Author Topic: Robots and their impact on the future  (Read 149324 times)

maizeman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1200 on: January 31, 2017, 10:41:10 AM »
I saw a survey once (which google is refusing to produce) that if you ask people what percent of jobs will be replaced by automation in the next 50 years, lots of them guess reasonably high numbers (40-50% range). I think both the time frame and the percentage are low balls. But what is more interesting is that when you ask people how likely the job they have is to be replaced by automation, 90+% percent of them say it will never be automated. (All numbers from memory, please take them with a big grain of salt).

I think this phenomenon is why the threat of automation isn't far more prevalent in our political discussions.
"It’s a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My Journal

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1340
  • Age: 37
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1201 on: January 31, 2017, 10:46:16 AM »
Right now I am putting off calling to schedule a chimney cleaning and air vent cleaning because I will have to talk to people and get quotes and call them back and see when they are available.  Fuck just put it all online; I would have booked it last week already!  :-)   
Be the person Mr. Rogers knows you can be.

dougules

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 648
  • Location: AL
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1202 on: January 31, 2017, 10:52:59 AM »
Automation has been happening since the industrial revolution over 200 years ago.   At least up until now the economy has managed for the most part to shift people into new roles to take up the slack.  Farmers displaced by tractors and harvesters started working in textile mills.  Mill workers displaced by increased automation in the mill moved on to become dental hygienists. 

Each transition caused social upheaval, though.  Changes in the economy are accelerating.  At what point will automation outstrip the economy's ability to move labor around?

Kriegsspiel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 994
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1203 on: January 31, 2017, 10:56:24 AM »
Automation has been happening since the industrial revolution over 200 years ago.   At least up until now the economy has managed for the most part to shift people into new roles to take up the slack.  Farmers displaced by tractors and harvesters started working in textile mills.  Mill workers displaced by increased automation in the mill moved on to become dental hygienists. 

Each transition caused social upheaval, though.  Changes in the economy are accelerating.  At what point will automation outstrip the economy's ability to move labor around?

"An engineer offered to haul some huge columns up to the Capitol at moderate expense by a simple mechanical contrivance, but Vespasian declined his services:"I must always ensure that the working classes earn enough money to buy themselves food." Nevertheless, he paid the engineer a very handsome fee"
- Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars

Those damn engineers, always tekkin 'er jerbs!

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Texas
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1204 on: January 31, 2017, 11:06:07 AM »
I saw a survey once (which google is refusing to produce) that if you ask people what percent of jobs will be replaced by automation in the next 50 years, lots of them guess reasonably high numbers (40-50% range). I think both the time frame and the percentage are low balls. But what is more interesting is that when you ask people how likely the job they have is to be replaced by automation, 90+% percent of them say it will never be automated. (All numbers from memory, please take them with a big grain of salt).

I think this phenomenon is why the threat of automation isn't far more prevalent in our political discussions.

Yeah I think a lot of people are following the ignorance is bliss method in ignoring how it would affect their job. They understand the reality of the matter, they just would rather not apply that thinking to their own future.

In my case the first few jobs I held are likely to be automated within 10-15 years, my previous 6 jobs are likely automate-able I suspect within 20 years and my current job will likely either be gone in a similar time frame or at minimum very diminished in that same time frame. Thankfully I plan to be FIRE well before it gets to that point.

If you are doing something physical and not a ton of on the fly thinking a large portion of these jobs are automate-able in the very near future. If you are in a field where you need to work with computers it will also be automated, but you will have a little longer.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 11:08:32 AM by prognastat »

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5313
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1205 on: January 31, 2017, 11:12:32 AM »
I saw a survey once (which google is refusing to produce) that if you ask people what percent of jobs will be replaced by automation in the next 50 years, lots of them guess reasonably high numbers (40-50% range). I think both the time frame and the percentage are low balls. But what is more interesting is that when you ask people how likely the job they have is to be replaced by automation, 90+% percent of them say it will never be automated. (All numbers from memory, please take them with a big grain of salt).

I think this phenomenon is why the threat of automation isn't far more prevalent in our political discussions.
Which number do you think is correct?  It's easy to look on the outside and say "Yeah, a machine could do that." But a coffee pouring robot isn't also unloading the truck, sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows and taking the crossiants out of the microwave. Tasks like this are not as easy to replace - and certainly probably can't be done by a single system. This is probably what people think of when they think of their job, while thinking of only coffee pouring when thinking of others jobs.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

MustacheMathTM

sol

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4841
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1206 on: January 31, 2017, 12:19:56 PM »


Quote
28 states have legalized marijuana (either medical or recreational), and up to 8 more are expected to this year.  That's over half, and a significant majority by population, as CA and the NE have the densest populations.

But what the states do doesn't matter, the feds could shut it down at any time since it's still illegal under federal law and federal law takes precedence over state law. 
This is grossly incorrect.

Wait, you think marijuana is actually legal in states where it has been decriminalized?  Do you also believe that all other federal crimes without a corresponding local or state law aren't actually illegal?

Federal law doesn't necessarily supersede state law, but it still remains in effect in the absence of a state law.  Those states haven't declared marijuana to be legal, they have stopped declaring it illegal.  Big difference.


jordanread

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4958
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Colorado Springs
  • Live Long, Live Free, Drop Dead
    • Frugal FIRE Show
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1207 on: January 31, 2017, 01:05:10 PM »


Quote
28 states have legalized marijuana (either medical or recreational), and up to 8 more are expected to this year.  That's over half, and a significant majority by population, as CA and the NE have the densest populations.

But what the states do doesn't matter, the feds could shut it down at any time since it's still illegal under federal law and federal law takes precedence over state law. 
This is grossly incorrect.

Wait, you think marijuana is actually legal in states where it has been decriminalized?  Do you also believe that all other federal crimes without a corresponding local or state law aren't actually illegal?

Federal law doesn't necessarily supersede state law, but it still remains in effect in the absence of a state law.  Those states haven't declared marijuana to be legal, they have stopped declaring it illegal.  Big difference.

We declared it actually legal...not just decriminalizing it based on the text of the amendment.
Join the cycling challenge!
Get in shape in 2017!
Frugal FIRE - Episode 2

"Mustachians rarely sit back and let things happen to them. Mustachians go out and happen to things."

Camp Mustache Canada - Sold Out Already!!

maizeman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1208 on: January 31, 2017, 01:14:25 PM »
I saw a survey once (which google is refusing to produce) that if you ask people what percent of jobs will be replaced by automation in the next 50 years, lots of them guess reasonably high numbers (40-50% range). I think both the time frame and the percentage are low balls. But what is more interesting is that when you ask people how likely the job they have is to be replaced by automation, 90+% percent of them say it will never be automated. (All numbers from memory, please take them with a big grain of salt).

I think this phenomenon is why the threat of automation isn't far more prevalent in our political discussions.
Which number do you think is correct?  It's easy to look on the outside and say "Yeah, a machine could do that." But a coffee pouring robot isn't also unloading the truck, sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows and taking the crossiants out of the microwave. Tasks like this are not as easy to replace - and certainly probably can't be done by a single system. This is probably what people think of when they think of their job, while thinking of only coffee pouring when thinking of others jobs.

50 years is a long ways out, but I tend to believe the 50% of current work (whether 100% of half the jobs of 50% of all the jobs) number is closer to the mark. You may well be right about what causes the bias though. People answer the general question as "what percent of total work could be automated?" and answer the specific question as "could every single thing I do during my work week be automated?"

Whether we get new jobs to replace those jobs (and whether the people who lose their jobs will have the skills and abilities to perform those new jobs) is a much more open question as we've discussed on this thread, but it seems clear a LOT of what people do all day in the year 2016 is going to be automated away.
"It’s a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My Journal

prognastat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Texas
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1209 on: January 31, 2017, 02:20:06 PM »
I saw a survey once (which google is refusing to produce) that if you ask people what percent of jobs will be replaced by automation in the next 50 years, lots of them guess reasonably high numbers (40-50% range). I think both the time frame and the percentage are low balls. But what is more interesting is that when you ask people how likely the job they have is to be replaced by automation, 90+% percent of them say it will never be automated. (All numbers from memory, please take them with a big grain of salt).

I think this phenomenon is why the threat of automation isn't far more prevalent in our political discussions.
Which number do you think is correct?  It's easy to look on the outside and say "Yeah, a machine could do that." But a coffee pouring robot isn't also unloading the truck, sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows and taking the crossiants out of the microwave. Tasks like this are not as easy to replace - and certainly probably can't be done by a single system. This is probably what people think of when they think of their job, while thinking of only coffee pouring when thinking of others jobs.

Sorry but of course it isn't going to be 1 robot doing all the tasks soon, but I can easily imagine a few robots doing most of the tasks and humans just doing the few left over tasks that robots haven't been able to do yet.

