LaserGuy wrote:I think you kind of have the problem backwards. The problem isn't that we have achieved post-scarcity and haven't properly shared the benefits with everyone; the problem is that we aren't post-scarcity at all.
I hope I'm not putting words in withinboredom's mouth, but I don't think thats the problem at all.
It's a problem. Post-scarcity represents something much more radical than merely a fairly equitable distribution of goods and services...it represents a surplus of wealth. Everyone being equally poor is not post-scarcity, it's something else.
The problem is that we are consistently producing more and that the people who are the labor of that production are gaining very little (especially relative to the people with capital) despite that we are so much more productive. Labor itself is becoming less scarce.
In the sense that more people are being made, sure. But world population is predicted to cap out, then decline modestly. Civilization tends to handle population growth. So...an overabundance of labor isn't the issue. In fact, becoming more productive is not a problem...it's the solution. It's how you create more wealth from a given quantity of labor. To reach post-scarcity, you need that.
As we become more productive, and automate more things, we are entering a world where we need and want less jobs to sustain ourselves. While this isn't post scarcity per se it is certainly less scarcity for a lot of things other than just labor due to increases in efficiency through automation or other technology.
So as we aspire toward post-scarcity we will eventually, are already and will soon to a greater degree experience less scarcity and less required work to sustain ourselves. There is a valuable discussion to be had with ramifications that extend to ethical, political scientific, legal and technological levels on what we should do as we move forward.
Good. Less work being required for a given level of expenditure is a virtue. Perhaps people will choose to work less. Perhaps they'll choose(as they mostly have so far) to work the same and spend more. Either is fine.
I don't believe anyone has suggested a better idea than a Citizen's wage either a GMI/Basic Income (with some good arguments and specifics about the difference between GMI and Basic income) but realizing that goal is certainly going to be difficult for a lot of countries, especially the US.
Almost all ideas are better than deliberately trashing your economy because of an irrational fear of progress.
Star Trek DS9 explored an option in 1995 in two episodes
, where Earth created areas for the people we couldn't use to go live. Based on our political climate of most countries in the world today this seems o be a more likely occurrence than creating a Citizen's wage.
That's fiction. Also, those are not the only potential outcomes for society.
More than likely, the society of twenty years from now will look rather a lot like todays. Some elements will change, but in a fairly gradual fashion, much like in the last twenty. The sudden rise of technology in the form of computing was a big deal, to be sure, but despite the fears of alarmists, society did not melt down. We just all have awesome cell phones.
withinboredom wrote:No doubt new jobs are created, but then it becomes an issue of what happens to the workers that worked the now deprecated jobs? I don't see a 55 year old truck driver going back to school to learn automated driver babysitting technician (no offense to anyone), instead I see 5 just out of high schoolers getting that degree.
The job market is not quite so simple as that. Most likely the 55 yr old does something else that he's already got a touch of experience in. It's hard to get to 55 without doing a couple things. Shit, truck driving, as a career, has a stupidly high turnover rate(90%+, yearly, and there's a shortage of them). So, they'll go do something else. Just like they do right now.
We can talk about the specifics of why, but please watch this mediocre video on the problem and we can then discuss from there:Humans Need Not Apply
I have previously seen it. Mediocre is too kind. Yes, yes, people have panicked about this throughout all of history, have always been wrong, but this time, PANIC!.
Maybe this is really the time to buy gold and prepare for zombies, too, but I'm not gonna stress until they have actual evidence, and maybe some experience with the robots they worry so much about. Yes, baxter can mix drinks, okish, far slower than a person, as long as everything is set up predictably, for a very costly up-front investment. That's fascinating, and maybe it'll improve, but it's not cause for doom and glooming about the end of human employment.
A post scarsity world would make it possible for widgets to be made at effectively no cost, thereby cutting out the need for getting paid to make widgets. We are nowhere close to that world.
We are close to a world where one person can make their own widgets at home through 3D printing or where one person can make enough widgets for at least, millions of people.
Not really. I bought my first 3d printer a coupla years ago now. It's fun. Has many niche uses. However, despite quite a lot of hobbyist enthusiasm, none of the folks I know with one has stopped buying other stuff to any significant degree as a result. It's a glorious prototyping tool. It's not ideal cost-wise for manufacturing a great many things, and technologically, it sucks at making many things(electronics being a major one).
Again, the people panicking over this are the ones who are not entirely familiar with the actual things they are panicking over.
To achieve post scarcity, we must first make THINGS not scarce, not make money not scarce. And step 1 is energy.
Precisely. If the same quantity of things exist, but you have merely shuffled money around, that's just economic redistribution. You haven't actually made things non-scarce. Economics are important, but they're not magic.
Zcorp wrote:Things are becoming less scarce, and it isn't that we need a Citizen's wage of either type to achieve post scarcity. Instead the problem is that because we are increasing productivity so much we need less people to do the work my potentially and likely multiple orders of magnitude. This leaves us with mass unemployment. GMI or BI strive to solve the threat to the collapse of society in one of the most ethical ways.
How would you test this hypothesis?