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On Robotics And The Scouring Of The Shire

03 December 2014 @ 14:32

Can you blame an American business owner trying to make a living under the Tyrannical conditions present today embracing a robotic workforce?

In the Comments section of a thought-provoking post by Richard Fernandez, commentator Gretz succinctly describes the advantages for the owner:

[Robots] don’t (yet) get knocked up, or have to dash off in the middle of the day when the school calls. Instead of a mandatory (and highly arbitrary) health care plan, they have service contracts that make financial sense. They don’t have retirement plans demanded by (and mismanaged by) a union, they have amortization schedules and minor disposal costs.

They don’t download porn and decide to blow millions on questionable travel expenses. Taking a bad unit out of service doesn’t risk having to pay off a lawyer, and then fund it for a $100k a year retirement.

Interesting that all of the union work will now become those people who wipe the robot’s butts for part time, while they’re turning out higher quality work for far cheaper, 24×7, no holidays, no riots, no work stoppages over petty crap. No contributions to democrat cronies. Wipe here. Oil here. Sweep there. We’ll call your temp agency if we need you back tomorrow.

Why would you want a belligerent, marxist union thug in your shop, if you can have a nice machine, instead?

No Mo Uro explores the main reasons this state of affairs came to be:

Many jobs have already been converted to robotic tasks. Many more will. In a market economy a job will only become a robot’s if the robot can do it better, cheaper, or both, than a person. By overpricing their labor, Western workers made replacement by robots much, much easier and viable economically. No businessman would invest in building and maintaining robots if humans were less expensive. The unions come in by using thug tactics to force a business to pay workers more than the actual value of their work absent government arbitrators who are biased towards unions.

The politics comes in when workers – through leftist politicians they elected – used the tax code and the alphabet agency clown farm regulatory thugs to oblige employers give them pay, either directly in the form of money, or indirectly in the form of occupational "safety" and "education" and "clean environment" the like.

Some jobs were going to be robotized no matter what. Some could have gone either way. Overpricing your labor will accelerate the first group and make the second vastly more likely. It’s really not that hard to understand.

This has NOTHING to do with computer generated entertainment or distractions and everything to do with economic systems. In a very real sense the Blue State model is accelerating its own demise by guaranteeing that its adherents convince themselves of the morality and practicality of pricing themselves out of the very job security that the Blue State model purports to uphold.

These owners are just trying to survive and, in the vast majority of cases, trying to provide for themselves and their families. The overwhelming number of them are not classified as Big Business. So I cannot blame them for doing what they can to workaround the situation they find themselves in, which is an ever-tightening and expanding Democratic / Fascistic Tyranny.

But, I can’t shake the feeling that something is being lost here, something that is a vital and key ingredient in the mix that makes up the pillars of a healthy and vibrant and free Society.

The Scouring Of The Shire proceeds apace, as the Leftist Hegemony grows stronger.

  1. 03 December 2014 @ 22:58 22:58

    Having worked for a company that facilitated automating businesses, I know first hand that many times, a partial or full automation solution was all that kept the business from relocating overseas in their entirety because of costs.

  2. Adobe_Walls permalink
    04 December 2014 @ 01:42 01:42

    Robots increase productivity. Increases in productivity make it possible for higher wages to be paid for those who’s workplaces utilize them. Keeping the robots working still requires people with at least minimal training in programming and mechanics. One doesn’t need a college degree to do this work.

  3. Shermlaw (RS) permalink
    04 December 2014 @ 09:17 09:17

    The hand wringing about automation proceeds from the faulty premise that jobs are a benefit to the employer in some fashion. They are not. They are a cost and any one with even a passing acquaintance with accounting can verify that fact. Creating a job is only benefit if the labor generated by the job generates more income than the cost of the job. (I’ve employed people. I know to the penny what a specific employee costs me. It’s about 1.5 times the number the employee sees on his paycheck, thanks to the effect of taxes on job creation and the myriad of regulations with which I have to comply.)

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of our political worthies are economic imbeciles. They talk about “job creation” instead of talking about value creation. And, thus, we find ourselves saddled with laws which require employers to pay more for workers than the value the workers add. Then they’re gobsmacked by the fact that business owners automate. It’s a win/win for the politicians, though. They keep their sinecures by maintaining a pool of the disaffected unemployed.

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