Monthly Archives: August 2015

41 Future Trend: Servility!

Robots and Social Equality: In Reason, Ronald Bailey concedes that “automation has taken over a lot of the routine physical and intellectual tasks that once were done by middle-income workers.” This has “resulted in a more polarized economy, where highly skilled workers in such fields as infotech and biotech are richly rewarded while a greater proportion of the workforce toil at relatively lower-paying service jobs.” [E.A.]

But don’t worry! The prosperity created by robotic achievements will lead to  “a rising demand for services, involving non-routine tasks in which workers have a comparative advantage over machines—ones requiring interpersonal interaction, flexibility, adaptability, and problem-solving. ”

Like, what services, for example? Bailey cites MIT economist David Autor:

Work, he argues, is evolving away from assembly-line rigidity and back toward a more pre-industrial paradigm populated by “new artisans.” Perhaps more chefs will prepare fine meals in the homes of clients, dramatists devise elaborate virtual environments as entertainment, tailors create one-of-kind bespoke garments. [E.A.]

Hmm. Notice anything about these “pre-industrial” jobs? Maybe that at least two of the three involve a servile relationship to someone on the right side of the “more polarized economy”?  One reason arguments like Bailey’s seem so sterile and unconvincing is that he (like many libertarians) doesn’t even consider that this might be a problem.

Maybe there’s an answer to this fear of servility, After all, some servants are upwardly mobile rather than self-effacing ( see: Affleck, Ben; nanny). And if everybody is providing artisanal services to everybody else, one man’s master one day can be his bespoke tailor the next. In theory. But it’s hard to see how a polarized economy produces that sort of universal hybrid part-time servility — especially when many people who have the skills to work effectively on an assembly line don’t have the skills for “adaptability and problem solving,” let alone sucking up to clients in their homes.

I say worry.

P.S.: And no, mass unskilled immigration won’t help.

8

Don’t quite see how sugar quotas survive legal invasion of Mexican Coke (uses sugar, not fructose, tastes 3X better)

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26

Term “anchor babies” survives @NYT “myth” busting in good shape. (There are “closer to” 300,000, not 400,000!) nyti.ms/1Jqxo9A

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5

.@murphymike, who had image of wall in Whitman ad, must be tearing his hair out//Jeb!: Trump’s wall “can’t be built” washex.am/1hNdVqH

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4

If looking 4 overarching Trump theme may I suggest this (centripetalism)? dailycaller.com/2014/10/09/moe… Admit “Make America Great” a better slogan

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9

“Trump, however, is eros and thumos incarnate.” If you’ve got the Eros vote *and* the Thunos vote you’re hard to beat tws.io/1hpWP1i

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46

Amazing that ¡Jeb! chooses to die on this hill (i.e. opposing border wall) washex.am/1Fa1dqL

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52

¡Jeb!: Trump’s border wall “can’t be built.” Optimistic, can’t do message! Hard to believe that polls well. washex.am/1hN8NTA

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10

I’d missed this evidence that Walker really *was* whipsawed by donor pressure on this immigration issue. twitter.com/AnnCoulter/sta…

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19

NRSC poll results buried in this story look intriguing … bit.ly/1hIIrSs

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51

GOP Leaders Ignore Voters’ Worry On Immigration and Trade bit.ly/1hIIrSs

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5

Trump’s tax plan: Did Stephen Moore’s memo not get through? washex.am/1F9SDID

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28

I hate the Hillary email scandal: tedious, technical. I wish it’ld go away so we can get to the Epstein sex scandal twitter.com/kausmickey/sta…

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24

Wish this column were more convincing! Doesn’t really explain why HRC in clear if Deutch & Petraeus were prosecuted wpo.st/KnWX0

| 1 year ago on Twitter