I Am Robot … (Friend or Enemy?)

RobotRobots are news as they get attention. They will save us, destroy us or render us obsolete, depending upon whom one hears. Much the same was attributed to the horseless carriage before folks agreed to call it a car.

What is a robot? A propaganda term, seems to us. Machines have been replacing factory workers for decades; none called them robots until computers were attached. And they still do only relentlessly repetitive tasks. This was an inevitable result of using politics to force up wages beyond their intrinsic economic value. When illegal immigrants are cheaper, they will arrive. When machines are cheaper, they will be installed. It’s called: “economics.”

When the owners of capital must compete with cheaper overseas labor, they will seize upon whatever allows them to do so. Reality, anyone? And when the political donors need cheap labor and productive machines, the politicians will grease those skids to insure the contributions. Open borders via Presidential decree, right?

No doubt we will see ‘activists’ rising up against robots that “steal workers’ jobs” as employment of labor is replaced by employment of capital. No doubt either that the real culprit is reality, an unpleasant fellow. Quasi-educated, quasi-motivated workers who cost enough that machines to replace them are affordable, are suicidal, not as their politicians suggest, “entitled.”

It is ironic that the same politicians importing the cheap labor and using regulation to fore up production costs (healthcare, energy, etc.) are pushing wage increases upon their hapless suckers. Nor any wonder either that the average working man who once supported a wife and kids at home now needs her working contribution.

Too much of America’s middle class wealth is a result of political wage manipulation via unions; not enough is a result of economic productivity gains. Modern overseas competition clarifies that wonderfully in spite of politicians. World living standards must ultimately, average out. It will be more fun for those coming u from below in India and China than it will for those coming down from above in Europe and North America.

But don’t blame the robots, they just did as they were told. Better and with less complaining than people do that and cheaper. At bottom, people feel entitled to more than the market sees them as worth. That allows politicians an opening; we are just discovering that they cannot deliver what they have promised. Not a new discovery, either.

I am Robot; I have replaced you; now, starve. Do not complain; you made me.

About Jack Curtis

Suspicious of government, doubtful of economics, fond of figure skating (but the off-ice part, not so much) Couple of degrees in government, a few medals in figure skating; just reading and suspicion for economics ...
This entry was posted in Economics, Government, Robots and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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