Also they are already working on robots that can cook a meal in a kitchen by having a human chef feed it the data on how to do it first by motion capture and then the robot replicating his motions with robot arms. Once the kinks are worked out on this will be faster, less accident prone and most importantly far cheaper than a human cook.

Imagine this, at the farm the produce is loaded in bulk on to a truck which is computer controlled, once the sensor tells it the truck is full it stops the filling process. The car then takes off on it's own and drives to the warehouse/factory. Here the truck drops the product in to a feeding location, inside you have machinery using cameras, conveyers and compressed air to filter the product and sort it in to packages. These packages are dropped on to a pallet through conveyer belt at which point an automated fork lift which drives it to a new self driving truck which drives to the store by itself where another automated fork lift at the store grabs the pallets from the truck and puts it in the predetermined location in the back of the store. Finally when the product in the front of store runs out a stocking robot which has robotic arms grabs the pale of product, drives in to the store using sensors to safely navigate without hitting people and using the robotic arms to stock the shelves.

For a restaurant most is the same except that instead of the back of the store and front of the store it just places it in the appropriate storage in the restaurant.

As for cleaning, look what things like roomba already do. You already have robots that can mop the floor and vacuum today.

Many of these technologies already either exist in prototype level, business level or even consumer level. These just need a little more development to get to the point where they are as good if not better than the human option. Keep in mind they don't even have to be better than a human, just about as good at a much lower price.

Some interesting videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quWFjS3Ci7A - Automated Warehouse(Amazon)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDprrrEdomM - Chef Robot
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 02:24:07 PM by prognastat »

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1210 on: February 01, 2017, 07:40:30 AM »
Or, more to the point, why should we expect an employer to continue to pay the same price for less labor?

I think this comment really highlights the fundamental disconnect in this discussion.

When technology allows society to be twice as productive, why does all of that benefit accrue to businesses while the citizens are left to die in the street?  Shouldn't some of that abundance benefit people, rather than corporate profits?

The natural assumption in America is that if workers become twice as productive, they should have half as much money instead of twice as much stuff.  This seems fundamentally wrong to me, because I believe that the fruits of this new and more efficient economy should benefit everyone who lives and works in that economy.  Instead, those people are expected to suffer while all of the newly created wealth flows to the business owners.


Agreed.  This is the fundamental problem with capitalism.  There are a lot of benefits of a free market economy (efficiency) that could be kept even if we someday decide to decouple capitalism from it.  We wouldn't even have to make too many laws or regulations to do it either, just stop propping it up with artificial distortions of the market like corporate charters

Bakari, I would really like to know what your definition of Capitalism is, if you don't mind?

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1211 on: February 01, 2017, 09:50:10 AM »
Another article on Coffee Baristas.http://www.wsj.com/articles/robot-baristas-serve-up-the-future-of-coffee-at-cafe-x-1485781201How wary should human baristas be? “There are a lot of things we still need them to do, like cleaning and filling,” says Mr. Hu. “What we don’t need them to do is move thousands of cups around. They’ll have a more enjoyable job.”I can see humans being more the social aspect of the experience.  Making small talk, etc.





"My name is Guinan. I tend bar, and I listen." – Guinan, 2368






(Although, actually, I'm Gen X, and I agree with the millennials about preferring efficient technology based transactions)

-




JumpintheFire is correct, Federal law always supersedes state law, and marijuana is still technically illegal everywhere in the US.  Up until Obama officially said it was not a priority, we in CA had DEA raids on (CA legal) medical marijuana dispensaries every so often.  ICE agents could do raids in so-called "sanctuary" cities, if they so choose.


-

Agreed.  This is the fundamental problem with capitalism.  There are a lot of benefits of a free market economy (efficiency) that could be kept even if we someday decide to decouple capitalism from it.  We wouldn't even have to make too many laws or regulations to do it either, just stop propping it up with artificial distortions of the market like corporate charters
Bakari, I would really like to know what your definition of Capitalism is, if you don't mind?




Sure, capitalism is a system which is set up to ensure maximum utility of capital.  As in, the more money you have, the easier it is to make even more money.  This would be naturally true even under anarchy, but we have a number of government enforced systems in place that make it much more true.  You can not have true capitalism under anarchy, the government has to prop it up.  The props include land title deeds, paper currency, federally insured banks (esp., but not only, the Fed), patents, copy rights, corporate charters, and contract law. 
Not mandatory, but in our case it also includes taxing unearned income at half the rate of earned income.



In contrast, a truly free market operates under perfect competition (which means no one makes any profit).  You can have a free market with no government what-so-ever, and in fact this is how most of trade has been done for most of human existence, bazaars, flea markets, and barter.


I go in to greater depth on my blog, if you are interested:
http://www.randomthoughts.fyi/2014/04/free-market-vs-capitalism.html
(10 parts, but each part is very short)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 09:52:27 AM by Bakari »
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

robartsd

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1212 on: February 01, 2017, 10:22:12 AM »
JumpintheFire is correct, Federal law always supersedes state law, and marijuana is still technically illegal everywhere in the US.  Up until Obama officially said it was not a priority, we in CA had DEA raids on (CA legal) medical marijuana dispensaries every so often.  ICE agents could do raids in so-called "sanctuary" cities, if they so choose.
While I'm sure the Federal court system rules with this view, many interpret the tenth amendment as contrary to the idea.

JumpInTheFIRE

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1213 on: February 01, 2017, 10:26:32 AM »


Quote
28 states have legalized marijuana (either medical or recreational), and up to 8 more are expected to this year.  That's over half, and a significant majority by population, as CA and the NE have the densest populations.

But what the states do doesn't matter, the feds could shut it down at any time since it's still illegal under federal law and federal law takes precedence over state law. 
This is grossly incorrect.

Wait, you think marijuana is actually legal in states where it has been decriminalized?  Do you also believe that all other federal crimes without a corresponding local or state law aren't actually illegal?

Federal law doesn't necessarily supersede state law, but it still remains in effect in the absence of a state law.  Those states haven't declared marijuana to be legal, they have stopped declaring it illegal.  Big difference.

How does federal law not supersede state law?  It's right in the constitution, quick quote from this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land. It provides that state courts are bound by the supreme law; in case of conflict between federal and state law, the federal law must be applied. Even state constitutions are subordinate to federal law.

Am I missing something?  I'm not a law-talkin' guy but it seems pretty clear.  Even the actual text doesn't leave much room for ambiguity:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

maizeman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1214 on: February 01, 2017, 10:48:45 AM »
I'd agree. You can argue that a given federal law is unconstitutional and therefore invalid (in this case you'd do that based on the 10th amendment). But I don't believe you can make an argument that federal law X is valid, but overruled by state law Y.
"It’s a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My Journal

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1215 on: February 01, 2017, 01:00:09 PM »
Agreed.  This is the fundamental problem with capitalism.  There are a lot of benefits of a free market economy (efficiency) that could be kept even if we someday decide to decouple capitalism from it.  We wouldn't even have to make too many laws or regulations to do it either, just stop propping it up with artificial distortions of the market like corporate charters
Bakari, I would really like to know what your definition of Capitalism is, if you don't mind?




Sure, capitalism is a system which is set up to ensure maximum utility of capital.  As in, the more money you have, the easier it is to make even more money.  This would be naturally true even under anarchy, but we have a number of government enforced systems in place that make it much more true.  You can not have true capitalism under anarchy, the government has to prop it up.  The props include land title deeds, paper currency, federally insured banks (esp., but not only, the Fed), patents, copy rights, corporate charters, and contract law. 
Not mandatory, but in our case it also includes taxing unearned income at half the rate of earned income.



In contrast, a truly free market operates under perfect competition (which means no one makes any profit).  You can have a free market with no government what-so-ever, and in fact this is how most of trade has been done for most of human existence, bazaars, flea markets, and barter.


I go in to greater depth on my blog, if you are interested:
http://www.randomthoughts.fyi/2014/04/free-market-vs-capitalism.html
(10 parts, but each part is very short)

Thanks, I am looking forward to reading your article. We often disagree on market issues so I am trying to understand your perspective a little better.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1216 on: February 01, 2017, 05:41:11 PM »
Thanks, I am looking forward to reading your article. We often disagree on market issues so I am trying to understand your perspective a little better.


That's an unusual comment on an internet message board!

Heck, I can't even talk to people I agree with about politics these days, the degree of blindly picking an ideology and sticking to it is just too much for me.

Thanks for reminding me there are open minded people out there (as I recall from our earlier debate, while I disagreed with some of your points, others of yours were valid, and even the ones I disagreed with were reasonable, so I shouldn't be that surprised.  But I am anyway)
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1217 on: February 02, 2017, 08:34:54 AM »
I read the entire 10 posts. My conclusion is, ultimately, we have the same end goal: allow people the most freedom possible in life and their transactions and help the poorest among us by increasing their standard of living. If this is not your goal please correct me.

I think the main reason discussions breakdown is because each person uses a different definitions of the same words. So I would like to clarify and come to some kind of consensus on how we define the words we use.

