Lion of the Blogosphere

In the future, will the government pay people to drive virtual trucks?

Self-driving trucks will soon put all truck drivers out of work. What will they do instead? Every other industry they might migrate to will also be laying off workers because of automation. Pizza delivery will be done by robots. Stores will no longer have cashiers. Even the cashier-less McDonalds won’t be hiring anyone, because robots will be in the kitchen making the hamburgers.

The government could simply give everyone a basic income check. But there’s too much political opposition to that. The idea of poor people getting something from the government without having to work for it drives a lot of people, especially conservative blog commenters, crazy. Even free healthcare for everyone, which is an important first step towards a basic income, outrages the conservative types.

Furthermore, there are some legitimate concerns about people without the kind of structure to their lives that comes from having a job becoming social problems, joining gangs, committing crimes, etc.

Thus paying people to do virtual jobs like driving virtual trucks could be a necessary first towards a true post-scarcity economic model. And it’s a lot better than paying people to drive real trucks because the virtual trucks don’t pollute and don’t waste any scarce natural resources. Plus the truck simulator provides reinforcement of civic values because you have to obey the traffic laws.

* * *

Am I serious, or is this just tongue-in-cheek?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

90 Responses

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  1. Why not just pay people to sacrifice to the gods?

    Ed

    March 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

  2. Won’t pass disparate-impact law. Truly immersive driving simulators (currently with multiple side monitors, in the future using VR goggles) are far more likely than the racecar games of yore to cause motion sickness, which disproportionately affects women.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/the-mysterious-science-of-motion-sickness/385469/

    Fiddlesticks

    March 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

  3. “Am I serious, or is this just tongue-in-cheek?”

    What made you decide to add this to this post in particular? 😛

    IHTG

    March 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm

  4. Why have a population if you don’t need them?

    Half Canadian

    March 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

  5. Self-driving trucks will NOT happen. Self-driving cars won’t happen.

    Lion, OT but this is a great article in Commentary:

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/anti-semitism/real-trump-link-threats-jews/

    The little putz was an attention hound – and he got the attention he craved because of the media blitz against Trump. He threatened Jewish targets under Obama but no one cared.

    gothamette

    March 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    • Yes, very interesting article.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    • the money quote: not because of anything Trump did or didn’t do, but because of media’s hysterical reaction to it.

      there was a similar phenomenon 20 years ago after the msm screamed an epidemic of black churches were being burned down. after several years of it someone finally burned down a couple. but that was after several years of the msm begging someone to do it.

      Mass shootings, suicides and serial killings run in spurts for the same reason. the msm giving it so much publicity encourages others to do it too.

      destructure

      March 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      • Initially I thought this comment was off in regard to serial killers, but a quick Google search led me to this:

        http://maamodt.asp.radford.edu/Serial%20Killer%20Information%20Center/Serial%20Killer%20Statistics.pdf

        I wouldn’t necessarily infer causality to media coverage, but there does seem to be a correlation if my memory of how serial killers were covered since I was a kid in the 80s is accurate.

        But take a look at page 6. Black serial killers surpassed white serial killers starting in the 90s and the trend has increased significantly since then. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the lack of media coverage is driving the increase in black serial killers.

        Horace Pinker

        March 29, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      • Unfortunately, the article will be ignored. The whole thing is modern insanity incarnate. Trump is the one who forced the cybersecurity experts to work on this but no one will know that. Goddamn left.

        gothamette

        March 29, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      • I’ve frequently used the Radford study to debunk the smear that most serial killers are white men. In fact, most serial killers are black men. Quite a feat considering blacks are only 12-13% of the population.

        destructure

        March 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      • Interesting article. The trucks are used in industry. I can see that. I meant that driverless trucks/cars will never be allowed on roads and highways. One crash and it’s curtains.

        gothamette

        March 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    • Self-driving trucks will NOT happen. Self-driving cars won’t happen.

      Agreed; just like personal jet-packs.

      E. Rekshun

      March 30, 2017 at 11:14 am

      • Personal jetpacks is a physics problem.

        Self-driving cars is a software and hardware engineering problem that can be solved.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 30, 2017 at 11:27 am

      • LOL. I remember that. Weren’t we all gonna squirt around effortlessly? Remember the Jetsons? The Flintstones made more sense!

        gothamette

        March 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      • Personal jetpacks is as much an engineering problem as self-driving cars.

