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airforce
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"One of the fundamental conditions of mans existence and action is the fact that he does not know what will happen in the future."

Ludwig von Mises

Friend, I'm not even going to pretend I know what will happen in the future. If von Mises wasn't smart enough to do that, I'm certainly not. And sadly, my ESP has never worked all that well either. So I'm not even going to try to speculate.

Wii I ever face an autonomous robot in battle? In all honesty, I'd rather do that than face a real, live human being. If there ever comes a time when we have robots who can think and act better than a human being, well, we'll have a lot of things to worry about then.

Yes, I know, Isaac Asimov foresaw such a time. Will Man ever compete with Machine for the mastery of earth? Can Man create a Machine in Man's image? I would think not, but I'm really not the one to answer that question.

I think the other part of your question is, will automation ever make man's work redundant? My answer would be to refer to my answer above. I don't believe so, but it just isn't in my realm of expertise.

I guess I could envision a time when machines could satisfy all of our needs, with little or no input from humans. There are then two possibilities:

1. Since men can envision no action that will improve his condition, men will do nothing. They will enter into a continuous vegetative state.

2. Men will retain their humanity. They will perceive something they can do to improve their condition, and will act to do so.

I would assume the latter. But you will have to consult someone who's clairvoyant if you want more details.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
Breacher
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What you are talking about is a group suicide of political credibility. Dude, I respect most of what you say on other subjects Airforce, but this horse needs to stay dead.

Government and social financial and business controls are a reality. I have dealt with that reality when I paid a stack of fines for refusing to even apply for shit jobs and getting into the moving business using just my truck some hard work, honesty and treating people right. I charged less than average for the work myself and my guys did, and I paid my guys a little more than average of the money that came in.

Then the thugs who wanted to control the market at charging $50 per man hour and then pay low or even minimum wage. I will not get into details here, but there was a time recently when I was obligated by a court to "work legally". Which meant going to the shit temp agencies and doing some of the hardest work I have ever done for some of the lowest pay I have ever walked away with in my adult life.

Here is how that shit works. In the real world.

They "hire" people who are desperate, or who are put in a position of "get a job or go to jail".

So a contractor charges a client $50 per man hour. That's the "value" he places on the work product, plus materials, which he charges the client, who in turn will charge another profit margin to the buyer who may then again charge another profit margin to the end user. That's when it gets pretty hard to measure, but at the street level, we can look at things a bit more directly.

Ok, so we know that $50 per hour is changing hands for the work that is getting done. The contractor pays some of his own staff to supervise the workers and subcontractors, but the subcontractors are never of course hired at a net loss. Now workers from the temp agency, here is how that goes.

The temp agency bills the contractor at $25 per man hour. The workers are then graded anywhere from minimum wage to $12 per hour depending on established skills, but get this, they manage what jobs someone goes into, so even though someone has the skill for a higher paying slot, that does not mean they get called out for that particular job. Then if they have some but not all completely verified skills for a particular job title, they still count as "inexperienced" and can get locked out of that type of work, thus never gaining marketable experience. OK, stay with me on this.

So the worker lets say at $10 per hour is still getting fully taxed. All relevant taxes put him at a take-home of maybe $7 per hour on average.

Now the pie in the sky deal is that at the end of the tax year, the worker gets a "tax return" for part of that money, the personal income tax portion. That's it.

Now the money that everyone else is taking out of that $50 per hour pie is tied more to their positioning in the deal, not really work they are performing. You can also note, none of those people are likely to be working as hard as the guy driving the shovel and wheelbarrow. So how does $50 turning into $7 per hour a "free market"? Well that is about capital positioning. The poor has no position, the people with the money do and under that system, it only gets more lopsided, all the way to the point they start begrudging the worker his $7 per hour takehome and decide to leverage their political positioning to get some libertarian suckers to start talking about lowering minimum wage.

And, as a "free market" it starts looking more and more like an 80% tax/takeaway system when you also consider those workers are unlikely to ever get approved for home loans and can't even legally sleep in their cars overnight, or find some cheap open land to just build something on. They are forced to pay, someone somewhere, and pay regularly with no ownership or even much respect to show for what they pay.

Now as far as stuff made in china. I buy tools these days, and even the best name brands now have tons of stuff made in China. Milwaukie, Dewalt. I think maybe Miller welders are still US made, Lincoln headed out. A lot of no-name merchandise is made over there, just a bunch of markup goes to middlemen along the way.

