Amazon opens first full-sized cashier-free grocery store in Seattle

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
Automation reduces the price of goods making more money available for consumers to spend on other things. These other things are, literally, the definition of a growing economy. There is no evidence that the economy would not continue to do this, which is what it has always done.
Yes. But it will be an economy for people with skills, education, and/or a certain level of ability. Low skilled jobs that don't require extensive education or abilities will be automated.

Not everyone have the ability or the time/money to get a degree in computer science or STEM, especially with our expensive university system. That's why UBI, job retraining, making education affordable, etc will be necessary in the future when those low skilled jobs are gone.
 
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RobertW

Posts: 21   +14
There is no evidence that low skilled jobs will disappear. For instance, many people prefer the checkout lanes where there is a human and they ignore the self checkout lanes.

What is happening is that with the prevalence of "government assistance programs" [SSDI, where a scammer can simply claim a disability to receive a check, can be treated as a model for how UBI would work.], there is a significant segment of society that have not learned a skill because they never needed to. UBI would reinforce this, creating a significant portion of people with the natural ability to become skilled but who are instead lazy and useless.

The UBI proponents make the same mistake that communists do - they ignore that human nature will always prefer leisure to work.
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
There is no evidence that low skilled jobs will disappear. For instance, many people prefer the checkout lanes where there is a human and they ignore the self checkout lanes.
That is actually evidence that the majority of low skilled jobs will disappear. In these automated self checkout lanes, they replaced 10 human checkout people with a single person manning the self checkout lane and maybe 1 or 2 people with the regular check out lane.

What is happening is that with the prevalence of "government assistance programs" [SSDI, where a scammer can simply claim a disability to receive a check, can be treated as a model for how UBI would work.], there is a significant segment of society that have not learned a skill because they never needed to. UBI would reinforce this, creating a significant portion of people with the natural ability to become skilled but who are instead lazy and useless.
First, you're missing a key benefit of UBI. Nobody needs to falsely claim they are disabled or pretend they are are poorer because there are not any of these types of requirements to get UBI. It's literally supposed to be available to anyone no matter someone's physical ability to work or income....so nobody needs to scam the government by claiming a condition they don't have. You get the same 10k if you are disabled and make 20k a year, or if you work 80 hours a week at a big law firm and make 160k a year.

Second, UBI is [presumably] supposed to replace welfare, so it would actually encourage people to work. The current welfare system discourages people from working because it cuts off benefits if they reach a certain level of income. Thus, people are incentivized to reject extra hours of work and keep their income just below the threshold of income that allows them to keep their welfare/govt benefits.

With UBI, there is no incentive against working because they get the same UBI regardless of whether they work 20 hours making 20k or work 80 hours making 80k.

The UBI proponents make the same mistake that communists do - they ignore that human nature will always prefer leisure to work.
No, the proposed UBI isn't going to stop people from working because it's not going to be enough to live on and won't be remotely enough to allow people to live in leisure. The current proposed UBI of 10k a year is an income level that is below the poverty line and is near impossible for someone to live on without another source of income like a job.

The UBI of 10k a year is just an income supplement that won't even be enough to cover a year's rent in most places. It's not remotely enough to allow people to live leisurely.

And as stated above, a UBI that replaces welfare would encourage people to work more, because the current welfare system discourages people to work because it cuts off their welfare benefits when the person reaches a certain income level. If UBI replaced welfare, people would work harder if they want to achieve a "leisurely lifestyle."
 
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RobertW

Posts: 21   +14
Not in my experience. I see self checkout lanes being used as little as possible.

More things the UBI proponents ignore: 1. The US fedgov is drowning in debt and not only doesn't have the resources to distribute, is running far into the negatives for all the programs it was entrusted to administrate. 2. Every social program starts off with "I promise it will only be a little (in the case of this discussion $10k), but once the machinery of taxationtheft is in place, the rates are increased and increased. This happened with personal income tax and now the fedgov directly taxes people as much as they can bear and uses the money to coerce state governments to do its will. UBI will be no different. 3. Distributing a set amount to each person will devalue money and increase the cost of goods a proportionate amount, thus forcing an even larger distrubution to make up for the lost value. 4. Free cheese always attracts mice. There are billions of non-skilled people in other countries that would flood our borders with their hands out and mouths open, and the system would crash, much like the current system is in the middle of doing.

Messing with the free market rarely ends up in a better system. But meddlers just can't stand to let systems self organize. Don't let your fears control you.
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 234   +322
Not in my experience. I see self checkout lanes being used as little as possible.
That doesn't disprove my point. While shoppers prefer to use people, that hasn't stopped companies from replacing most people with self checkout. You might see people avoiding self checkout lanes when they're given an option, but you're also seeing the stores getting rid of most of their regular checkout workers and replacing many of them with automation.

More things the UBI proponents ignore: 1. The US fedgov is drowning in debt and not only doesn't have the resources to distribute, is running far into the negatives for all the programs it was entrusted to administrate.
UBI opponents who bring up the debt as a counter ignores the fact that the federal government is drowning in debt primarily because of large tax cuts have gutted federal revenue, followed by secondary factors such as some spending increases and random unnecessary expenses such as the Iraq War invasion.

Look at the history of US fed govt debt by year. The Federal debt was around 30% of the GDP in the 1970s. Large tax cuts combined with spending increases in the 1980s increased that debt to 50% of the GDP by the 1990s. A recession then caused it to hit 60s%. Clinton was able to stabilize the debt and bring it down from 60s% to mid 50s%. Then George W. Bush cut taxes and got us into a few wars and extended occupations, causing the debt to spike from mid 50s% to 70s% of the GDP. Then the biggest recession since the great depression hit, and combined with Obama's stimulus spending + bailouts, increased the debt from the 70s to 100% of the GDP. Then Trump added another 10% to the debt within 3 years with his tax cuts and more spending during a time of economic boom. The levels of lowest federal debt corresponds with years when tax rates were higher, while the higher levels of federal debt corresponds with years of lower taxes (see my paragraph on tax rates below).