        Self-driving cars/trucks will never happen, Lion. One accident on a highway and Congress will go apeshit. And as for ceding control of US highways to Indians, why don’t you write a cheap novel and self-publish it on Amazon?

        gothamette

        March 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      • I have a friend who wrote novels and no one ever bought any of them (or maybe he made a few tens of dollars).

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      • Did he try to market them? Do you know about Amanda Hocking? She writes “paranormal romance fiction” for teens, which is probably as awful as it sounds. But she’s an indefatigable hustler, one of nature’s salesman (like Trump?), and she became a millionaire writing trash.

        Sighs. There’s a lesson to be learned in her example!!

        gothamette

        March 31, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      • Well for starters, Amanda is writing in a highly desired genre. (“Highly desired” isn’t the same as having artistic merit.)

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 31, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      • That’s true. The world will never tire of dumb books written for tweens. And they know it too. The word “Twitard” was invented by a Twitard. They all laugh about it. It’s cute.

        gothamette

        March 31, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      • Well “paranormal romance fiction” has been pretty hot for the past few years. That’s all of the Twilight copy cats. If you happen to catch a trend like that, you can probably do pretty well, or at least OK.

        Mike Street Station

        April 1, 2017 at 6:56 am

  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_Piano_(novel)

    Kurt Vonnegut did it better, sorry.

    scald85

    March 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm

  7. Conservatives have no objection to helping people who can’t help themselves. What people object to is being forced to provide a middle class lifestyle to those too lazy to help themselves. There’s a big difference between genuine need and mooching off others.

    destructure

    March 29, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    • who the hell gets to have a middle class lifestyle by mooching the govt? i live in a country where the welfare state is much more generous than your own and i am currently on welfare as i am studying. my lifestyle is anything but “middle class”.

      being on welfare sucks.

      james n.s.w

      March 29, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      • The illegitimacy rate in the ghetto is through the roof. The whole point of not getting married is to keep baby daddy’s income from counting against baby mama’s welfare. A baby mama on welfare and a baby daddy with a minimum wage job can easily equal the national average income for a family.

        destructure

        March 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      • That really depends on your perspective. Years ago while working full time+, I’ve known people living off of government largesse who have roughly equivalent standard of living due to low-cost housing, food stamps, and free medical care. You could argue that I didn’t have to live frugally, and it’s true, I had choice in the matter which is something, but surviving on sub 20k a year isn’t bad at all (probably better than having twice as much, but no free time, like many salaried full time workers).

        Panther of the Blogocube

        March 30, 2017 at 5:29 am

      • There is a big difference between benefits to go to school and benefits to drink on the front porch all day.

        Or at least there should be.

        Mike Street Station

        March 30, 2017 at 6:25 am

  8. You should be careful driving in virtual Bakersfield. This town is the site of the infamous Bakersfield food riots and subsequent massacre for which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character was framed and then imprisoned in the dystopian film ‘The Running Man’.

    prolier than thou

    March 29, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    • What the hell is the Bakersfield food riot? I looked it up and couldn’t find it but I did find this:

      http://www.academia.edu/1519415/Kern_County_Californias_Deep_South

      BTW a prominent ballerina named Tiler Peck is from Bakersfield. Of course, I remember Lion referring to ballerinas as “prole,” which is really one of Lion’s bloopers. Everything to Lion is prole, except the actual aristocracy, and I think he probs secretly thinks half of them are prole too.

      gothamette

      March 31, 2017 at 1:54 pm

  9. This is a lot more reasonable than I think most people are apt to consider.

    Fully functional self-driving vehicles is a hard problem. In contrast, 20% functional that can handle 80% of the driving conditions is nearly a solved problem.

    So what remains is how to address the missing 20%. One easy way is remote-driving. That is a solved problem. The Air Force has been doing this with drone aircraft for over a decade. Rather than having a guy seated in every truck, doing nothing 80-90% of the time, you could have an operator center with a few dozen guys remotely operating 5 times the number of trucks. Or taxis. Or 757’s. (In that regard, the hard part might be making sure the operator centers are not outsourced to China or India.)