Free Market – “All individuals are free to participate and make their own decisions.” I agree. People are allowed to make their own agreements/transactions amongst themselves without the interference of third parties.

Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.  I thought your definition of capitalism was more of a moving target. Based on what you wrote is seemed to me to be a better description of crony capitalism of maybe even fascism.

Profit - a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. Once again, I felt your definition was a moving target. In your flea market scenario, “as long as the seller does better than break even, they will likely show up again next week”, I would consider that “little better” to be profit. Later you said, “Profit is what is left over after paying not just costs for materials and rent and advertising and loan payments, but also paying the employees, including management.” I agree. In the next sentence you state, “If the manager is the owner, the money they make is not profit, it is salary.” And then, “Profit is what is left over after all costs.” Based on the statements above, your definition of profit seems to be tied to ownership and working for the company. I’ll use Wal-mart as an example. From 1962 to 1970, when Wal-mart was solely owned by Sam Walton, they made no profit because he was the owner and worked for the company. After 1970 when Wal-mart went public Sam (and employees that bought stock) were not making profit because they were owners and worked for the company but the shareholders were making a profit because they were owners but didn’t work for the company. Is my reasoning correct? Also, do you not consider interest on debt profit? You seem to be saying that in parts 2 and 3.

I think it may be better to move this discussion out of this thread. Maybe I can just direct message you responses or we can start a new thread. If we can agree on some definitions I was thinking about possibly writing something in defense of my position.

On a side note, I was wondering the last time we had a discussion how you were getting graphs and responding so quickly. Haha. Now I know you had them ready to go from the start.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1218 on: February 02, 2017, 08:53:19 AM »
Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.

Your assertion that labour is traded as a service for money that you get is not consistent with the definition of capitalism that you gave.

There's absolutely nothing preventing slavery in capitalism.  The slaves are owned privately, profits from the slaves go to the owner.  Labour is traded for money - but the money doesn't go to the slave.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1219 on: February 02, 2017, 09:25:18 AM »
Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.

Your assertion that labour is traded as a service for money that you get is not consistent with the definition of capitalism that you gave.

There's absolutely nothing preventing slavery in capitalism.  The slaves are owned privately, profits from the slaves go to the owner.  Labour is traded for money - but the money doesn't go to the slave.

Slaves do not own their own labor. So any system where slaves are allowed is not a system based on capitalism. So I guess I'm a little confused about what your trying to say.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1220 on: February 02, 2017, 09:33:20 AM »
Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.

Your assertion that labour is traded as a service for money that you get is not consistent with the definition of capitalism that you gave.

There's absolutely nothing preventing slavery in capitalism.  The slaves are owned privately, profits from the slaves go to the owner.  Labour is traded for money - but the money doesn't go to the slave.

Slaves do not own their own labor. So any system where slaves are allowed is not a system based on capitalism. So I guess I'm a little confused about what your trying to say.

You are changing the definition of capitalism.  Nothing about "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state" prevents the use of slaves.

Slaves are property, exactly like a computer or a robot.  A computer/robot doesn't own the work it does, yet a capitalist society can still use them.  I'm trying to say that your explanation of the definition of capitalism appears to have missed this.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1221 on: February 02, 2017, 09:42:21 AM »
Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.

Your assertion that labour is traded as a service for money that you get is not consistent with the definition of capitalism that you gave.

There's absolutely nothing preventing slavery in capitalism.  The slaves are owned privately, profits from the slaves go to the owner.  Labour is traded for money - but the money doesn't go to the slave.

Slaves do not own their own labor. So any system where slaves are allowed is not a system based on capitalism. So I guess I'm a little confused about what your trying to say.

You are changing the definition of capitalism.  Nothing about "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state" prevents the use of slaves.

Slaves are property, exactly like a computer or a robot.  A computer/robot doesn't own the work it does, yet a capitalist society can still use them.  I'm trying to say that your explanation of the definition of capitalism appears to have missed this.

I actually think you are changing the definition of capitalism. haha. As a human/private owner I own my labor for "trade and industry". Yes, slaves are property, but slaves are also human. As humans if we do not own our labor we are not operating in a capitalist system.

Edit: Maybe we should come at this another way instead of arguing over the definition of capitalism. It might be easier. Based on the information I provided above, what name would you give that system? What ever name you pick will be what I am in favor of.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 09:46:18 AM by Pooplips »

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1222 on: February 02, 2017, 10:37:36 AM »
Capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. For example, you start the business, you get the money. You trade your labor as a service, you get the money.

Your assertion that labour is traded as a service for money that you get is not consistent with the definition of capitalism that you gave.

There's absolutely nothing preventing slavery in capitalism.  The slaves are owned privately, profits from the slaves go to the owner.  Labour is traded for money - but the money doesn't go to the slave.

Slaves do not own their own labor. So any system where slaves are allowed is not a system based on capitalism. So I guess I'm a little confused about what your trying to say.

You are changing the definition of capitalism.  Nothing about "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state" prevents the use of slaves.

Slaves are property, exactly like a computer or a robot.  A computer/robot doesn't own the work it does, yet a capitalist society can still use them.  I'm trying to say that your explanation of the definition of capitalism appears to have missed this.

I actually think you are changing the definition of capitalism. haha. As a human/private owner I own my labor for "trade and industry". Yes, slaves are property, but slaves are also human. As humans if we do not own our labor we are not operating in a capitalist system.

Edit: Maybe we should come at this another way instead of arguing over the definition of capitalism. It might be easier. Based on the information I provided above, what name would you give that system? What ever name you pick will be what I am in favor of.

TheSystemFormerlyKnownAsCapitalism: An economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state*.

*Except for slavery - this must be controlled by an unspecified force in an unspecified manner and cannot be controlled by the free market.



I have more questions though.  What about children who work for their parents on a farm?  Or children who help clean the house?  They don't get paid, but are forced to perform labour.  Would their existence prevent TheSystemFormerlyKnownAsCapitalism from existing in your eyes?  If not, how are they any different than slaves?

What about a housewife (or househusband) who works daily to clean, cooke, etc. without pay?

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1223 on: February 02, 2017, 11:05:46 AM »
TheSystemFormerlyKnownAsCapitalism: An economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state*.

*Except for slavery - this must be controlled by an unspecified force in an unspecified manner and cannot be controlled by the free market.

I have more questions though.  What about children who work for their parents on a farm?  Or children who help clean the house?  They don't get paid, but are forced to perform labour.  Would their existence prevent TheSystemFormerlyKnownAsCapitalism from existing in your eyes?  If not, how are they any different than slaves?

What about a housewife (or househusband) who works daily to clean, cooke, etc. without pay?

Haha. I think you kind of, in a round about way, agreed with my definintion of capitalism. Your exception is interesting to me because murder, theft and another violent crime fall in that same basket. "this must be controlled by an unspecified force in an unspecified manner and cannot be controlled by the free market."

The force you are talking about is the government which is there to ensure the freedom of every individual.

We are starting to get off topic as far as defining terms but I will do my best to anwser you other questions.

The argument could be made that any child beening told by anyone to do anything is child abuse. But we all know thats not the case. A child being forced to work for 16 hours on the family farm then thrown in the basement with some bread till the morning is clearly child abuse and their are laws to prevent this. A child being told to mow the grass (as I was) is not.

The housewife, if she freely chooses to be a house wife, can still exist in TheSystemFormerlyKnownAsCapitalism. Just because money is not exchanging hands doesn't mean she doesn't provide value.

Your arguments don't change the definition of capitalism.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1224 on: February 02, 2017, 11:12:46 AM »
The argument could be made that any child beening told by anyone to do anything is child abuse. But we all know thats not the case. A child being forced to work for 16 hours on the family farm then thrown in the basement with some bread till the morning is clearly child abuse and their are laws to prevent this. A child being told to mow the grass (as I was) is not.

So, just to confirm . . . you're OK with people being forced to work for free in a capitalist system?

If I treated my slaves pretty well and didn't force them to work too much, would that also be OK?

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1225 on: February 02, 2017, 11:24:07 AM »
The argument could be made that any child beening told by anyone to do anything is child abuse. But we all know thats not the case. A child being forced to work for 16 hours on the family farm then thrown in the basement with some bread till the morning is clearly child abuse and their are laws to prevent this. A child being told to mow the grass (as I was) is not.

So, just to confirm . . . you're OK with people being forced to work for free in a capitalist system?

If I treated my slaves pretty well and didn't force them to work too much, would that also be OK?

Haha a discussion on the definition of capitalism and you turned it in to this. Is capitalism the only system were I get to have my kids mow the grass? Would I still be allowed to make them mow the grass under socialism or communism? How about facism? I need to know all my options before I decide. Haha.

Like I said, eventually the discussion breaks down.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1226 on: February 02, 2017, 11:46:16 AM »
I'm all for moving the discussion if anyone wants to start another thread.
On the other hand, this has kind of taken off, and I think in a way it is more relevant to the original topic then some of the sidetracks have been
;-P

For the goal, sure, that sounds pretty good!