Now if you want to support some non-slave level life in Asia, I'll let you in on a "secret". Its called HONG KONG. They speak English and they enjoy doing business directly now. That, and those people actually understand the concept of free and fair trade. I buy a bunch of stuff direct from people in Hong Kong now, and just last month sold a bunch of stuff to them too. Oh, sorry Wally World, you guys were not in the loop on that.

Even just recently, I am waiting on my second shipment of some LED lightbulbs for the off grid system I am putting in my trailer. Stuff so new it is barely on the open market, and when I buy these, I am literally two steps away from paying the Chinese worker. I get better prices than I would get from someone in the US, and the Chinese guys are getting more money directly from me than if they were going through corporate buyer middlemen.

Now making the things is labor intensive, and I knew one guy (American) who was making them by hand, and apparently even most of the Chinese who make them also are making them by hand. I know the American guy was pretty poor, quite likely not much better off than the Chinese I buy the lightbulbs from, but then they are doing better by doing business with me than if they were dealing with the corporate middlemen.

In some work I did for the guys in Hong Kong last month, I factored myself in at $150 per day for the work I did, and they did not begrudge that at all the way an American client would. They understood I have an American cost of living and was cuttting them a fair deal. No hard feelings. Now I have worked for a few Arabs who were a hassle, but they were an exception. Recently have had a little bit of an issue with some Vietnamese who I think will be getting straightened out on that, but then the old man of the family eh, he wants things his way and he is pretty smart. I just have to watch and make sure I am not getting haggled down too low. I have worked for two Indians (from India, not Native Americans) one yeah, tried to beat me down pretty low but when his wife explained reality came back up and made the deal fair, again us bringing up the American cost of living. The other, well nice guy, was making a bunch of money on a Verizon contract and while he was hosing Costco on a deal I had never seen before (fucking genius, bought a bunch of furniture with extended warranties, then returned it a few months later when his contract expired, thus it was like n almost free rental) he treated me pretty well, giving me a bunch of furniture he was not taking home to India due to it not being worth paying to ship and costco was not taking back. His attitude about it, Costco and other corporations were hosing workers in his country by beating up the prices of the finished product, but he would not try and beat an American worker out of a living at all. Thus he nailed a bunch of stores on that buy, use, return hustle, but was pretty generous with people he hired personally.

Now for all of those ex-Union manufacturing workers calling foul on the world economy, how many of them were investing in manufacturing equipment and sustainable jobs when they had decent income? Were these guys buying CNC plasma cutters or die casting equipment for hobby projects that could also produce an income later on? How about "hobby farms" that could also produce a nominal profit for a family?

I could tell you that a family can profitably run five acres IF, and I say IF, they had an outside income for a while and invested enough of it into outfitting the place as a high yield greenhouse and chicken or other meat bird operation.

--------------------
Life liberty, and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

Trump: not the president America needs, but the president America deserves.

Posts: 6705 | From: Western States | Registered: Sep 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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quote:
Originally posted by Breacher:
What you are talking about is a group suicide of political credibility. Dude, I respect most of what you say on other subjects Airforce, but this horse needs to stay dead.

Remember that axiom of human action I talked about? Man always acts to better his condition. Well, men don't always know exactly how to do that, but they often take action to try to do so. Primitive man would perform a rain dance to end a drought. A couple hundred years ago it was common to bleed a person to cure cancer. a schizophrenic will sometimes cut himself with a knife, in order to feel better.

Man always acts to improve his condition. But sometimes the action he takes does not have the desired effect. Such is the case with wage and price controls. It just seems so logical! I mean, who wouldn't vote to give himself a pay raise?

Well, someone who knows a little bit about economics wouldn't, because he knows that even if he does experience a short-term improvement in his condition, it won't last. Our challenge is simply to help educate the people about the destructive nature of government interference in the free market.

I know, Breacher, the task seems daunting. But isn't it always? We're not going to change minds overnight. But if I didn't think it could be done, I wouldn't be wasting my time trying.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
J. Croft
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Airforce, I have the answer for you: teach people who have worked for a corporation or been on welfare how to be economically self sustaining. How to participate in the free/black market and it isn't just skills and products it's the mindset that has to be innoculated. And do it in a deliberately demolished economy.