    Once you have remote operator centers, it’s no stretch of the imagination to have operator centers in urban settings for dindu’s to virtually drive virtual trucks as a condition of their basic income, AKA welfare benefits. If you /really/ wanted to put icing on the cake, you could have AI come up with virtual driving conditions that were cognitively appropriate for each dindu so that they stayed interested and motivated.

    Obviously, it doesn’t have to be limited to OTR trucking. Trains, taxis, aircraft, farm vehicles, submarines, air-traffic control, nuclear reactors, there’s no limit to the number of simulations one could come up with to keep a virtual work-force virtually busy.

    Portlander

    March 29, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    • As a programmer this stuff is a lot easier to conceptualize… where do cancelled sw projects go? Hey, maybe all this code I wrote was never meant to do anything in the first place? How would I distinguish a fake make-work project from a real one?

      Portlander

      March 29, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    • I’m sure people in India and China can operate remote-controlled vehicles and other remote-controlled equipment for a lot less money than Americans.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      • “In that regard, the hard part might be making sure the operator centers are not outsourced to China or India.”

        I don’t know about India, but Chinese drivers were the most recklessly inept drivers I’ve ever seen. Jesus Christ, crossing​ the street in Beijing is staring death in the face.

        Sure, in the abstract, you could find and train Chinese drivers who would drive according to US norms, but I would much, much rather not risk it with them.

        Sid

        March 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      • “I don’t know about India, but Chinese drivers were the most recklessly inept drivers I’ve ever seen. Jesus Christ, crossing​ the street in Beijing is staring death in the face.”

        Future social issue: It would be racist to NOT outsource remote controlled driving to China.

        Mike Street Station

        March 31, 2017 at 6:23 am

  10. “Am I serious, or is this just tongue-in-cheek?”

    Is your point that they’ll have more real life make-work? Legislatures could simply refuse to legalize self-driving cars/trucks, requiring a human to be in the front seat, as is the case now. Thus, you’ll have trucks that drive themselves, with a human in the front-seat “in case of emergency.”

    jasonbayz

    March 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    • The point is that these are the unemployable humans with too much time on their hands as it is and they aren’t going to just sit there in the front seat of a self-driving car for 8-10 hours/day staring out the windows.

      They need to feel there is something productive for them to do to serve as motivation to get up in the morning and go into the “office.” Lacking that motivation, experience has shown they’ll hang around on the streets, drink malt liquor, pimp and hustle.

      Since SWPL find it morally abhorrent to starve this class of people straight, they are going to be given 3 hots and a cot one way or another. Make-work suited to their intellectual level is a much more efficient solution to ignoring them until they turn criminal, at which point they have to be incarcerated at 10x the cost.

      Portlander

      March 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

  11. Surplus labor might come to be seen like surplus grain or copper. So you get paid to get trained for things the state might need in the future.
    The military already works like this.
    If the private sector can’t even pretend to give people things to do anymore. Perhaps the public sector simply takes over the surplus and we get a constant stream of road improvements, border walls, litter cleaning, hoover dams, gigantic monuments to Trump…

    Come to think of it, might the Pyramids have been a way for the state to mobilize surplus labor in between harvests? We now know people who worked on them got paid with lots of food and beer.

    And/or as needed, there could be taxes, restrictions on robots and automation.

    Giovanni Dannato

    March 29, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    • Who are you kidding. Dindu’s aren’t going to pick-up litter. A cushy chair in an air-conditioned office with free diet coke and a 10 minute OSHA-mandated stretch-break every 2 hours, that they’d show-up for.

      Portlander

      March 29, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      • They’d do what they have to, as they do now, to get food.
        Maybe if they just want to spend the day hustling, they get “3 hots and a cot” with mandatory sterilization and phase them out non-violently in a few generations.

        Giovanni Dannato

        March 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    • That’s not a bad idea. Better to pay people to go to school than to sit around doing nothing.

      Mike Street Station

      March 30, 2017 at 6:29 am

      • they’ll drag down the quality of education tho

        gm

        March 30, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      • “they’ll drag down the quality of education tho”

        Well sure. People who are going to be permanently unemployable because of the absence of transportation jobs are not going to make the greatest students.