For the definitions: I don't see any distinction between those definitions of "free market" and "capitalism".
The definitions of each would apply equally well to either word, as they both imply each other.
In which case what purpose is there for having two words?

My definition of "Capitalism" is, I think, defended by the very word itself.  CAPITALism.  Not privateownershipism.  The definition has to in some way take into account the specific implications or consequences of having excess capital in the system.


Going back to my anarchy extreme, where individual humans barter at a market, compared to our current system, having capital has relatively less benefit.  However, in both cases "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."


The (perfect competition) market distortions that are enabled by government that enhance capitalism (the easiest example being, of course, corporate charters and the stabilization of stock markets) also happen to be anti-competitive, which in turn means the market isn't truly "free" anymore.  If everyone isn't on the same level of power, then they are not really free to make their own decisions.
For example, if you own a general store in a small town, and then WalMart opens up and sells below cost for the first year, then your "choices" include pretending nothing has changed and going bankrupt, or selling off what you can and taking a new job as assistant manager at WalMart for a significantly lower income.  That's a false choice.  The individual has no real choice.  And the reason they don't is that they are not on equal footing with an entity which, through support by the government, has enormous amounts of capital which they can use to do things like sell below cost for extended periods of time.

The definitions provided don't draw any distinction between a free market and capitalism, instead just focusing on a different aspect of the same thing.  But in that case, how do you propose defining the difference between the scenario above and a flea market where every participant gets one booth?  Both have private ownership, and both technically have freedom of choice (in that they are not slavery or fascism), but one has much more freedom than the other.

Profit - yeah, it sounds like you pretty much summed it up.  An owner who is not a manager - anyone making passive income on business activity - is getting profit.  Of course there could be question of how high "salary" can be before it is in excess of "earnings" and should perhaps be considered profit, but that same question already exists with CEOs and other executives even if they are not partial owners, so I'll leave that question for some other time... 
Basically, profit is value that can be skimmed off the top of a transaction by a third party. 


As far as the slavery thing - it looks to me like the issue is just the use of the word "country", which is an arbitrary imaginary unit in the first place.   We can just slightly modify the wording to:  "[size=0px]An economic system in which individual's labor and property are controlled by themselves as private owners, rather than by the state, [/size][size=0px]and can be exchanged for profit[/size][size=0px]"[/size]
Although, as I said, I think this is just restating "free market" in more detail




The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.
A domestic partner, on the other hand, is there voluntarily (at least, in any society without arranged marriages, and especially in areas with no-fault divorce).  They too, are compensated, in the form of food and shelter provided by their working spouse.  Nothing in any of the definitions requires that value be exclusively in the form of paper currency.
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1227 on: February 02, 2017, 12:16:14 PM »
An economic system in which individual's labor and property are controlled by themselves as private owners, rather than by the state

I think this is the definition that pooplips wants for capitalism.  If I may:

"An economic system in which labor and property are controlled by private owners, rather than by the state" - This is closer to the reality of pure capitalism.  It's a fine distinction, but an important one.


The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.

I don't think that any system of economic policy can guarantee that an individuals labour and property are controlled by themselves as private owners.  Trying to work individual ownership of labour into a definition of capitalism is always going to fail because of this type of case.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5313
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1228 on: February 02, 2017, 01:12:07 PM »
The argument could be made that any child beening told by anyone to do anything is child abuse. But we all know thats not the case. A child being forced to work for 16 hours on the family farm then thrown in the basement with some bread till the morning is clearly child abuse and their are laws to prevent this. A child being told to mow the grass (as I was) is not.

So, just to confirm . . . you're OK with people being forced to work for free in a capitalist system?

If I treated my slaves pretty well and didn't force them to work too much, would that also be OK?
Are you intentionally missing the point? A housewife or child or unpaid intern give their time freely. Force is the issue: people are forced to work under slavery, they do not own their work.

Edit: see that Bakari already explained this.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 01:43:12 PM by Metric Mouse »
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

MustacheMathTM

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1229 on: February 02, 2017, 01:14:11 PM »
Thank you for your explanation Bakari. After thinking about it you are right. Based on the definitions I gave they are the same thing or at least one necessitates the other and vice versa.

Even in a barter system capital would be very important. If I have a million apples to trade and you have 10 I can simply trade my apples for less stuff per apple until you eat your apples and are screwed. When I think of capital I not only think of monetary capital but human capital as well. All the skills I can perform and knowledge I learn is my human capital. It’s my ability to grow a million apples that gives me the advantage, not the fact that I have them.

I am with you on not wanting the government to distort the free market any more than is absolutely necessary.

Your general store example is more philosophical at heart. The only real choice any human has is whether or not to commit suicide. All other “choices” are merely trade-offs. I do believe there are other trade-offs you are not considering. If I own a general store and a Walmart comes in and sells at a loss I would close up shop. The moment Walmart started selling at a profit again; I would open my store back up. Walmart only makes a 3% profit margin (and is still getting beat up by Amazon). I could probably price match them and beat them on customer service and lower operational costs. This would force the Walmart to sell at a loss continuously to keep me out of the market and that they cannot do.  The issue is none of what I am saying is easy, so why would I do all that work for 3% profit margin when I can invest in corporate bonds at about 4% with no work? What I think is going on is, the market is sending me clear signals that my time and capital can be used more efficiently else ware in the market.

Your flea market example on your blog was good. The first thing I thought was: Who owns the damn market and why are they renting all the lots to the same company? Someone should set up a flea market next door and rent to a variety of people because that’s why people go to flea markets anyway. Even in this scenario you cannot guarantee that “each seller does better than break even” for a million different reasons. I think your basically describing a monopoly, which can’t exist for the reasons listed above without help from the government. We agree on getting government distortions out of the market.

I was really hoping you would define profit better; especially when it comes to interest. I would deduct the cost of hiring a manager in the open market. If my company makes $50k a year and to hiring a manager would cost me $50k a year, then I made no profit. My question then becomes: If you have an idea and no money how are you going to get the money you need? Take on debt? This is why I need to know if you consider interest profit.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1230 on: February 02, 2017, 01:18:32 PM »
The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.

I don't think that any system of economic policy can guarantee that an individuals labour and property are controlled by themselves as private owners.  Trying to work individual ownership of labour into a definition of capitalism is always going to fail because of this type of case.

Please provide your definition of capitalism? Mine was simply the dictionary one.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1231 on: February 02, 2017, 01:41:16 PM »
The argument could be made that any child beening told by anyone to do anything is child abuse. But we all know thats not the case. A child being forced to work for 16 hours on the family farm then thrown in the basement with some bread till the morning is clearly child abuse and their are laws to prevent this. A child being told to mow the grass (as I was) is not.

So, just to confirm . . . you're OK with people being forced to work for free in a capitalist system?

If I treated my slaves pretty well and didn't force them to work too much, would that also be OK?
Are you intentionally missing the point? A housewife or child or unpaid intern give their time freely. Force is the issue: people are forced to work under slavery, they do not own their work.

I can assure you that my son is often forced to pick up his toys after playing with them and given no recourse or compensation.  He does not own his work in any way.



The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.

I don't think that any system of economic policy can guarantee that an individuals labour and property are controlled by themselves as private owners.  Trying to work individual ownership of labour into a definition of capitalism is always going to fail because of this type of case.

Please provide your definition of capitalism? Mine was simply the dictionary one.

I wasn't arguing with the dictionary definition, that makes sense to me:
"An economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state"

Notice how it doesn't say anything about each person being paid for their work?  That's because this is not a pre-requisite for capitalism, despite your apparent belief.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1232 on: February 03, 2017, 05:09:16 AM »
The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.

I don't think that any system of economic policy can guarantee that an individuals labour and property are controlled by themselves as private owners.  Trying to work individual ownership of labour into a definition of capitalism is always going to fail because of this type of case.

Please provide your definition of capitalism? Mine was simply the dictionary one.

I wasn't arguing with the dictionary definition, that makes sense to me:
"An economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state"

Notice how it doesn't say anything about each person being paid for their work?  That's because this is not a pre-requisite for capitalism, despite your apparent belief.

Trading my labor for money/goods is exactly what I am talking about. What do you call entering a labor agreement?

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1233 on: February 03, 2017, 06:00:33 AM »
The difference between "child labor" and "chores" really does have a grey area, but that is completely separate from the question at hand.  It would be just as grey under socialism or communism or anarchy or anything else.  Their compensation is in the form of food and shelter, but the same is true of slaves.

I don't think that any system of economic policy can guarantee that an individuals labour and property are controlled by themselves as private owners.  Trying to work individual ownership of labour into a definition of capitalism is always going to fail because of this type of case.

Please provide your definition of capitalism? Mine was simply the dictionary one.

I wasn't arguing with the dictionary definition, that makes sense to me:
"An economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state"

Notice how it doesn't say anything about each person being paid for their work?  That's because this is not a pre-requisite for capitalism, despite your apparent belief.

