US Will Be Hit Worse by Job Automation Than Other Major Economies

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,004
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    A new study claims that robots could steal 40% of US jobs by 2030. Obviously, the US isn’t the only country affected by automation, but it will be the most hard hit due to the majority of positions involving routinized tasks that can be easily performed by artificial bodies. Here is another article that lays it all out with bar graphs.

    Nearly 40 percent of jobs in the U.S. may be vulnerable to replacement by robots in the next fifteen years, according to a new study by the research firm PwC. Other major advanced economies have fewer jobs at risk. The study estimates that 30 percent of jobs in the United Kingdom could be threatened by technical advancements in automation from AI and robotics, compared to 35 percent in Germany and 21 percent in Japan. The U.S. has a higher percentage of jobs under threat by automation because more workers in the U.S. are employed in positions that require routinized tasks, like filling out paperwork.
     
  2. SticKx911

    SticKx911 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,198
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Great reason for me to stay in the maintenance field. All those robots will break at some point. ;)
     
    Talyrius, Nobified[H], mullet and 3 others like this.
  3. Lith1um

    Lith1um 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,829
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    "Woe to you, oh Earth and sea, for the Devil sends the Beast with wrath
    Because he knows the time is short
    Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the Beast
    For it is not a human number, its number is x and Eighty Six"
     
    Nobified[H] likes this.
  4. Riptide_NVN

    Riptide_NVN [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,813
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Once a huge percentage of the work force loses their jobs due to automation and efficiency.

    How is that going to effect the purchasing power of the customer base for all the products these companies produce?
     
  5. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    2,042
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    good, if you force people to get an education, then we may just evolve as a species.
     
  6. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,545
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    i'm getting into buying and selling junk. But the trick is to be adaptable. Learn what needs to be filled and fill it.
     
  7. alxnet7227

    alxnet7227 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Self repairing self replicating robots using biomass for fuel is the inevitable future. Mankind is doomed.

    This is also the reason there are no advanced alien civilisations. At some point all advanced civilizations are killed by their robot overlords.
     
  8. BETA.

    BETA. 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,906
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Let the robots do the menial, monotonous jobs. We need to put people on UBI so they're not worrying about basic needs and encourage them to pursue higher education and pursue creative and innovative ventures.
     
    the901, Lith1um and buzzbomb like this.
  9. travisty

    travisty Gawd

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    As this happens we just need to move away from our current economic model is all. Guaranteed income is more then likely the best solution.

    Even with Keynesian economics we should be working a fraction of what we are now (like 20 hours a week) but it's the greed of the wealthy that continues the current trend.

    How can Guaranteed income work? Tax wealth (total wealth, not income). Most would not pay this tax, instead it is the wealthy that make 7-8% on their investments (opposed to the 2-3% the rest of us can hope to make).

    Another fun fact, combine all income made in the US then divide it evenly among all wage earners and every could be making $200,000 a year. The best part? There'd still be money left over to pay the 1% a few million each.

    This has a wealth of information on, well, wealth
    https://xkcd.com/980/huge/#x=-5975&y=-2410&z=6
     
    Talyrius, the901, Nobified[H] and 4 others like this.
  10. alxnet7227

    alxnet7227 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Human nature dictates most will take the path of least resistance. Meaning foregoing the effort of higher education and just getting on the government dole. Good luck forcing anyone, especially politicians from giving out freebies to freeloaders.
     
  11. Blakestr

    Blakestr [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,756
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    The rate of change was too much for our American culture. It used to be that, if there were no jobs available, you swallowed your pride and applied at McDonalds. That's becoming less and less the 'solution' today, especially with the cost of living. UBI is a start but we need to all start thinking, as a culture, how do we handle this 'transition' to Utopia. Because that's actually what it is shaping up to be; machines doing all the 'work." The problem is, I honestly have no idea what this culture would be; the cynical parts of me say that 80% of people would be lazy, netflixing binging morons aka Idiocracy, and only a small minority would push envelopes and pursue discovery. And again, how do you manage this transition? Capitalism got us here but what is the end point?
     
    GoldenTiger, EODetroit and BETA. like this.
  12. exlink

    exlink [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,375
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    I'll be damned if by 2030 the majority of robots and automation won't be able to repair itself to further increase efficiency and reduce costs. I'm sure some major breakdowns would require human intervention; but I'd be willing to bet the majority of small to moderate issues will be self-repairable.

    That's why I'm glad I'm in the project management sector of medical research. As long as there are regulations worldwide required to approve medication and healthcare treatments - I'll always be in a job. (y)
     
  13. buzzbomb

    buzzbomb Gawd

    Messages:
    594
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.
     