        Mike Street Station

        March 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

  12. A true post scarcity economy will never happen because we live in a finite universe.

    Those robots that are going to take all the jobs at McDonalds? They still need humans to design, build, install and maintain them. Oh yeah, and they still won’t work as well as a human, as we have seen from the self checkout lines at the grocery stores. In fact, if the self checkout lines are any indications, the robots can’t work at all without human supervision.

    Lawyers can’t be automated, doctors can’t be automated, engineers can’t be automated. So far, there is no sign that even unskilled construction work can ever be automated.

    There is no automation crisis.

    Otis the Sweaty

    March 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    • From what I can see from my experience with self-checkouts over the last five or so years, most of the bugs have been worked out and they function much smoother than they did back then. Yes, there may be a human supervisor at the self-service checkout banks, but only one troubleshooter is needed for maybe a dozen checkout registers. Lot less than one per checkout register on her feet all day.

      sestamibi

      March 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    • There isn’t. Automation creates jobs, also. And as I keep telling Lion (and all the rest of the goofballs here), self-driving cars are a non-starter. They will crash & laws will be passed against them.

      gothamette

      March 29, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    • “Lawyers can’t be automated, doctors can’t be automated”

      I’m not so sure of that. Legal Research is being automated and so is medical diagnostics. 50 years ago who would have thought that tax accountants could be automated, but tax software has decimated that field.

      Mike Street Station

      March 30, 2017 at 7:04 am

      • 50 years ago who would have thought that tax accountants could be automated, but tax software has decimated that field.

        Has this really happened? Aren’t the same people that went to a tax accountant still going to a tax accountant; and the tax guy is the one using the tax prep software. Anyone that did their taxes before by hand is still doing that (i.e. my 80-year old father) or has switched to TurboTax (i.e. me, two years ago). From what I read and see, tax preparers are as busy as ever. My retired uncle has been doing taxes on the side out of his house, by hand, for fifty years. He’s got customers for just as long. He makes $70K for three months of work.

        Anyway, the development and refinement of tax prep software created jobs for programmers (and marketers, and admin staff, etc for the tax prep makers).

        E. Rekshun

        March 30, 2017 at 11:29 am

      • The number of hours spent doing tax grunt work like filling out forms has surely declined. While this probably benefits tax professionals who can market higher-value services, it puts many of the grunt-work people out of work.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 30, 2017 at 11:35 am

      • Why do the Japanese just fill out a post card and we have to fill out a long, shitty, form?

        gothamette

        March 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm

  13. You can’t give everything people need for free or pretty soon the kind of people who get everything for free will multiple and collapse your society.

    Pretty obvious.

    Dan

    March 29, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    • Not if it’s much higher status to have a job. People crave status.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      • The future of America looks bleak, with the exception of our liberal centers.

        Ever notice that alien invasion themes center around liberal centers and not the Midwest? Diabolical monsters from outer space also go for status.

        JS

        March 29, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      • There are a ton of jobless or quasi-jobless hipsters where I live. They’ll work part-time doing whatever – barista, waiter – even at the age of 40 because their status comes from the band or art collective they’re involved in. You and I have something like an old school work ethic, and perhaps a limited imagination.

        Dain

        March 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      • Actually what we lack is a peer network that attributes status to hipster stuff.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 29, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      • We’re contrarian and this doesn’t radiate any status, only stigmatization.

        American society sucks, because there is near collapse of civic participation among its youth.

        JS

        March 29, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      • “Not if it’s much higher status to have a job. People crave status.”

        And that’s why birth rates have collapsed. The vast majority of people would rather have their child be a respected professional happily married with 2 children than be a screw-up with 8 children. But in a welfare state, that preference cannot last. In a welfare state, eventually people will show up who could give a f*** about this kind of status and instead want to make babies.

        fortaleza84

        March 30, 2017 at 11:31 am

      • “Actually what we lack is a peer network that attributes status to hipster stuff.”

        We need to form the Lion of the Blogosphere League and snub everyone else. Think of it as the Suicide Squad of semi-unemployable middle aged crank internet addicts who think too much about stuff they can’t control!

        Lion can wear that weird thing that Will Smith wears on his eyes. I’ll play this chick:

        gothamette

        March 31, 2017 at 2:04 pm

  14. So real people would drive computer trucks while computers drive real trucks?

    Dave

    March 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

  15. FYI that image of Bakersfield is fictitious. The sign exists, but the lush vegetation doesn’t. Instead, the sign is located on the local skid row, aka South Union Avenue. I know because I was once stopped for soliciting a hooker there.