Trading my labor for money/goods is exactly what I am talking about. What do you call entering a labor agreement?

I call it "completely unrelated to the economic system".

Labour agreements are not unique to capitalism, and can certainly exist in a communist economy as well.  Communism just means that trade and industry are controlled by the state rather than privately.  Agreements regarding work don't depend on who controls the factory.

Trading labour for goods also exists under every communist system that has ever been implemented (although typically communist systems make an additional attempt to give to individuals based on need as well).  It's just heavily regulated by the government rather than controlled by private individuals.  (Note - I'm not advocating communism in any way, and am well aware of the many problems that spring up from a purely communist approach to running a countries economy.)

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1234 on: February 03, 2017, 07:38:14 AM »
I call it "completely unrelated to the economic system".

Labour agreements are not unique to capitalism, and can certainly exist in a communist economy as well.  Communism just means that trade and industry are controlled by the state rather than privately.  Agreements regarding work don't depend on who controls the factory.

Trading labour for goods also exists under every communist system that has ever been implemented (although typically communist systems make an additional attempt to give to individuals based on need as well).  It's just heavily regulated by the government rather than controlled by private individuals.  (Note - I'm not advocating communism in any way, and am well aware of the many problems that spring up from a purely communist approach to running a countries economy.)

I guess we agree to disagree. I don't see how you can say trading labor is unrelated to an economic system.

Labor agreements are not unique to capitalism, I agree, but the freedom of those labor agreements are. Under communism I don't own my labor and am not free to use it as I see fit. If I create something, anything, it is the property of the state. They take it and give me what they want to give me, if anything. I am not free to keep what I produce or trade what I produce with anyone else but the state. I don't even get to decide if the trade I am making with the state is fair.

Labor agreements do depend on who owns the factory because if I don't like the agreements available to me, since I own my own labor, I can start my own factory.

Yes, trading labour for goods also exists under communist systems but it is a forced trade. Freedom is the difference. 

Edit: I just realized I made a mistake. Reversing our way out of this worked last time so let's try it again. What name would you give a system where trade, labor agreements  and production are all private owned and free to be used as the individuals that own them see fit?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 07:51:09 AM by Pooplips »

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1235 on: February 03, 2017, 08:43:15 AM »
Labor agreements are not unique to capitalism, I agree, but the freedom of those labor agreements are. Under communism I don't own my labor and am not free to use it as I see fit. If I create something, anything, it is the property of the state. They take it and give me what they want to give me, if anything. I am not free to keep what I produce or trade what I produce with anyone else but the state. I don't even get to decide if the trade I am making with the state is fair.

Labor agreements do depend on who owns the factory because if I don't like the agreements available to me, since I own my own labor, I can start my own factory.

Yes, trading labour for goods also exists under communist systems but it is a forced trade. Freedom is the difference. 

The freedom you're saying exist cannot happen when wealth concentration becomes too significant, just as it cannot exist when wealth cannot be amassed at all.  Can you point to a single capitalist system that has ever existed in history working as you imagine it should?

I suspect you'll be unable to find one.  The reason for this is that capitalism results in wealth concentration.  Wealth concentration results in power concentration.  Unchecked this will result in a small ruling class abusing a large underclass.  Freedoms of the many will be eroded to protect the interests of the few.  These problems associated with capitalism are what Marx was reacting to when he wrote his manifesto (going too far in the opposite direction).

There's a balance between aspects of socialism (social programs, environmental protections, etc.) and capitalism (free-market efficiency, motivation) that seems to work best in implementation.


Edit: I just realized I made a mistake. Reversing our way out of this worked last time so let's try it again. What name would you give a system where trade, labor agreements  and production are all private owned and free to be used as the individuals that own them see fit?

Given that under this system no parent would be allowed to assign chores to his or her children (and that this would need to be policed somehow, probably involving constant surveillance in homes), I'd call it some sort of authoritarian hell.

If you're going to argue that some people (children for example) aren't entitled to the fruits of their labour then I'd say that you're not really advocating for the system you think you are.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1236 on: February 03, 2017, 09:19:11 AM »
Labor agreements are not unique to capitalism, I agree, but the freedom of those labor agreements are. Under communism I don't own my labor and am not free to use it as I see fit. If I create something, anything, it is the property of the state. They take it and give me what they want to give me, if anything. I am not free to keep what I produce or trade what I produce with anyone else but the state. I don't even get to decide if the trade I am making with the state is fair.

Labor agreements do depend on who owns the factory because if I don't like the agreements available to me, since I own my own labor, I can start my own factory.

Yes, trading labour for goods also exists under communist systems but it is a forced trade. Freedom is the difference. 

The freedom you're saying exist cannot happen when wealth concentration becomes too significant, just as it cannot exist when wealth cannot be amassed at all.  Can you point to a single capitalist system that has ever existed in history working as you imagine it should?

I suspect you'll be unable to find one.  The reason for this is that capitalism results in wealth concentration.  Wealth concentration results in power concentration.  Unchecked this will result in a small ruling class abusing a large underclass.  Freedoms of the many will be eroded to protect the interests of the few.  These problems associated with capitalism are what Marx was reacting to when he wrote his manifesto (going too far in the opposite direction).

There's a balance between aspects of socialism (social programs, environmental protections, etc.) and capitalism (free-market efficiency, motivation) that seems to work best in implementation.


Edit: I just realized I made a mistake. Reversing our way out of this worked last time so let's try it again. What name would you give a system where trade, labor agreements  and production are all private owned and free to be used as the individuals that own them see fit?

Given that under this system no parent would be allowed to assign chores to his or her children (and that this would need to be policed somehow, probably involving constant surveillance in homes), I'd call it some sort of authoritarian hell.

If you're going to argue that some people (children for example) aren't entitled to the fruits of their labour then I'd say that you're not really advocating for the system you think you are.

I agree there has been no absolute capitalist system in place but there have been countries that have had a more capitalist system (Honk Kong, Post WWII Japan, USA) and the poorest in those contries have seen faster growth in their standards of living than less capitalist systems.

Our current system is on that scale too. My current tax rate all included is about 25%. The argument could be made that I own 75% of my labor and society owns 25% of my labor. I agree a balance is necessary.

Wealth concentration is only a problem if that wealth can be used to buy favors from the government (crony-capitalism). I want to strip the government of their power to hand out these favors. There's nothing that a big corporation likes more than rules and regulations that create barriers of entry to keep out compitition (or tax breaks, subsidies, etc.)

I am not saying children aren't entitled to the fruits of their labor. I will argue that because of government regulations that have no choice but to accept the deal their parents are offering. It is illegal for a 13 year old child to work and provide for themselves.

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1237 on: February 03, 2017, 10:34:30 AM »
Thank you for your explanation Bakari. After thinking about it you are right. Based on the definitions I gave they are the same thing or at least one necessitates the other and vice versa.

Even in a barter system capital would be very important. If I have a million apples to trade and you have 10 I can simply trade my apples for less stuff per apple until you eat your apples and are screwed.


Under a barter system, with no state intervention, there is no realistic way you are ever going to amass a million apples in the first place.
Your apple orchard will only contain as much land as you can personally defend.
This is my whole point about the difference between a free market and capitalism.



Quote
When I think of capital I not only think of monetary capital but human capital as well. All the skills I can perform and knowledge I learn is my human capital. It’s my ability to grow a million apples that gives me the advantage, not the fact that I have them.
I think relatively few people would argue that everyone should have exactly equal compensation, regardless of skill or talent.  But having over 18 acres of private land (about the minimum you need to hold the 2000 trees it takes to grow a million apples in one season) takes more than skill and talent, it requires a land title deed and a government which will arrest trespassers and apple thieves for you.

Quote
I am with you on not wanting the government to distort the free market any more than is absolutely necessary.
perhaps we disagree on what constitutes "necessary".


Quote
Your general store example is more philosophical at heart. The only real choice any human has is whether or not to commit suicide. All other “choices” are merely trade-offs. I do believe there are other trade-offs you are not considering. If I own a general store and a Walmart comes in and sells at a loss I would close up shop. The moment Walmart started selling at a profit again; I would open my store back up.
Assuming you had the capital necessary to open back up (or to keep paying the bills with no income for a year or two). 

