Robots aren’t stealing jobs: truth behind claim scaring pants off our graduates

Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning writes that the older generations are scaring youngsters unnecessarily over automation. I hope Ross is correct. The main headline says, “Robots aren’t stealing jobs: truth behind claim scaring pants off our graduates.” I wonder if that means our young people will move from really productive, satisfying jobs in manufacturing to selling coffee to each other or working in nail salons. I’m not sure if that is as satisfying. Of course, no one can know the future for sure, but I still stand by the fact that just about every problem we have in the world today is going to be harder to fix with more people. More importantly, one day you eventually have to stop growing. To read the article click here


  1. Robots aren’t stealing jobs unless we let them. I think the whole economic model needs a rethink as jobs alone can’t be relied upon to distribute wealth and resources. Even without robots we haven’t needed full employment, or else we would have it. Full employment has been a thing of the past for more than 40 years, certainly all of this century. A well respected economist (who I can name privately) tells me otherwise! Which planet was that one from? This one’s called Earth!

    Since the well off will never feel responsible for sharing wealth adequately, and taxing them is futile if they hide their income overseas, we may simply have to print more money! Very extreme, but money is invented as a way of distributing goods and services anyway, it’s no longer of any value directly since we dropped the gold standard. All our money is face value, a $20 note costs 5 cents to make.

    So how will we distribute it if jobs are no longer for al (or no longer paying well enough for many)? A universal basic income (UBI). We had a form of it in 2009 with the “Kevvy cash” $900 payment during the GFC back then. We were hardly in need of it back then, but Kev was keen to please so he ‘gave’ us a present (it cost $10 billion).

    But wouldn’t it devalue the $A? Sure to a bit, but why worry? We have one of the most highly valued currencies in the world, it’s why imports are so cheap for us we shut our makers instead of propping them up with subsidies, like we did in the past. Farmers always worry about our dollar being too high for their O/S customers to pay for their produce, and it would make us a great (cheaper) place to visit.

    The high $A is a reflection of artificial scarcity (release less dollars). It’s yet another tool for the well off to keep their wealth massive.

    That well known economist I mentioned before told me we don’t need a UBI because we have welfare. But welfare costs much to administer (nearly have the welfare budget is spent on that), and welfare is demeaning to the poor. S o does well off Finland have a UBI then? It seems the old school of economics have yet to come to grips with the new world of not needing full employment.

    We need not fear automation, in fact we should embrace it. There are ways of making it work for all, the classic win-win. Even the rich would benefit from a UBI, Harvey Norman loved the “Kevvy cash”!

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