    Blah Blah

    March 29, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    • I suspected something like that. This simulation will have to improve before we start paying people to driver virtual trucks.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

  16. When these never employed people reach retirement age, the government could stipulate they have to get a job to keep getting their entitlements.

    cesqy

    March 29, 2017 at 4:46 pm

  17. It seems like there’s not much traffic in the screenshots you post. Is that true in general, or is there actual traffic and traffic jams?

    Tom

    March 29, 2017 at 6:08 pm

  18. Self-driving trucks will soon put all truck drivers out of work.

    You don’t think the recent crashes of Uber’s self-driving cars is an obstacle to this coming true (soon)?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    March 29, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    • It’s just a software problem that will be overcome. Remember that there are hundreds of thousands of accidents and thousands of deaths each year from human drivers.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      • Wrong mighty Lion. The computers are going to have to be much better than humans before they start taking over driving, 20 years? Virtual trucker, have you ever met your customers? Have they ever complained about a damaged pallet and wanted you to document the damage and take a picture of it?Have you disputed the damage because you saw your complaining customer commit the damage? Just today, a trucker stopped at our dock that we didn’t recognize. We let him park and asked him what he needed. He needed better GPS because he stopped at the wrong company. Self check out at the grocery store. The more downscale grocery store in my neighborhood has 4 but the more upscale, not fancy, grocery store doesn’t have any. At any rate, 4 checkouts are not four times faster than one cashier because that cashier is possibly motivated to work fast while I might scan and analyze my broccoli for several seconds. The robots are coming but I actually blue collar jobs are fairly safe for now.

        mark

        March 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    • It’s just a software problem that will be overcome.

      Even if they are orders of magnitude safer than human drivers, self-driving car will have to be perfect for their manufacturers to survive the lawsuits and bad publicity that will come from just one 1 accident.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    • The software is likely less dangerous than human drivers. The problem is that for publicity reasons it will have to be 100% perfect, which is impossible for any software.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 29, 2017 at 9:40 pm

  19. Would be healthier to pay people to play sports. Everyone could be a professional athlete.

    Dave Pinsen

    March 29, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    • When I was a kid, I loved those “Truly Tasteless Jokes” books. One was:

      Q: Did you hear about Jesse Jackson’s plan to eliminate Black unemployment?
      A: Expand the NBA to 5,000 teams.

      Not a joke now.

      Njguy73

      March 29, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      • I don’t remember that one, but it would be neat if it were under the aegis of local pro teams and there were some connection. Say, for example, there’s A, B, and C leagues 20 year olds, 30 year olds, 40 year olds, 50 year olds, 60 year olds, etc. But they’re all under the Knicks umbrella in New York, with the Knicks players and coaches volunteering a few hours in the off season to coach and meet & greet. So Lion could be a Knick. And the total wins of those teams could have some impact on the top pro team — say, they could determine draft position or home field advantage in the playoffs.

        Dave Pinsen

        March 30, 2017 at 3:45 am

    • Yes, I think that’s coming. Society will keep people busy doing interesting stuff. So there will be permanent students who are given a stipend and housing to pile up degrees; religious types who are paid stipends to study the Bible (this already happens in Israel); and lots of semi-professional sports teams.

      fortaleza84

      March 30, 2017 at 11:35 am

      • You meant to say American society is full of poof. America is a cultural and intellectual desert, and you envision mundane Americans differently.

        JS

        March 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  20. The bruthas ain’t gonna have any interest in dem fake cars, you dig?

    Vincent

    March 29, 2017 at 10:04 pm

  21. I read two articles this week on the great white death.

    Such a waste of human capital.

    The greatest problem we have today is the local and global breakdown in security and the fact that, as Lion alludes to, we have despair, pointlessness and alienation.

    Just think how clean and sparkling we could make Africa if we let rip private insurance + private military corporations + corporations.

    All those white Americans dying, all those black Americans dying, all those troublesome missionary bobos….

    America needs to lunch a crusade against violence – war for peace – and a crusade for capitalism – in Africa.