It is not "philosophical" at all, it is a simple example of what actually happens in real life:
"this study examines the impact of the arrival of a Walmart store on retail and wholesale employment. It looks at 1,749 counties that added a Walmart between 1977 and 1998. It finds that Walmart’s arrival boosts retail employment by 100 jobs in the first year—far less than the 200-400 jobs the company says its stores create, because its arrival causes existing retailers to downsize and lay-off employees. Over the next four years, there is a loss of 40-60 additional retail jobs as more competing retailers downsize and close. The study also finds that Walmart’s arrival leads to a decline of approximately 20 local wholesale jobs in the first five years, and an additional 10 wholesale jobs over the long run (six or more years after Walmart’s arrival). (Walmart handles its own distribution and does not rely on wholesalers). This works out to a net gain of just 10-30 retail and wholesale jobs, and the study does not examine whether these jobs are part-time or whether they pay more or less than the jobs eliminated by Walmart. The study also found that, within five years of Walmart’s arrival, the counties had lost an average of four small retail businesses, one mid-sized store, and one large store. It does not estimate declines in revenue to retailers that survive."
http://faculty.smu.edu/millimet/classes/eco6352/papers/basker.pdf

The opening of a Walmart on the West Side of Chicago in 2006 led to the closure of about one-quarter of the businesses within a four-mile radius, according to this study by researchers at Loyola University. They tracked 306 businesses, checking their status before Walmart opened and one and two years after it opened. More than half were also surveyed by phone about employees, work hours, and wages. By the second year, 82 of the businesses had closed. Businesses within close proximity of Walmart had a 40 percent chance of closing. The probability of going out of business fell 6 percent with each mile away from Walmart. These closures eliminated the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs, about as many Walmart added to the area. Sales tax and employment data provided by the state of Illinois for Walmart’s zip code and surrounding zip codes confirmed that overall sales and employment in the neighborhood did not increase, but actually dipped from the trend line.

http://edq.sagepub.com/content/26/4/321.abstract


Quote
Walmart only makes a 3% profit margin (and is still getting beat up by Amazon). I could probably price match them and beat them on customer service and lower operational costs.
They have their own trucks and warehouses and contracts with other major corporate suppliers.  You managing lower operational costs is not realistic.  This is, again, how having enough capital makes for uneven competition. 


Quote
This would force the Walmart to sell at a loss continuously to keep me out of the market and that they cannot do.  The issue is none of what I am saying is easy, so why would I do all that work for 3% profit margin when I can invest in corporate bonds at about 4% with no work? What I think is going on is, the market is sending me clear signals that my time and capital can be used more efficiently else ware in the market.
Corporate bonds are where the WalMarts get the capital to undermine smaller businesses.  In order to pay 4%, they have to be making at least 4% over costs - its just that money used to pay interest on debt isn't considered "profit" in neoclassical economics.

Quote
Your flea market example on your blog was good. The first thing I thought was: Who owns the damn market and why are they renting all the lots to the same company?
I don't know, maybe because that one company offered a 5% increase in what they were willing to pay, in order to gain the flea market monopoly?  Or maybe they just filled the waiting list with the names of every company partner and the market didn't know they were all really affiliated.  Doesn't matter how, the system allows for it to happen.

Quote
Someone should set up a flea market next door and rent to a variety of people because that’s why people go to flea markets anyway.
  assuming there is space next door, and anyone has the capital to clear and pave that space and set up tents and an office etc...


Quote
Even in this scenario you cannot guarantee that “each seller does better than break even” for a million different reasons.
Did you mean the opposite of what you said?  Under perfect competition (granted, rarely 100% possible) no one is able to make profit, because someone else will undercut them on price right down to the break even point (but obviously not further).
http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/031815/why-are-there-no-profits-perfectly-competitive-market.asp


Quote
I think your basically describing a monopoly, which can’t exist for the reasons listed above without help from the government.
Well, or an oligopoly, which also benefits from government help - and which more or less describes the modern American economy.
"11,000 independent pharmacies have closed since 1990. Independent bookstores have fallen from 58 percent of book sales in 1972 to just 17 percent today. Local hardware dealers are on the decline, while two companies have captured 30 percent of the market. Blockbuster rents one out of three videos nationwide. Five firms control one-third of the grocery market, up from 19 percent just five years ago. A single firm, Wal-Mart, now accounts for 7 percent of all consumer spending."
https://ilsr.org/impact-chain-stores-community/
Mind you, that quote is from 17 years ago.  The trends have of course continued (this before the rise of Amazon), although I can't find more recent data.

This is 10 years old, doesn't include restaurants, and considers having 10 locations as "independent", so again, the current reality is much more lopsided than even this shows.


Quote
We agree on getting government distortions out of the market.
But would you agree that granting and enforcing corporate charters is in itself a form of market distortion?

Quote
I was really hoping you would define profit better; especially when it comes to interest. I would deduct the cost of hiring a manager in the open market. If my company makes $50k a year and to hiring a manager would cost me $50k a year, then I made no profit. My question then becomes: If you have an idea and no money how are you going to get the money you need? Take on debt? This is why I need to know if you consider interest profit.
Do you mean interest you pay, or interest you make?


My answer to your question is this: start small.   

When I graduated college, and the position I got hired for which I had spent months applying for and dropped out of several other application processes for first said I was hired, and then had an unexpected funding cut and withdrew the job offer, I had nothing but an idea, my (personal) truck that I bought on Craigslist for $2000, and a tiny toolbox of basic screwdrivers and wrenches.
I put an add on craigslist that I could help someone out with small deliveries or getting rid of junk for $10 per hour plus $1 per mile.  After a couple weeks I saved enough from those jobs to buy a dolly, and started charging $15 and then $20.  After someone noticed the toolbox and asked if I could install the fridge I had just delivered, they then asked if I could do a number of other things around the house, I realized I had repair skills the average person doesn't, and I started explicitly listing "handyman" on my (still free on Craigslist) ads.
Over the next ten years I gradually expanded my toolkit - almost always buying a tool only if the specific job I needed it for would pay for it in full.  I didn't even have a website until I had been doing it a couple years.  I learned enough basic html to build and maintain it myself, and pay $25 per year for the server space.  I still drive the same 30 year old truck.  I have never paid for advertising.  I am insured and a certified green business.

A friend of mine wanted to have a plant nursery, and started growing plants in her backyard.  She sold them at the fleamarket until finding a independent retail location that was looking to expand into selling rare urban garden food crops.  That same location hosted a little coffee pushcart for a couple that didn't have the capital for a retail location.  I used to do bike repairs at the farmers market across the street from a guy who made vegan mexican food.  For years he just went from market to market, until he finally bought a retail location, which has thrived at that spot ever since.

If your goal is to grow as fast as possible and capture significant market share and out-compete the biggest players in the field, then, yes, you need to take on debt and its accompanying risk.

However, if you simply want to be sustainable, and provide something of value to the community while providing income for yourself, more often than not large amounts of capital are not a prerequisite.
In the system I envision, one of the roles to government would be providing small subsidized start-up loans to low-risk business ventures, while, (just like in the early days when the concept was invented) corporate charters would be issued ONLY to those ventures which for some very specific reason could not realistically exist without a significant amount of capital (an aircraft manufacturer, for example).  There would have to be a concrete and specific explanation of how the existence of this corporation would be to the benefit of society in general, and (like the original corporate charters), it would have a specific end date (just like term limits on politicians :)) 
Furthermore, businesses would be limited to a single location, unless they were in an industry which by default necessitated multiple locations (transportation, utilities, and communications are probably the only 3 that qualify).

This would of course mean growth would slow enormously as we would lose a lot of efficiency.
Thing is, we already have enough total wealth!  We don't really need to grow anymore.  For a developing nation growth is important, but we are far past that stage.  Now our major issue is distribution, and this change would even out wealth without needing to do anything to tax structures or any other form of active redistribution.

Hell, it would even go a very long way to dealing with the inevitable robot take over of employment. (haha, remember that topic!?)
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8157
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1238 on: February 03, 2017, 10:58:58 AM »
I agree there has been no absolute capitalist system in place

Why do you think that's the case?  If capitalism is the system that should always be aimed for, why do you think it hasn't ever been implemented properly?



but there have been countries that have had a more capitalist system (Honk Kong, Post WWII Japan, USA) and the poorest in those contries have seen faster growth in their standards of living than less capitalist systems.

Putting aside for a moment that there are a myriad of other factors that come into play beyond 'how capitalist' a countries economic system is . . . The standard of living for the poorest in countries like Norway, Denmark, Finland, etc. is higher than in Japan, the USA, and Hong Kong.



Wealth concentration is only a problem if that wealth can be used to buy favors from the government (crony-capitalism).

This is a ridiculous assertion.

Left to their own devices, companies will use their wealth to hurt competition.  This is why there are anti-trust laws for virtually every industry.  Price-fixing, monopoly through mergers, rigging bids, market division, etc. are all common problems associated with significant wealth creation.  They are entirely caused by behavior of private companies in the free market.



I am not saying children aren't entitled to the fruits of their labor. I will argue that because of government regulations that have no choice but to accept the deal their parents are offering. It is illegal for a 13 year old child to work and provide for themselves.

In your ideal economic system there are no child labour laws?

Is there a duty of care that a parent owes a child?
If there is, then children are entitled to the fruits of the labour of their parents.  If there isn't, then what would you do with the abandoned children problem you've just created?