Bill Clinton created almost a decade of budget surpluses and balance budgets and reduced the national debt after Reagan's tax cuts + spending increases raised the debt. Clinton was able to do this because he INCREASED taxes and CUT spending during an economic boom.

Clinton is following proper Keynesian economics of managing debt - austerity during booms and stimulus during recessions. The current political party that is historically supposed to care more about the national debt has stopped caring and instead has increased the national debt significantly with both tax cuts and unnecessary spending/stimulus during boom years. How the hell did [fake conservative] Trump increase the national debt by 4 trillion dollars in 3 years when we've been in a historical 10 year economic growth period? That is a feat of bad policies by itself.

2. Every social program starts off with "I promise it will only be a little (in the case of this discussion $10k), but once the machinery of taxationtheft is in place, the rates are increased and increased. This happened with personal income tax and now the fedgov directly taxes people as much as they can bear and uses the money to coerce state governments to do its will. UBI will be no different.
1) That is incorrect because historically, taxes have both gone up and gone down - it has not "increased and increased." The current personal income tax is among some of the lower percentage levels historically speaking.

Look up the history of tax brackets in the US. It was something like 77% in 1918 during WW1, then dropped to 20s something percent in the 1920s, then went up to 60% during the 1930s, and peaked out in the 90s% during WW2. During the Cold War, the tax top bracket was up to 70% before dropping to 50% near the end of the Cold War. The current top tax bracket of mid 30s percent is actually pretty low historically speaking, especially considering the US has two or three wars/occupations going on.

2) Furthermore, taxation arises from the actions of representatives elected by and acting with consent of the governed who make their wishes known via voting. If you don't want taxes, then vote for someone who won't raise taxes on you. If your candidate loses, you can honor the democratic process or you can move out of the country. If the voters elect representatives who have policies that include taxes, then no, it's not theft. Taxation is only theft if taxes are forced upon the people who have no way to oppose its implementation via voting for elected representatives.

3. Distributing a set amount to each person will devalue money and increase the cost of goods a proportionate amount, thus forcing an even larger distrubution to make up for the lost value. 4. Free cheese always attracts mice. There are billions of non-skilled people in other countries that would flood our borders with their hands out and mouths open, and the system would crash, much like the current system is in the middle of doing.
1) Inflation does not increase at a 1:1 ratio with increases in wages or disposable income. Look at Norway or Sweden for example. Even though they both countries don't have a formal minimum wage, the entire country is unionized with national unions, and there is an informal minimum wage of something like $14-$15 an hour for the lowest paid adult workers. McDonalds cashiers make like $14 an hour in Sweden. Unskilled laborers can make like $20 an hour depending on the job. That is 2x-3x the US federal minimum wage, yet the cost of living isn't 2x-3x that of the US. According to cost of living comparisons, Sweden only has a 5% higher cost of living index and Norway has a 32% higher cost of living index compared to the US.
https://www.worlddata.info/cost-of-living.php

And some prices aren't even that different. The Big Mac Index actually says a Big Mac in Norway costs roughly the same as a Big Mac in much of the US.

2) The point of UBI is for when there literally won't be enough jobs for people even when they want jobs. Automation is already replacing low skilled jobs, and is about to replace the huge trucking industry, and there is software that is beginning to replace white collar jobs in the field of law and accounting. At that point in the future, we will have a large underclass of disgruntled, jobless people. Personally, I would rather have everyone have a good paying job...but that's unlikely because robots are getting smarter and better at doing things.

3) Furthermore, the current proposed UBI is specifically intended to replace many other social programs, so it's not supposed to be entirely funded on new taxes any ways.

4) The border issue is irrelevant because UBI is supposed to be only for citizens. I have not heard of UBI being given to non-citizens such as legal immigrants, and especially not to illegal immigrants as the later isn't even supposed to qualify for welfare.

Messing with the free market rarely ends up in a better system. But meddlers just can't stand to let systems self organize. Don't let your fears control you.
The market has never been totally free in reality, only on paper. There has always been some type of intervening interest or government support for large sectors of the industry.

If it wasn't for massive federal subsidies and regulatory laws funneling money into certain industries, much of the corn farming ethanol industry would collapse because the entire system is inefficient and would never survive in the market on its own. If it wasn't for lucrative defense contracts where companies can overcharge the department of defense for taxpayer money, companies like Lockheed or Northrop would be far smaller or wouldn't exist. And those companies a revolving door policy where they give senior DOD members lucrative jobs upon retirement - which encourages DOD members to award them contracts. The US has had billions in subsidies to the oil industry for decades, and this doesn't even include the US govt buying oil for its petroleum reserves or building car-centric roads and highways that encourage car ownership rather than walking, biking, and public transit. The US govt gives tens of billions in housing subsidies every year that helps the construction industry. None of this stuff is free market.

You talk about self organization - if we were to let private systems self organize, then almost our entire country would be unionized like in the Nordic nations. Yet some states/local governments are suppressing private union organization at the behest certain interest groups. Unions are a natural part of market economies, and they are the natural counter balance to businesses. Yet instead of encouraging them like in the Nordic countries, our govt is often one sidely working against them. How is that free market?

Furthermore, if we are to compare UBI vs the current massive business subsidies and welfare programs, UBI actually seems more free market. UBI is giving people money gathered from taxes to spend as they choose to purchase products/services from the market. That is less of an intervention in the market than subsidizing companies with taxes and additional tax breaks...thus propping up inefficient businesses that couldn't survive on their own abilities with medicore business practices.
 
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