Humans Need Not Apply

Pretty much why I hate the meme of ‘oh you’re homeless so you must be lazy and not wanting to do anything with yourself. Just because you can’t get a $60k job doesn’t mean you can’t go apply for a $30k or $20k one. Go to goodwill and get a suit then get a shower at a truck stop.’

Never mind the statistic (forgive me for not having it here) on percentage of homeless being either disabled or suffering psychological issues that keep them from holding down a job.

The grim fact is eventually we will hit a point where people will be unemployable because nobody wants human workers in that field.

It won’t happen tomorrow, or even next year, but it is going to happen. We need to figure out what to do when you get people that are skilled labor that are no longer wanted and entry level jobs that are seen as ‘my first job’ or ‘my desperate job’ are not there unless you know robotics well enough to be one of the five guys that roll from site to site to keep a franchise going.

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I think that this is mostly A Good Thing. It’s a forced deflation of that BS Calvinist work ethic which will make people think about work in more practical terms - “what exactly needs doing?”. The masses are fooled into the belief that being employed (ie used) is necessary and beneficial, this deepening the power imbalance between those who accumulate capital and the common person. Being a commodity in a market is already cynical and misanthropic, even when jobs and pay are plentiful.

Employers are about as desirable as having a pimp.


I completely agree with u that it be a good thing…its such bs how ppl are conditioned into working like a machine 8+hrs a day 5+days a week, to ultimately benefit someone else, stressing out how to pay ur bills n such, and being told u should be grateful for the opportunity to do so… it makes me sick, they over work ppl to keep them distracted n always to busy to relize the truth of the world they live in, that there just a slave nd definitely not free, only allowed the illusion of freedom…money is there god nd the elite is there master…ppl are just to clueless n ignorant to see it…I could go on n on, but ill just stop…



Trying to figure out how to deal with the idea of a lot of people being outmoded before there’s enough of a shift in the economy to accommodate. My more cynical side forward the idea some employers would high employment as good. ‘Oh you want benefits? Get out. I’ll hire another guy just like you that whines less about livable wages.’


Pretty much all large employers see high unemployment as a good thing, so long as there’s sufficient economic activity to keep sales going. Welcome to capitalism.

As to a solution…


This is an ideal, but then you have ‘oh we KNOW they have money we jack up the prices.’

You would need a highly regulated market with checks and balances in place to ensure there cannot be regulatory capture. I would say AI would be a step in the right direction so long as there is enough wiggle for ‘on the ground’ flexibility and whoever wrote the thing that had the AI grow/evolve in simulation didn’t have a ‘we want to show this will fail in the real world’ as their agenda.

I am not an economist so I have zero idea on how to tackle this. However at the same time I keep wondering why it isn’t a point of national convrosat

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Parts of the USA already have a universal income, BTW:

Runaway inflation does not appear to be a problem.


I think your point is good but I think there’s also a case to be made that some portion of workers become “outmoded” even without being replaced by machines. There is a natural level of unemployment, which for some may be cyclical but for others may be permanent, because when unemployment dips below that level, wages go up and employers are incentivized to invest in productivity increases instead of employing more people. It’s also worth noting that there are a lot of costs associated with being employable (home, travel, food, grooming), and if one falls below a certain level of solvency, it’s almost impossible to pull out of without some kind of assistance. Being mobile enough (both local transport and flexibility in living situation) to take a job where there is a job is high cost in itself. I short, the labor market is not responsive enough to shifts in the economy to ever really be able to provide a job for everyone when they want it.

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Rugged individual types, those Alaskans. :wink:


First, this isn’t really universal income - it’s a payout of state revenue surpluses, not intended as a replacement for working income. It’s a highly unusual quirk of a very conservative fiscal system, not a paradigm of socialism.

Second, it’s not much money. In the first year, it was $1000. It was about $500 for many years after that, and then it started to climb a bit. Sarah Palin did some voodoo economics to double the amount and I think at one point it was over $2000 annually, which for a family of four might have come close to $10,000. But keep in mind AK has one of the highest cost of living in the US - about 25% higher than the national average. So even $2000 isn’t going to make a big dent.

Finally, when the oil runs out, so does the AKPFD. It’ll only exist while the state is flush with oil, feeding a fund that will pay for government (maybe) when the oil runs out without having to impose additional taxes.

-AK expat (who was “in” when AKPFD first cut $1000 checks)


Retail stores don’t work that way. There’s no Scrooge lurking in a dark office plotting to raise prices on the very thing you want. Mostly, it’s a spreadsheet guy trying to balance the price of widgets vs the demand for widgets vs supply costs.

Prices do rise slowly in a healthy economy, and when you get to be my age you can remember when widgets were five for a dollar. This is a good thing. If prices fell, everybody would hoard their money, because its value is growing. If people don’t spend the economy goes to hell. This actually happened in Japan - it’s not just theory.

Republicans have always warned that giving money to the poor would spark runaway inflation and moral turpitude, except when a Republican is president. It’s not as big a problem as they think, and it’s a problem the Federal Reserve can handle.


The difference between me and them is I’ll at least occasionally admit I dont know, and I actually want this to succeed.

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