A lot of folks will not be able to do this right away, or at all. And someone has to come up with a means and a program to help people transistion to this mindset and lifestyle. I don't have the answers but perhaps you or Breacher do.

Until people are producing for themselves you are NOT going to sell lowering wage controls or any other libertarian ideal-which is right now pie in the sky daydreaming. Most libertarians I suspect do this but they come off as so buried in Rand and Von Mises books that they're unrelatable-the average American looks on as they preach and it comes out like an adult talking on a Peanuts cartoon: "wah wah wah wah wah".

Come at people where they're at Airforce. You have to help them get to a point where they can comprehend Rand before you can talk about free market anarchism. All you libertarians need to do that.

And you have to come up with a winning political game plan; being unrelatable and throwing money into the Paul family's coffers isn't going to win anything for you. You need a demonstration of libertarian principles at work in a town, something that the results can be spread via alternative media and handed out to those struggling under 7/hr temp jobs(before taxes). That I know how to do but when I try I get ignored, get asked for a "business plan" or called a racist and banned.

I'd look up my previous work on recall elections and concentrate your collective resources on conducting a full campaign ticket find scandals and sweep your targeted town clean. Do it fast before the shooting really starts in this country and we're fully locked down in straight martial law.

--------------------
Be your own leader

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Posts: 1535 | From: somewhere-where am I? | Registered: Feb 2007  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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quote:
Originally posted by J. Croft:
Come at people where they're at Airforce. You have to help them get to a point where they can comprehend Rand before you can talk about free market anarchism. All you libertarians need to do that.

Easier said than done, sir. Why do you think libertarians do so poorly in elections? Because the Republicans and democrats are so adept at promising things to people. The only promise a libertarian can make is, "We will leave you alone." And for the public-school-educated electorate, that just isn't enough.

So, it's an uphill battle. But we here at AWRM should be used to that by now.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Articles like this might help. The administrations own data proves Keynesian economics didn't work.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
J. Croft
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quote:
Originally posted by J. Croft:
Come at people where they're at Airforce. You have to help them get to a point where they can comprehend Rand before you can talk about free market anarchism. All you libertarians need to do that.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Easier said than done, sir. Why do you think libertarians do so poorly in elections? Because the Republicans and democrats are so adept at promising things to people. The only promise a libertarian can make is, "We will leave you alone." And for the public-school-educated electorate, that just isn't enough.

Not impossible. Libertarians need to give out a simplified version of their platform to the average voter, and one good way would be to ask questions:

Wouldn't you like to live with much lower taxes?

Wouldn't you like to live with police and other public servants who don't victimize you?

Wouldn't you like to be able to get off public assistance, have the opportunity to start your own business, be your own boss?

Wouldn't you like to be able to defend yourself and your family and friends in an age where the cops are minutes away?

Wouldn't you like to have the CAFR investments made by this community returned to you-oh, have you even heard of the two sets of books your current so-called public servants use?

Wouldn't you like to have public servants who AREN'T beholden to local business interests, or fellow lodge members?

Wouldn't you like fair local laws?

What are you willing to do to get back your America?

You ask the questions, you pass out flyers and DVDs on each or all the questions, offer your beginning solutions. Run it smart stick with the basic questions, the scandals your opponents will try to sweep under the rug, make it a public safety concern-make those concerns PERSONAL.

Run a full campaign ticket of candidates-only a clean sweep of public offices will suceed.

THEN after you've instituted reforms people can and will relate better to what you talk about.

--------------------
Be your own leader

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youtube.com/user/freedomguide

Posts: 1535 | From: somewhere-where am I? | Registered: Feb 2007  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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quote:
Originally posted by J. Croft:
Not impossible. Libertarians need to give out a simplified version of their platform to the average voter, and one good way would be to ask questions:

Wouldn't you like to live with much lower taxes?

Wouldn't you like to live with police and other public servants who don't victimize you?

Wouldn't you like to be able to get off public assistance, have the opportunity to start your own business, be your own boss?

Wouldn't you like to be able to defend yourself and your family and friends in an age where the cops are minutes away?

Wouldn't you like to have the CAFR investments made by this community returned to you-oh, have you even heard of the two sets of books your current so-called public servants use?

Wouldn't you like to have public servants who AREN'T beholden to local business interests, or fellow lodge members?

Wouldn't you like fair local laws?