    MisterClean likes this.
  14. -Strelok-

    -Strelok- [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,002
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    This isn't mass effect.
     
    tetris42 likes this.
  15. alxnet7227

    alxnet7227 [H]Lite

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    You'd need government price control too. If everyone makes $200k minimum, a loaf of bread will be $200. Of course with price control you'll see a collapse of the free market. So uncle sam starts running our markets handing out government bread & cheese.

    This economic model has worked great in other countries.
     
    tungt88 and TrailRunner like this.
  16. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Science fiction has looked into "basic income" for generations. This is significant because odd as it sounds those old "scifi tropes" are usually fairly accurate for how the real world responds to things.
    TLDR version is however that BI schemes are gamed and end up being terrible for the average person.

    The only way an automated work free society works is if its individual controlled and not company or government controlled. At that point it just becomes a tool extension and we go back to the 10s-50s(and earlier) when every new idea sparked an entirely new industry verses a static system which only provides needs and determines who can afford what and where their place is in the system based on luck of education and geography.

    All that said anyone who didn't see this coming in the 60s was blind. Tools always build better tools. The dream was always to build tools that don't need us to work.
     
  17. travisty

    travisty Gawd

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    That's just Communism that you're talking about and quite the jump to get there :rolleyes:. I am not advocating everyone be given 200k, I just used that as an example of how much money is out there.

    If everyone had a guaranteed income of 30k a year, basic needs would be taken care of. The free market - the one supplied by robots - will still be there - more or less - as there will still be multiple companies offering bread. If one chooses to sell at $200 no one will buy it. If they all collude to raise the price, the government steps in - as it does now - and fines them and forces them to no longer collude.

    Guaranteed income is also not counter to libertarianism either, in fact it supports the basic ideals, as it allows people the freedom to do what they want and buy what they want. If they want to start a new business they can with much less risk than today. If they want to splurge on something they can more easily. It gives more power to the individual.

    There will still be a drive for people (not all of course) to make more money and that's the drive for luxuries - like the newest gadgets for example
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
    GoldenTiger, EODetroit and BETA. like this.
  18. BETA.

    BETA. 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,906
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Are you referring to a barter-like system? I could see that happening in a new utopia - with the advent of 3D printing and of course automation, imagine your neighbor coming up with a badass schematic for a new drone and you and a few other thousand people want it. He could upload the schematic for free, for a cost or for trade. Then whoever has the schematic can 3D print the parts and have robots put it together and voila. This concept can be applied for locally grown food, electronics, clothes etc... all you really need is the raw materials.
     
  19. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

    Messages:
    6,261
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    I'll never have to worry about not having a well paying job in my lifetime. Hell, as technology has advanced in machine control, the more in demand us industrial machine maintenance technicians become.
     
  20. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Heaven forbid the USA transitions its workforce to the jobs that require creativity and can't be automated, before every other economy does it!
     
  21. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    28,427
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    I feel like people are being silly not getting educations and then complaining that they don't have jobs.

    We have long since moved on to a knowledge economy. The expectation of being able to make a living without a degree is what is the problem.

    We need to get it to the point where 100% of everyone gets degrees.
     
    shansoft likes this.
  22. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,445
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Why does it matter?

    For example, lets say that aliens came and used some super laser weapon on the continent of Africa, with a population of 1.2 billion... would it really affect the world economy? Not really. The United States by contrast has a population of only around 300 million, and yet the world would shutter if US purchasing power changed.

    It only takes a small minority to continue purchasing products, more products than say the average Indian peasant, to support an economy. And the robots are creating "wealth", the question is who is the wealth going to go to. If automation is creating wealth for just a handful of people, that's great for them, as they will be able to live like Gods, but not so great for everyone else.
     
  23. Xrave

    Xrave [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,048
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Until the robots start repairing robots.
     
  24. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,445
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    But that doesn't mean anything. Stupid people are stupid, whether or not they have a masters in "gender studies" or "philosophy", and everyone having a degree means everyone can pass, and then there's no distinction about who is and isn't above average intelligence and capabilities, creating an inflationary effect that makes a college degree meaningless.

    The important thing to remember is that automation isn't just handling "dumb" tasks, but is getting smarter and smarter everyday. Before long, the machines will match the intelligence of the average person, and then what?

    Besides, how much complicated and creative decision makers are really required? The world population is exploding exponentially, but do we really need 7 billion people all trying to be managers... managers of whom? How are they all going to contribute in meaningful creative decision making ways?
     
  25. Crosshairs

    Crosshairs Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    23,762
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    I disagree. I think we already have enough young people with useless degrees and more student debt than they can handle. People need to learn how to make a living with their hands. They may never be rich, but they will also probably never be out of work.
     
