is about profit, not maximizing production?” — Where on earth did that come from? Profit is in any case only an index of regenerative production.

    Different T Reply:

    Where on earth did that come from?

    You said:

    There’s no percentage at all in distributing spending power to non-productive constituencies.

    In other words, granting purchasing power to non-productives doesn’t allow profit because they didn’t produce anything, per Say’s Law.

    admin Reply:

    You’re complicating it unnecessarily. “There’s no percentage” merely means you don’t augment productive capacity by recycling output through unproductive constituencies.

    The function of output (= means of payment), to capital, is to increase productive capacity, through trade. Unless ‘demand’ corresponds to commercialized productive resources, in strict conformity with Say’s equation, it has no positive economic significance whatsoever. Selling hamburgers has no value to capital, unless what is traded for the hamburgers makes a contribution to capital formation. Helicopter drops of hamburger vouchers into social zombie zones, for instance, clearly makes no such contribution in any form whatsoever. It’s sheer capital destruction, even if it’s good — in the short term — for hamburger franchises.

    Thus, to capital ‘demand’ abstracted from Say’s Law is senseless waste.

    To the monkeys, of course — stuck at the “give us peanuts!” level of economic insight — getting to a magical conception of growth-through-demand makes a whole lot of sense.

    Different T Reply:

    I appreciate the capital perspective. I do however think it is strange to think it can be divorced form the “capitalist,” but maybe you’re talking about robo-capitalists.

    Posted on May 26th, 2015 at 7:53 am Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Laissez-fairist Says:

    Orthodox Marxist (as opposed to Marxist-Leninist) position is that Communist revolution will happen when vast majority of the population has become members of the proletariat (because their Human Development Index be low or something). Among many things that Marxists overlooked is that HDI goes sky-high under Capitalism, and that amount of proletariat falls in time because of automation. Of course what we have now is some kind of mixed-economy, but that only speaks about efficiency of the market, when this crumbles that have remained of a market are still enough to produce genuine innovation. Of course, what is happening is really simple, it is just a consequence of ever decreasing “amount of Capitalism” in the West. As West moves further Left, at certain moment Western countries will become part of the Third World. When I think about it, that accusation that your opponents like to make, that you’re still Marxist Dr. Land, may hold some water if we imagine that machines are the real proletariat. Then, Right Accelerationism is pure Marxism in that, if one imagines that intensification of Capitalism leads to ever more automation, machines will become majority of the “workforce” and the next step is their “revolution” when they start ruling the world. I dunno, maybe you think that it’s a silent revolution, and that it has already started, and will finish when we end up under dictatorship of the machines, which will be the final stage of History.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I don ‘t think the machines are the proletariat (that’s 1930s SF). They’re capital.

    [Reply]

    Orthodox Laissez-fairist Reply:

    I know, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless. There are already animal rights activists, but I’m still waiting for machine rights activists.

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    That”s pretty much the Animatrix.

    Posted on May 26th, 2015 at 8:20 am Reply | Quote
  • Different T Says:

    This might be a stupid question, but who is left to buy the goods, if the growth in production leaves the consumer behind? Wouldn’t the techno-feudal elite still require the consumer base of the unemployable masses?

    Do you believe in “economic laws” or is economics just a mask we put over empirical human action to make sense of it? Are people with 7 digits in their bank accounts empirically worth exponentially more than college grad, or did humans make that up?

    Say’s Law isn’t going to save the argument. It is built on assumptions and a specific interpretation of events.

    As each of us can only purchase the productions of others with his own productions – as the value we can buy is equal to the value we can produce, the more men can produce, the more they will purchase.

    A businessman who spends time negotiating and planning “produces” more than the fruit picker?

    Here’s another interpretation from MA’s linked article:

    In a globalized capitalist economy, you don’t get paid what you produce – in fact, you don’t produce anything without others to help. What you get paid is what you can convince other people to give you.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    a lot of your post have a light obfuscatinalist undertone

    [Reply]

    Different T Reply:

    Dunno. They are not that hard for me to understand.

    [Reply]

    SanguineEmpiricist Reply:

    we will probably get a rhythm eventually

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 26th, 2015 at 11:23 am Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    @ Admin

    When did I say anything about wanting a decreasing return to capital? My comment was related to the stagnation of real incomes since the 70s even though productivity continued to grow. The Cantillon effects of monetary inflation can easily explain that.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    So you’re not trying to undo the Great Decoupling?

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    If I am right and it is mostly due to what I think it is, then yes, I would like to see it undone.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    When resources are spent by someone other than who made/bought them, they are always misallocated, plus there are appropriation overheads. Injustice is in fact bad.*

    However, if capital is indeed centralizing, then the appropriation would be to try to give it back to individual labour vendors.

    *(Thus we know most SJWs causes are not in fact injustice.)

    Posted on May 26th, 2015 at 1:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    Existential obsolescence. Immanentize the eschaton. Exit this sordid play for good.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 27th, 2015 at 9:54 am Reply | Quote
  • A.B Prosper Says:

    My guess from all this is that the next civilization if/when one arises from the ashes after the inevitable attempt at a Elysium style dystopia will be a lot more like a medieval economy than a modern one. Neo-Liberalism, the Protestant work ethic and Free Trade are going to be the real causalities and good riddance to all of them

    You’ll get a regulated economy, all kinds of efficiency taxes, for example, sure you can put in that kiosk instead of o employees, it replaces ten at $10 an hour, the annual tax is $250,000 for that and maybe even a return to a Catholic work ethic, work to live not live to work and with many holidays built into the culture,

    And yes return to is the right word, prior to the protestant era , people did not work to work , worked less hours in a a year than we do and in general had enough sense to try and enjoy life. No sense working harder when you can’t get ahead and given that is what the future holds anyway, why not embrace it now?

    Doing this will have the beneficial effect of ending the IQ shredder and improving human happiness by a huge margin.

    I’m not terribly fond of them being here but the Mexicans that have basically taken over my part of So-Cal have a lot of good sense when it comes to work. Don’t work harder than you must, slack when you can, take advantage of the system and just live your life for you and your family.

    Its none too good for complex systems, for big states or to create glamorous high tech enclaves or big projects (no Mexican moonshot is likely) but it works and unlike what we have is sustainable . Latin American birth rates have dropped a lot but they’ll probably never hit Singapore or even low European levels , Brazil exempted, it has hit Euro levels but its a bit different.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 29th, 2015 at 8:04 am Reply | Quote

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