What are you willing to do to get back your America?

Now balance that with these questions:

Wouldn't you like to make $7.25 an hour instead of $5.35? Wouldn't you like the government to provide free health care, instead of you having to buy health insurance? Wouldn't you like a free apartment for you and your child? Wouldn't you like somebody else to pay taxes, instead of you?

I know you don't care for Mises or Rothbard, but it really is worth mentioning them again. Man will take action only if he perceives that doing so will improve his condition. It doesn't matter if it actually will, or not. Remember what I said about primitive man performing a rain dance to improve the weather? They thought that doing so would bring rain.

I am nearing my fourth decade as a libertarian. I have educated a few people--or, rather, pointed them in the right direction so that they could educate themselves--about liberty. But trust me, it ain't easy. Why do you think ConSigCor made me the political guru of AWRM? Largely, it was because no one else wanted the job.

The fact is, I agree with you. We should be doing a better job of reaching out to the poorest members of our society--the very ones who are suffering the most because of government policies. I just don't know how to do it. I am certainly open to suggestions.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Do We Really Need a Minimum Wage?

Interesting article by Charlie Virgo, who in one short article manages to demolish all of the arguments the minimum wage advocates use. Well worth a read.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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An old thread, but it's time to bring it back since Seattle is the latest city to prove my point. The average low-wage worker in Seattle saw his paycheck shrink by $125 a month. If you're a low-wage worker, that a lot of money.

quote:
...Seattle’s minimum-wage ordinance was one of the earliest and most aggressive of the recent wave. In 2014, the city passed a law raising the city’s minimum wage — already among the nation’s highest, at more than $9 an hour — to $15 an hour over several years.2 Economists immediately saw the law as an opportunity to study the effects of an unusually high minimum wage, and the city of Seattle agreed to help fund a team of researchers to look into the policy’s impact.

The group’s first major report, released last year, looked at the first big increase under the law, in April 2015, in which the minimum wage went from $9.47 to $11 for large employers. The report found relatively little effect, for good or ill: The policy led to some lost jobs and hours, the report concluded, but those were more or less offset by the increased income enjoyed by workers. For workers who kept their jobs, the higher wage was a clear benefit; for low-wage workers as a whole, the impact was minimal. One reason for the muted impact: In high-cost Seattle, not many workers earned less than $11 an hour even before the law took effect.

Monday’s report looks at the impact of the second wage increase under the law: the January 2016 hike to $13 an hour for large employers. This time, the findings look very different: Compared to a counterfactual in which Seattle didn’t raise its minimum wage, the number of hours worked by low-wage workers (those earning less than $19 an hour) fell by 9.4 percent over the first nine months of 2016, and the number of low-wage jobs fell by 6.8 percent. Cumulatively, those add up to the losses of 5,000 jobs and 3.5 million hours of work. The average low-wage employee, they found, saw his or her monthly paycheck shrink by $125, or 6.6 percent....

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
Huskerpatriot
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Add to that the fact that these wage increases cause a general inflation in the costs of all goods and services, so that low wage earner with a smaller paycheck has an even harder time making ends meet.

Feeling the Bern yet?

--------------------
"Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at it’s worst, an intolerable one."
 Thomas Paine (from "Common Sense" 1776)

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airforce
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Missouri republicans lower St. Louis minimum wage from $10 to $7.70. Good for them. But in truth, I'm a little conflicted about this. Voters in St. Louis should have the right to be stupid. It shouldn't be the state's prerogative to get involved in city matters.

quote:
If you thought the minimum wage only moved in one direction, then Missouri Republicans have a surprise for you.

After St. Louis leaders raised the wage floor for workers within city limits, the state GOP recently passed what’s known as a statewide “preemption” law, forbidding localities from taking such matters into their own hands. On Friday, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) said he would let the law go into effect, thereby barring cities and counties from setting a minimum wage higher than the state level.

For low-wage earners in St. Louis itself, the new law will have a startling consequence: It will actually push the minimum wage back down, from the city-approved $10 per hour to the state-approved $7.70. The downgrade is slated to take effect on Aug. 28.

For someone earning the bare minimum, that’s a potential cut of 23 percent....

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Looking for a five-dollar footlong in Seattle? You'll be looking for a long time.

 -

Still want a $15 minimum wage? Be careful what you wish for.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17848 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
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