  26. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

    Messages:
    6,261
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013

    I'm an example of this. I have a certificate, and Ill never be out of work. The way the year is going, I'm set to gross 91k. I work with my hands and my brain, and I love it.
     
  27. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

    Messages:
    11,682
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    what a monumentally stupid idea.

    do you think once the government taxes that wealth that you will be receiving it?

    you will not.

    oh, and if you make 2 % on your investments, lets just say you are the very last person that should be offering economic advice.
     
    kju1 and alxlwson like this.
  28. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    28,427
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000

    But that is what this thread is about.

    Jobs involving doing things with your hands are either going to low cost nation's or being replaced by robots.

    These jobs only exist in a fraction of the quantity they did inthe past today, and as time goes on they are only going to become e more and more rare.

    Counting on a life of doing things with your hands today is planning for a life of destitution.


    Ignorance is a bigger problem than outright stupidity, and ignorance is one we can solve through education, but it will need a renewed focus (and MUCH larger budget) from kindergarten and on.

    And yes, there are lots of degrees which are not so marketable in the job market. I'm of course not suggesting those are the solution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  29. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

    Messages:
    6,261
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013

    Check out all the unfilled industrial maintenance jobs. Trade schools can't pump technicians out fast enough to keep up with the demand(and increased automation).
     
    tungt88 and Crosshairs like this.
  30. travisty

    travisty Gawd

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    I would highly recommend you read Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. It explains economics through history and how the last half-century was an exceptional time (not the norm). It will help you realize what I am saying and better comprehend what has, is, and will happen. Big hint: Trump's promised 3-5% growth is impossible

    https://www.amazon.com/Capital-Twen.../ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
     
  31. Crosshairs

    Crosshairs Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    23,762
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    You cant outsource plumbers, electricians, HVAC installers, and many other jobs..you also cant replace them with robots.

    These jobs pay quite well for those who are not afraid of hard work and also chose to become proficient in them.

    Thats because most of those kids with useless degrees think this work is beneath them...hell, many of them were probably told is was....meanwhile, they cant find work and cant pay back their loans.
     
    GoldenTiger and alxlwson like this.
  32. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

    Messages:
    11,682
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Piketty has been debunked.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pik...ome..69i57.14562j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
    http://ww2.cfo.com/the-economy/2015/03/economist-piketty-backtracks-inequality-theory/
    http://dailysignal.com/2015/02/18/economic-research-refutes-piketty/
     
  33. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    It is an outright fallacy that you can educate an entire population. So many factors contribute to why this is just not possible.
    You also cannot create any society where 100% of it is in a creative or science field. This is entirely impossible due to competition, repetition, and cultural limitations.

    You cannot apply an ideal of your own logic subset to every person. This is a major flaw in people of todays world. Primates are inherently broken and every single human will look at and process information differently.

    There is also a huge myth that robots can do everything. Nano-machines are not going to instantly print your food for you. Thats hundreds of years down the pipe. The best we can get in the near term is protein paste globbed together with a tasteless binding agent that looks like a beef steak. The jobs being replaced will outmote a large portion of the work force which is not going to be retrainable due to several factors.

    Is this a major issue for a country that requires a tax based system on its population to function? Oh hell yes. It has the risk of causing a cascade failure of our economy. Can you fix it with fairy dust and dreams? No. Can you fix it by stopping progress? No. Can you try to hybrid the two until our children fill the gap and expand into new economies? Yes.
     
  34. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Except this is a bigger problem than that. Say 10% more jobs open up requiring higher education are filled by a workforce retraining. Well if you're losing 40% due to automation, that still adds to economic chaos and societal instability.

    You mean like ISPs? And printers? And eyeglasses? Our government is largely bought and paid for by big money interests nowadays. Maybe it would step in, maybe it wouldn't. It's not a guarantee. This is mostly moot point though, since I see it as practically a political impossibility to get UBI implemented in the US anyway. It's just so far beyond the scope of how our politicians are thinking.

    This actually would address about half of my criticisms of libertarianism (environmental protection being the other) in that many libertarians seem to have no problem with people starving in the street or just have cult-like faith that no one will be so poor that can't afford basic needs due to market magic and charities, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. If everyone actually had guaranteed means of meeting their basic needs, that puts things in a very different perspective.
     
  35. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2015
    Everyone having money eventually becomes everyone has a million dollars and no one can afford bread.

    If you use money as an equalizer the price of goods shifts naturally. If you supply a item however it has a fixed value in what you can or cannot do with said item.

    I.E. 1 loaf of assured bread per week per person is more valuable over time than 5 dollars to buy said loaf.
     
