Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mark Blyth ─ Global Trumpism

Another superb, highy articulate lecture from Mark Blyth.

Both Bernie and Trump lied, says Mark Blyth, the jobs are gone and won't be coming back. Automation and computers means that 10% of the world's population can create abundance for everyone else. Driver-less cars are coming where you will just ring up for a car. A superb analysis of modern economics and politics, it's not just about Trumpism. And Mark Blyth is all for the Basic Income.


Kristjan said...

I wonder if guys like him were around when industrial revolution happened? It is a naive argument that robots and automation take away jobs. Would Mark Blyth be happy with pre industrial revolution living standards? Probably not. This is where utopian leftists go astray.

Kaivey said...

Your should have watched the video. There will be plenty of work in the care professions, says Mark Blyth. It's a positive message, the working week can be reduced, this is where the right goes wrong, the 40 hours a week plus more protestant work ethic mantra.

Ignacio said...

It is a naive argument that robots and automation take away jobs.

No, it's a 100% correct statement. Automation has always destroyed jobs, always. And no, the jobs maintenance and design have create have NEVER made up for those jobs, ever.

Kristjan, indeed work gets reduced overall, but you can come up with many rent-extraction schemes to keep artificial work load up as well as new legitimate creative ways that add new value to society. We have endless creativity for that (both the good, and the bad way of creating new jobs). So yes, jobs are destroyed, and yes, other jobs may replace them, but not by necessity, but because that's what we do. New jobs get created because we cannot sit idle waiting for mana to fall of the sky, so new professions raise, as well as new bureaucracies to extract rents.

Think about how many bullshit jobs there exists for the sole reason of "make a living" and the real value added of those jobs. For example our life habits produce more jobs because they increase health and social issues etc. Then we got a growing government complex over the last century just to keep a continued state of chaos, warfare and global violence up.

A lot of jobs depend directly and indirectly on inefficient activity (and negative value added activity like all forms of violence) and increased bureaucracies, not because of necessity of work. Is pure stupidity.

Just 5% of the population working on agribusiness can maintain a way larger number of humans than 2 centuries ago (that's really very short time frame). Industry took the same path and it's getting there, then we have conundrum than supposedly we would get more 'services' and 'entertainment' industry to make up for all that, but at the same time keep increasing work loads? It's just not working out because the productivity gains are not being shared evenly across the population (a legitimate "leftists" concern).

We are not quite even there (not even close), but the necessity of "work" has been decreasing ever the last couple centuries at a very rapid rate, realistically speaking, denying it makes no sense, as well as the mainstream narrative that "automation does not take away jobs". It does, but there is nothing wrong with it, it's our failure to come with real solutions to that that is the problem.

No one realistically wants to go back to work in awful factories because "lack of jobs", what they want is more income and raising living standards, or at least not decaying ones. The work issue is completely besides the point.

Tom Hickey said...

Technology coupled with education increases productivity meaning "doing more with less," which Bucky Fuller called the fundamental principle of design science, the discipline that frees humanity from the necessity to labor. Let technology do it. Distributively, there is more than enough to create a material utopia on earth. The ideology is not there yet. What's needed is a shift in the general level of consciousness and the collective mindset. Fuller held that this would come not only with technological innovation but also raising the general level of education and improving the educational system, which is now centuries out of date.

Humanity is intelligent enough to develop the potential but not yet developed enough to use it to good advantage for the species as whole.

Kristjan said...

I almost wish they tried the universal basic income in some country. Automation and robots or not the slociety will collapse. Not the kind they are talking about in Finland, that is state wage subsidising project so the capitalists don't have to pay living wages, the state picks up the bill. And the planned universal basic income is not enough to live on in Finland. Liberals are for It. It is going to be more neoliberalism there because of It.

Calgacus said...

Yes, Kristjan. The only way that a UBI could possibly "work" is if it were complete playacting, if the money were given with one hand and taken away with the other. If money is to be anything at all like it has been historically, to have any function in trade, production, the division of labor etc, a UBI would quickly wreck these economic mechanisms.

If this kind of playacting counts, well then sure, I am for a UBI. I am also for, we should all be for, the UBI's close cousin, chattel slavery. We also need to support torture, murder, cannibalism, human sacrifice etc. We need to have good theater about such things.

The closest thing to real countries with a UBI have been small oil states. If you count most of the people - the non-citizens who don't get a UBI - as uhh, people, then they aren't the prettiest picture. What the UBI fantasists don't understand is that there is a reason for that. Real universal money income cannot work in any real world with human beings, no matter how many robots there are, if there is no Hilbert Hotel.

For theater / fiction about something like a UBI world, the great Stanislaw Lem's The Futurological Congress is the best I know of. His "psychem" is clearly the source of the Basic Income "thinkers" "thought".