    Nothing else will bring peace, order, security and prosperity than a good dose of conquest in the name of private insurance companies and private security and private business – in Africa.

    Just think how many Disneylands and Disney burbs, and malls, and football stadiums and Walmarts that could be made in Africa.

    Red Americans can handle the fighting, the securing, the overseeing of construction and the schooling; blue Americans can handle the health, entertainment and culture.

    All for money.

    Making Africa great again would be the boom of the millennium.

    darkreformation101

    March 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm

  22. Following on from Lion, I have an idea.

    Why not employ men to operate Robocops. These “Robocops” patrol around the streets with cameras and a big loud voice box: ” Sir! Stop! This is the karmapolice!”

    It is a bit like being a CCTV operator only you get to actually move about the place.

    It would be like endlessly travelling through a city.

    Indeed, you could go to work in a completely different country. Someone in Dixie could drive a Robocop through the streets of Paris – makes for an interesting experience.

    The Robocop’s purpose is simply to deter, it is like having bobbies on the beat.

    However, the Robocop does not have any serious weapons, except for a loud noise, and C.S gas.

    Then, if a Robocop got into serious trouble, a special team of Black Robocops, could be mobilised.

    A group of black Americans could be shooting hoops and then they get the message and come inside and jump on the “playstation” and take over a few black Robobcops and hit back a riot in Cairo, or whatever.

    OR we could pay people to get married, raise children, and work at teaching their child to be a good person. If the child is successful, the parents get more and more rewards.

    darkreformation101

    March 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

  23. Any games government would pay you to play would be games like Foldit, which is a puzzle game that is used to provide information on protein structure. It wouldn’t be such a leap if many forms of research are gamified and people are paid to participate. WoW was used for as model for epidemics based on the corrupt blood glitch.

    With the thoughts you'd be thinkin

    March 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    • Government would pay people to post online opinions that are favorable to the state and unfavorable to its enemies.

      Panther of the Blogocube

      March 30, 2017 at 5:36 am

      • Sort of like half the sellers on Amazon.

        E. Rekshun

        March 30, 2017 at 11:39 am

  24. “If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.”

    John Maynard Keynes, Book 3, Chapter 10, Section 6 pg.129 “The General Theory..”

    Njguy73

    March 29, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    • Or just pay unemployed NAMs to go out late at night and, rather than causing mayhem, just break the windows in various shops throughout the community. Then in the morning, the shop owners could get their insurance companies to pay to fix the windows. That would have the spillover effect of administrative work for the insurance company, labor for the glass manufacturer, the window maker, and the installer. Everyone gets paid!

      E. Rekshun

      March 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

      • I believe Keynes was being as facetious as Bastiat was serious.

        Njguy73

        March 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

  25. You know what is funny about all of the breathless pronouncements regarding robots taking jobs? It implies two things:

    1) You don’t need immigrants.

    2) You can actually raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks or more. So what? Eventually, you won;t have to pay those wages with your fancy robots, right? So the wage can go up until you finally replace your workers.

    Call the bluff.

    OT: Have you guys heard about all of the privacy complaints regarding ISP’s. Republicans rolled back the rules that ISP’s can’t sell data. No Democrats voted for it.

    Of course, Democrats are in the pocket of Netflix, Facebook and Google, so they don’t want to encroach on those monopolies. After all, what data do ISP’s have that already is not collected by Facebook and Google?

    map

    March 30, 2017 at 1:15 am

  26. The idea of poor people getting something from the government without having to work for it drives a lot of people…crazy. Even free healthcare for everyone…outrages the conservative types.

    This perfectly describes the half-dozen family members and friends that I’ll be having dinner with tonight – all retired from 30-year careers working for large government defense contractors, and collecting $30K – $40K annual lifetime defined benefit pensions.

    Rather than pay the (nearly) unemployable to stay home and play video games, the government could employ them in some capacity, even part-time, to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, and infrastructure under the direction of competent engineers. A 21st Century WPA program. Sort of like what the US Military has largely become.

    E. Rekshun

    March 30, 2017 at 11:12 am

  27. […] way will win out. The establishment hates Trump and they want none of his solutions A few days ago I predicted that the government will pay people to drive virtual trucks. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek. It’s a lot more likely that the government will pay people […]


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