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1239 on: February 03, 2017, 11:01:30 AM »
I agree there has been no absolute capitalist system in place but there have been countries that have had a more capitalist system (Honk Kong, Post WWII Japan, USA) and the poorest in those countries have seen faster growth in their standards of living than less capitalist systems.


http://www.demos.org/blog/1/5/15/when-it-better-not-be-america

Although, still a better example than Hong Kong:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/05/meet-people-poor-grow-hong-kong-160506173658237.html
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/cage-homes-hong-kong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQkvI_J8_QI

Quote
Our current system is on that scale too. My current tax rate all included is about 25%. The argument could be made that I own 75% of my labor and society owns 25% of my labor. I agree a balance is necessary.
Part of my point is that wages are suppressed by our system.  If the benefits of technology on productivity were distributed equally, you would make somewhere on the order of 2 to 10 times as much per hour.  So, if you make $50 an hour, and keep $37 (after taxes), but you would hypothetically be making $100 and keeping $75, then really you only own 25% of your labor, society owns 25%, and the capital class that controls your job owns 50%


Quote
Wealth concentration is only a problem if that wealth can be used to buy favors from the government (crony-capitalism).
I think this is the exact point where we fundamentally disagree. 
An independent software developer is not on an equal footing to compete with Apple, and the reason for that has nothing to do with "human capital", it is because of wealth concentration.  Mr. Walton Sr. is no longer among the living, the reason Jim, John and Alice never have to work a day in their lives if they choose not to while being responsible for the closing of 100s of thousands of independent businesses is wealth concentration.  The reason developing robots that can do tasks that humans are only willing to do if someone pays them is a potentially negative development instead of something to celebrate (early retirement for everyone!) is wealth concentration.


Quote
I want to strip the government of their power to hand out these favors. There's nothing that a big corporation likes more than rules and regulations that create barriers of entry to keep out compitition (or tax breaks, subsidies, etc.)

On the one hand, there wouldn't be any big corporations with out the existence of government.



On the other hand, if you have no government at all, but you have individuals with massively more wealth than anyone else, that wealth can buy power in the form of guns and personnel etc.   Government has a role to play - its just that it needs to be in counteracting the effects of wealth concentration, instead of encouraging it!
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1240 on: February 03, 2017, 11:06:33 AM »
Children share DNA with their parents, and are essential to allowing the genes to survive more than 80-90 years.
That makes them a special case.  The idea of "altruism" does not apply to ones own offspring.  For all intents and purposes, parent and child can be considered a single individual.  It doesn't make sense to try to determine who gets the "better" deal in a "transaction" between them, because (most, normal) parents consider any benefit to the child to be of value to themselves.
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1241 on: February 03, 2017, 01:26:46 PM »
Quote
Under a barter system, with no state intervention, there is no realistic way you are ever going to amass a million apples in the first place.
Your apple orchard will only contain as much land as you can personally defend.
This is my whole point about the difference between a free market and capitalism.

Having read your blog I am really trying to wrap my head around your vision and how it would work, what incentives it would cause and the potential outcome. If everyone owned only as much land as they can defend, would people be able to form partnerships/corporations? Without state intervention I think you would say they are allowed. Wouldn't the incentive be to going together to take advantage of the division of labor to become more productive?

Quote
perhaps we disagree on what constitutes "necessary".

The open ended fallacy is real. Everyone draws the line in the sand in a different place.

Quote
It is not "philosophical" at all, it is a simple example of what actually happens in real life:

This is where I have a hard time seeing your view. Why is it bad that Walmart is more efficient at delivering goods to customers?

Why is my senario not realistic? There is a general store down the street from my house and a Walmart <4 miles away. Not all stores close because of walmart, only the least efficient ones.

Quote
Corporate bonds are where the WalMarts get the capital to undermine smaller businesses.  In order to pay 4%, they have to be making at least 4% over costs - its just that money used to pay interest on debt isn't considered "profit" in neoclassical economics.

This is why I wanted to fine tune the definition of profit. Interest paid is a cost but interest recieved is profit? The would conflict with your view that people can still invest but without there being profit.

Quote
I don't know, maybe because that one company offered a 5% increase in what they were willing to pay, in order to gain the flea market monopoly?  Or maybe they just filled the waiting list with the names of every company partner and the market didn't know they were all really affiliated.  Doesn't matter how, the system allows for it to happen.

In part two of your blog you mention that the internet has largly increased the transparency of information so in todays day and age I don't see how they don't know they are affiliated.

That is beside the point. Even if people know that every vendor is the same but they don't care as long as they are getting the products they want for the prices they want, where is the issue?

If you mean no one will have the means to buy anything, there is an issue. If no one can buy anything, our producer can not sell anything and the price is $0.

Quote
assuming there is space next door, and anyone has the capital to clear and pave that space and set up tents and an office etc...


I think you underestimate the ability of people to work together. This is the real reason for corporations. Many individual people pooling capital reasorces to compete in the market and reduce individual risk. All our ousted renters could bind together and open a flea market.

Quote
Did you mean the opposite of what you said?  Under perfect competition (granted, rarely 100% possible) no one is able to make profit, because someone else will undercut them on price right down to the break even point (but obviously not further).

I meant what I said. Perfect market, no profits. I agree. In our situation, "every seller does better than break even". I call that profit, you call that salary but it doesn't matter if I am willing to work for less of a profit/salary. For example, say I am single you're are taking care of multiple people. I need less of a salary/profit than you do to survive. Eventually even our salary/profit goes to zero in a perfect market. What incentive do people have to even participate?

Quote
Well, or an oligopoly, which also benefits from government help - and which more or less describes the modern American economy.

Any benefits given to any corporation over another by the government is wrong.

Mail order catalogs were out competing independent retail before walmart even existed. Then the market began to change and big box retail became the most efficient structure. Now it is moving online. Thomas Sowell wrote an excellent piece on this transformation in Basic Economics.

Quote
But would you agree that granting and enforcing corporate charters is in itself a form of market distortion?

Yes they create market distortion. I think they are a vital part of how we have advanced to where we are today. Without the transfer of risk to the operators of the comany we would not enjoy the standard of living we do today.

Quote
My answer to your question is this: start small.

Your story is inspirational. My dad is a small buisness owner. 2 man crew.

While I understand what your vision is trying to do, from my research, what I have seen is that the proit/loss system accomplishes your goal much more than the government deciding who wins and looses, who gets loans and who doesn't, who is considered low risk and who isn't, who is a benefit to society and who isn't. A couple russian economists wrote about it during the Soviet era. If I can find the name of the book I will let you know.

Waht happens to a corporation after there time runs out? Do they have to shut down? I would like to understand that a little better.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1242 on: February 03, 2017, 01:35:55 PM »
Quote
Why do you think that's the case?  If capitalism is the system that should always be aimed for, why do you think it hasn't ever been implemented properly?

Million reasons, humans aren't perfect, people in power have a vested interest to keep it that way, etc.

Quote
Putting aside for a moment that there are a myriad of other factors that come into play beyond 'how capitalist' a countries economic system is . . . The standard of living for the poorest in countries like Norway, Denmark, Finland, etc. is higher than in Japan, the USA, and Hong Kong.

Based on what factors? The poor in the US have more square footage space than the average European.

Quote
This is a ridiculous assertion.

Left to their own devices, companies will use their wealth to hurt competition.  This is why there are anti-trust laws for virtually every industry.  Price-fixing, monopoly through mergers, rigging bids, market division, etc. are all common problems associated with significant wealth creation.  They are entirely caused by behavior of private companies in the free market.

How does this happen exactly? Once the rigging starts the bad actors allow more competition to enter the market. Once the prices are forced up marginal producers can now enter the market again. Think OPEC and shale.

Quote
In your ideal economic system there are no child labour laws?

Is there a duty of care that a parent owes a child?
If there is, then children are entitled to the fruits of the labour of their parents.  If there isn't, then what would you do with the abandoned children problem you've just created?

These are strawman arguments so I'm not going to waste my time. Where did I say no child labor laws?

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1243 on: February 03, 2017, 01:49:55 PM »
Quote
Although, still a better example than Hong Kong:

Your first link showing the statistics we can argue about all day. Household data doesn't home much water for me an well as income distribution data. They are snapshots in time and do not account for the number of household in each group or the change in households over time or the average age in each household or income group. All those things effect income distribution among many other. I see how people draw the conclusions they do from that data but I think they data doesn't say waht they think it does. Look at the U of M income data and it draws a different picture. They follow people through thier lifetimes.

Quote
Part of my point is that wages are suppressed by our system.  If the benefits of technology on productivity were distributed equally, you would make somewhere on the order of 2 to 10 times as much per hour.  So, if you make $50 an hour, and keep $37 (after taxes), but you would hypothetically be making $100 and keeping $75, then really you only own 25% of your labor, society owns 25%, and the capital class that controls your job owns 50%

Not if I think I am being fairly compensated. Waht they sell my work for is not my concern. They also most likely add value in other ways such as sales networks, distribution networks, etc.

Quote
I think this is the exact point where we fundamentally disagree.

