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Geoman

"smartphone now has a camera, storage, music player, calculator, alarm clock, and GPS system within it" Guess what killed Radio Shack?

Geoman

I should add, I have an Apple 5 phone. The 6 is better....but why bother?

Again, as I posted before, infinite growth requires infinite needs. And My iPhone 5 pretty much does everything I could ever want. I have a hard time imagining buying a faster, better phone. How many nanoseconds must be shaved from search?

We may be satisfied before we reach the technological limits, which may in turn slow progress and growth.

Geoman

The jobs that will be lost will be on the menial end of things - fast food, truck driving, etc. People don't realize we manufacture just as much as we ever did, but with fewer and fewer people. Offshoring will end once the robots come, but entire factories will be run by a dozen people.

There will become a class of people nobody wants - the unintelligent and uncreative. The only solution I can see is a universal minimum income. Or perhaps a requirement for a certain number of community service hours for each person, in exchange for a paycheck.

I have noticed a distinct rise in blue collar love - shows about people renovating houses, cutting logs, mining. We become ever more jealous of people not slaved to a computer. People who can work with their hands will be considered part of the upper class, while keyboard surfers will be relegated to the soon to lose their jobs....I guess my point is, it doesn't have to be the way most people imagine - the guy fixing a toilet may become the most valuable commodity in an accelerating world...

A valuable commode commodity...

Kartik Gada

Geoman,

People don't realize we manufacture just as much as we ever did, but with fewer and fewer people.

Yes. See Chapter 4, and the '$10 Trillion of output with one person employed' line.

The only solution I can see is a universal minimum income.

Hence the DUES, and the exponentially rising nature of it. Remember that when two gang-member teenagers shoot each other, the cost to the taxpayer is several times more than the two shooters could ever generate in their lives. DUES somewhat reduces that.

We may be satisfied before we reach the technological limits, which may in turn slow progress and growth.

The world is still only at $11,000 per capita PPP, so there is a lot more growth to go on a worldwide basis, even if only to elevate emerging markets to US levels. The question is whether that is the ceiling, and the US is near to it.

To examine that, think of how when a product category saturates, new ones arrive to generate new demand. The desktop PC saturated as you described, then the laptop (which used to be much more expensive), now the phone and tablet. VR is the next big consumer hardware category, and will generate hundreds of billions of $ of new revenue until it, too, reaches a plateau, and so on.

When more health treatments emerge, they will be expensive but the wealthy will spend money on them, as another example of new demand..

I see relatively few wealthy Americans deciding to stop working. The vast majority of them keep on going, long after they have no financial reason to...

Geoman

"I see relatively few wealthy Americans deciding to stop working. The vast majority of them keep on going, long after they have no financial reason to..."

Well, you see the people that make that decision, what you don't see are those that chose not to continue. I know several, including 2 cousins that basically decided at 50 to take up golfing since they had more than enough money to service their needs indefinitely.

Kartik Gada

I know several, including 2 cousins that basically decided at 50 to take up golfing since they had more than enough money to service their needs indefinitely.

That is still uncommon, as a percentage. Plus, don't underestimate how many of them would go back to work if the income tax rate were zero and NGDP was 6-7% rather than 3%. If any of them have any alimony or child support obligations, however small, that further forces a decision like the one you described.

There were tons of books written in the 19th century about how when basic necessities were met for most people, most would stop working (and the definition of basic necessities at the time would seem very modest today). That did not happen.

Plus, you are forgetting :

1) The DUES is not that large for a long time yet. It is only $400/month in 2016, and does not rise to $100,000+ until the mid-2030s.
2) In America, 75% of all govt. spending is already a transfer between individuals. Your complaint has to take into account from what baseline we are starting.
3) Income taxes going to 0% changes everything, incentive-wise.
4) A fear of too many people choosing not to work is mutually exclusive with a fear that too many jobs are being replaced with automation.

Consider the combination of all factors.

fatcat

"I see relatively few wealthy Americans deciding to stop working. The vast majority of them keep on going, long after they have no financial reason to..."
The moment you can have meaningful life extending treatments for the super reach
They can find very real motivation as literally their lifes will depend on their income. Say you can grow an artificial heart/ling/leaver for 10 million dollars. Suddenly, a net worth of 5mil is if not life threatening at least not so comfortable in and guaranteed to cover all your essential experiences

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