  36. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Your first article quotes the Heritage Foundation for god's sake. Oh yeah, they're a real oasis of knowledge and never skew the data to always fit their criteria. Total objectivity, those guys. If you look at what they're saying, they ignore some prime counter-arguments. I particularly like how they argue AGAINST high wealth concentration breaking down democracy. After all, we've never had better representation of the common people and not the rich in America, right? Big money simply can't buy influence in Washington can it? Our democracy is stronger than ever!

    Your second article makes a better point in that Piketty's prescription may be flawed. That could very well be, it seemed a bit simplistic to me also. It says nothing about debunking his analysis however, two different things.
     
  37. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,102
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Lets step back a minute here.

    Can we agree that the population in America of today is more educated then the population of America 100 years ago? Do you think the people of today, the middle to lower class, know more about technology today then the people of the same class 100 years ago? Yet, nothing has changed. Why?

    America may not have "nationalized" education, but on most indexes the United States rates pretty high on education. The countries that are "superior" have DRASTICALLY smaller populations and more importantly have a very different ideology about the freedoms of it's citizens. Australia is one of the largest highly educated countries on lists and they are not even 1/10th the size of America. For a country like America to be so bold about choosing your own destiny, it appears many Americans do the right thing....there just happens to be about 100 million of them that don't. You talk about certain countries in Europe as being great....but what about the ENTIRE EU? That's a more fair comparison. The EU has about double the population of America, but you see that some countries are really good and some are really shitty and a bunch are right in the middle. That's America.

    Which is more important? Being educated enough to not be a dumbass or having the right to be a dumbass? It's a real question. And it's question that few want to answer in a calm rational conversation.

    Let me put this hypothetical out there. Lets say everyone in America went to college. It was mandatory. Everyone got degrees in highly advanced sciences and management and a bunch of other great subjects. How does that change the real world that we live in? Does the ratio of managers to entry level workers change? Do we not need hamburger flippers anymore? Do we not need sales people at Best Buy? Or roofers? No, of course we still need these job positions. So what do we do? Do we fill them with over qualified workers or do we import unskilled labor from other countries? What do you think happens to someone who is trained to be a rocket surgeon (you know they exist!) yet ends up being just a common worker in sales their whole life? Is it any coincidence that Iceland has such a wonderful education system, yet also has a higher suicide rate then America? I don't know, no one seems to want to talk about the side effects of putting your goals too high.

    I know you guys think the world is changing and that we are all going to die. But, relax, mankind has been dealing with this since the beginning of time. What ever dystopian reality you are being sold is not going to happen....and I can safely say that using history as my proof. Things will change for sure, but humanity will adapt, as it always has. There is always going to be poverty and life is always going to be unfair so long as we use the economic system that exists now (to which an alternative has not been invented yet).
     
    GoldenTiger likes this.
  38. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    See I would argue trick question: Everyone having the right to have food and shelter, no matter how smart or dumb they are.

    You're right, we absolutely can adapt. There are plenty of historical examples, like say Germany after WWI, when they got completely crippled financially. They did a FANTASTIC job at adapting and everything worked out.
     
  39. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,102
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    You are on to something with this......but flesh it our more. What purpose is money serving in your example? If you freeze the value of money, then it's not money. How does money get value? You recognize that money is the problem, but the concept of money is so ingrained in your mind that you try to come up with a solution that includes it somehow.
     
  40. travisty

    travisty Gawd

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    :)

    There will be posts to everything if you Google for it. Read what they're actually arguing. r > g is false because Picketty said it was - some other articles go into the data which I'd understand because I'm sure some of the data points were misrepresented as there was so much.

    r > g is saying when rate of return (r) is greater than growth (g) then inequality rises.

    That is his big point in the book but notice I never mentioned this and what I said previously was not based off r > g as I never totally agreed with it - as it's too simple - which is what piketty agreed with when he was asked about it and to which the second link talks to. This is no way undermines his entire book through. When he said he did not "believe that r>g is a useful tool for the discussion of rising inequality of labor income: other mechanisms and policies are much more relevant here, e.g. supply and demand of skills and education." That's completely true as he never made the argument that it was a good tool for labor income - this model more applied to the wealth of the rich as any laborer is stuck in the 2-3% rate. That middle link's sources are totally off the mark and clearly the people never read his book :rolleyes:

    Again, look for an uneducated argument and you'll find it. A lot of blowhard on the internet.

    Also where are these sites getting their information? No links at all. Capitalism had nearly (iirc) 100 pages of references so anyone could look at the data themselves. If anyone wants to refute any points they need to do the same.

    So far the only paper i've found that seems credible (wasnt even from that google search you linked) is https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2543012

    Edit:
    Yes i did see the third link sited a Heritage Foundation study. The Heritage Foundation, like any think tank left or right, cannot be used as a source as any think tank is way to bias to be reputable