I have to agree that this is where we disagree. How can you explain any new software being developed then. Facebook, Snapchat, Google, etc. All of them should have come from netscape or AOL based on your reasoning. They were the ones with capital back in the day.

Quote
On the other hand, if you have no government at all, but you have individuals with massively more wealth than anyone else, that wealth can buy power in the form of guns and personnel etc.   Government has a role to play - its just that it needs to be in counteracting the effects of wealth concentration, instead of encouraging it!


The same thing can happen under our apple senario. If I can get people to join together to divide labor, I will grow the apples and the other people guard the land. Boom I have a million apples.

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1244 on: February 03, 2017, 01:50:35 PM »
Have a nice weekend everyone. I'm taking the weekend off from the forums and will be back on monday. haha

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5313
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1245 on: February 03, 2017, 03:51:42 PM »
Children share DNA with their parents, and are essential to allowing the genes to survive more than 80-90 years.
That makes them a special case.  The idea of "altruism" does not apply to ones own offspring.  For all intents and purposes, parent and child can be considered a single individual.  It doesn't make sense to try to determine who gets the "better" deal in a "transaction" between them, because (most, normal) parents consider any benefit to the child to be of value to themselves.
Very interesting point. I may have to think about this, but I think I agree with the basic premise.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

MustacheMathTM

Bakari

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Oakland, CA
  • Veggie Powered Handyman
    • The Flamboyant Introvert
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1246 on: February 03, 2017, 03:57:43 PM »
would people be able to form partnerships
Yes.  Although probably not "limited liability" ones.  You want the benefits of pooling resources, you should be prepared to take on the risk as well.
Quote
/corporations?
No.  Corporations are fundamentally and dramatically different from partnerships, both in legal definition and in scale in practice. 
Quote
Without state intervention I think you would say they are allowed.
I find it impossible to imagine a realistic scenario in which thousands of people would be willing to lend resources to a remote and anonymous group of business people if there were no legal mechanism in place to enforce the promise of getting a proportional amount of the company's value back again.Real time commerce can exist without government intervention, and I may be willing to trust local folk with a promise of future payment for goods today, but something as large, abstract, and diffuse as a stock market just wouldn't happen.
Quote
Wouldn't the incentive be to going together to take advantage of the division of labor to become more productive?
I'm all for coops, worker owned collectives, and partnerships. 50% of households are lived in by the owner, and I'd like to see that at closer to 90%.  Similarly, I see no inherent reason that at least 50%, if not 90%, of workers couldn't have at least partial ownership of their workplace.
Quote
This is where I have a hard time seeing your view. Why is it bad that Walmart is more efficient at delivering goods to customers?
That depends on your goal.  If your goal is simply maximization of gross GDP for it's own sake, then it is not only not bad, it is very good.However, if your goal is to allow everyone in society to benefit from economic activity more or less equally, then it is bad because ultimately, through degradation of the local job market, wealth gets skimmed from the local community and concentrated in the hands of investors.That's the whole point of investing in stock, right?  That you get a percentage of every transaction.  How could that not effect the distribution of wealth that the transaction creates?
Quote
Why is my scenario not realistic? There is a general store down the street from my house and a Walmart <4 miles away. Not all stores close because of walmart, only the least efficient ones.

no, not 100%, but the links show that it is a pretty significant amount.  If 50% of shops close, and a single retailer then gets that 50% of market share, that is still a huge step toward oligopoly. 

Quote
This is why I wanted to fine tune the definition of profit. Interest paid is a cost but interest received is profit? The would conflict with your view that people can still invest but without there being profit.

 The way our system is set up, interest paid is considered a business cost, however I personally don't subscribe to that view.  If one chooses to use a loan as a way to expand faster than they can naturally, the cost they pay is for the privilege of out-competing those with less capital, it is not an inherent cost of having production.  I don't think they should be able to (for example) write that off gross income for tax purposes.

Interest received is unearned income.  I'm not sure where I gave the impression that I am particularly in favor of people earning unearned income.
Personally I'm not religious, but it is interesting to note that Jews, Christians and Muslims are all forbidden by the bible (or their version of it) from collecting interest on loans (Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:36).


Quote

That is beside the point. Even if people know that every vendor is the same but they don't care as long as they are getting the products they want for the prices they want, where is the issue?

"People" (customers) don't have a say in the matter.  The market vendor makes that call unilaterally.
Customers weren't consulted when, for example, some 40 media, communication, entertainment, and news agencies were turned into the single behemoth AOLTimeWarner.

Quote
I think you underestimate the ability of people to work together.
Well, again - in favor of partnerships, cooperatives, and collectives.


Quote
This is the real reason for corporations. Many individual people pooling capital resources to compete in the market and reduce individual risk. All our ousted renters could bind together and open a flea market.
But there comes a point where the only way to compete with the multi-national corporation is to become a multinational corporation.  So all the ousted renters form one giant company - now consumers have a total of 2 choices in town.  More than just one, yes, but still much less than the dozens or hundreds they had to begin with.

Quote
I meant what I said. Perfect market, no profits. I agree. In our situation, "every seller does better than break even". I call that profit, you call that salary but it doesn't matter if I am willing to work for less of a profit/salary. For example, say I am single you're are taking care of multiple people. I need less of a salary/profit than you do to survive. Eventually even our salary/profit goes to zero in a perfect market. What incentive do people have to even participate?
The theory holds that it will only go so low as what you could potentially make doing something else, so it would not go to zero.

Quote
Well, or an oligopoly, which also benefits from government help - and which more or less describes the modern American economy.

Any benefits given to any corporation over another by the government is wrong.
You misunderstood me - I mean that the very state of oligopoly would not exist without the presence of government, and its implicit promise to enforce - ultimately with force if necessary - the issued stock certificates.

Quote
Quote
But would you agree that granting and enforcing corporate charters is in itself a form of market distortion?

Yes they create market distortion. I think they are a vital part of how we have advanced to where we are today. Without the transfer of risk to the operators of the comany we would not enjoy the standard of living we do today.
Agreed, totally! 
I acknowledged the value our system provides to a developing economy, in raising GDP as fast as possible. 
The US today no longer suffers from a lack of caw wealth though, so it is time to change gears from "growth" to "sustainability".  Infinite growth is intrinsically not sustainable.


Quote
While I understand what your vision is trying to do, from my research, what I have seen is that the proit/loss system accomplishes your goal much more than the government deciding who wins and looses, who gets loans and who doesn't, who is considered low risk and who isn't, who is a benefit to society and who isn't.
My mistake, I know government tends to be a boogy man.  I was anticipating a direction that didn't happen.  Lets just say, for purposes of simplicity, that I'm suggesting a limit on ownership of means of economic production to that which an individual can directly manage - one location per owner, similar to my suggestion for land ownership of one person one parcel
(which has a nice ring to it, maybe someday I'll start a campaign.  Not exactly the right political climate at the moment...)

Quote
Waht happens to a corporation after there time runs out? Do they have to shut down? I would like to understand that a little better.
well, yeah.  Once whatever purpose they were created for has been accomplished.  Is there any particular advantage to society to have these entities - which have the rights of a human, distribute profits to specific humans, yet none of the humans can be held accountable for "its" (their collective) actions, and whose only motive is to make maximum money - to exist forever?  Not even actual humans get to live forever.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 06:02:39 PM by Bakari »
Anything I've said here useful or interesting?  Find a lot more of my thoughts here: http://randomthoughts.fyi

theadvicist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1109
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1247 on: February 08, 2017, 09:59:49 AM »
Article about trials in Sweden where they reduced the hours each person works, meaning more people are employed to do the same amount of work but everyone has more leisure time (participants were paid the same as before):

What really happened when Swedes tried six-hour days?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38843341

maizeman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
  • Location: The World of Tomorrow
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1248 on: February 08, 2017, 10:33:50 AM »
Interesting how there's a clear split described in that article.

Quote
"I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home.
"It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear,"

Thanks for linking to it!

In glummer writing from around the web (more glum?):

Quote
The best research to date indicates that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs are likely to be replaced by technology over the next 10 to 15 years, more than 80 million in all, according to the Bank of England.
... human disruption caused by the Industrial Revolution in Britain lasted 60 to 90 years, depending on the historical research. That is a long time for society to “right” itself, and lot of personal pain.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/coming-technology-will-likely-destroy-millions-of-jobs-is-trump-ready/2017/02/08/db97d8b4-ecb6-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html

"It’s a selective retirement," Richard explained, "a retirement from boring s**t."

My Journal

Pooplips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 394
  • Age: 30
Re: Robots and their impact on the future
« Reply #1249 on: February 08, 2017, 12:03:20 PM »
Bakari, Your points are well taken. I am still thinking about the whole idea of corporations and or not having corporations. That seems to be the main idea. Do you know of any countries that have instituted such a policy?

I also wonder what great future achievements we may lose by changing that structure and/or all the people we might help with those potential achievements? You agreed that changing that structure would slow grown and efficiency in the market.