Fred: Towards A Most Minimal Wage

Curmudging towards FUSA’s future, robot-style.

Pass it on to your grandchildren.

44 responses to “Fred: Towards A Most Minimal Wage

  1. teh lurker

    Yikes, no more yoyo money. What’s a mother to do?
    As always Fred, thanks for the laff, U2 Pete,

  2. I have to say Boston Dynamics has the dynamic balance factor licked. However the human form factor is not the most optimal in in all situations. For example from the vid, a fork lift like bot might be more functional in a logistics warehouse.

    As to the future, a combination of AI and robotics is going to destroy the lower rung of the economic ladder. The idiots itching for $15/hr for flipping burgers can be replaced by a burger making machine (it already is on the market) and kiosks. 10m truck drivers, taxi drivers, ubers are going to be replaced by self driving vehicles. Nevada has already approved self driving semis. What do you do with 10m displaced transport employees? Brave New World coming.

    • Steve Kristmann

      drdog09 said:
      “…Brave New World coming.”
      Yeah, if you like the idea of ‘Skynet’…’Judgement Day’
      or any of the other distopian things presented via the
      ‘Terminator’ storyline.

      Yes, it is a fictional world, from a fictional storyline.
      Be assured though that the bad people have been
      doing their homework on making such tech not only
      exist but be available to them and them alone.

      Always presume ‘team tyranny’ will utilize any ‘new’ tech
      for the benefit to continue the enforcement of their perceived
      domination of us ‘dirt people’.

      How ‘team freefor’ counteracts and makes such ‘tools of
      the perceived masters’ useless, is up to us!

      Yours In Liberty!
      NorthGunner III

  3. I second Fred. Even if by some miracle the usa rights itself and tries to become competitive for producing goods again, between robots and global competition; the future job ceiling of most of the usa’s jobs just might be the “liveable” wage now that is 10 or 15 dollars an hour.

  4. Apparently there will be jobs for people with hocky sticks to mess with the robots…until the robots learn to shove back instead of being bullied.

  5. post-Rumble, Fred, whoever (if anyone) survives will be going back to a world made essentially by-hand…as per Kunstler. Robots, having been slaughtered on sight, will be pretty much extinct. Meanwhile, Elon Musk will be marooned on Mars. Such tragedy

  6. Anonymous

    150 year track record of labor-saving devices is they raise standards of living, even of the people Fred worries so paternalistically about. Isn’t it fine how Fred carries the White Man’s Burden so gallantly? Fred, being the Republican brand of Communist, doesn’t understand this, doesn’t want to understand how free markets respond to disruptive innovation. It would question his faith in central planning, only properly done by a Republican, of course, who would spend more on VA hospitals. Fred wants an iron curtain to keep out competition from robot labor and save “his” job. Fred’s a Luddite. Maybe he’ll throw a wooden shoe in the machine when it brings him his bedpan, his government retirement plans certainly can’t afford a human nurse.

  7. Fred has extraordinary clarity – very rare. And if people don’t like where this all leads, then they shouldn’t have embraced Capitalism with such mindless passion and allowed it to do whatever it wanted to do to our Civilization. But the vast majority only care about their own profit and any clarity they have goes towards achieving that and only that.

    The alternative to a guaranteed minimum income? People dying on the streets. Millions in FEMA camps. Revolution. And yes, if they get most people on the dole, they’ll have great power over them. And since the Elite are “green”, they will begin to lower the world’s population in all kinds of different way. Why would they allow useless eaters to use up their resources?

    You thought Capitalism was the remedy against this kind of thing. But you failed to discriminate between Late or Corporate Capitalism and what came before. Late stage Capitalism is utterly inimical to the Nation State and thus the rights bequeathed to us in the Constitution.

    • anonymous

      “And if people don’t like where this all leads, then they shouldn’t have embraced Capitalism with such mindless passion and allowed it to do whatever it wanted to do to our Civilization…You thought Capitalism was the remedy against this kind of thing…Late stage Capitalism is utterly inimical to the Nation State and thus the rights bequeathed to us in the Constitution.”

      In 1990, Capitalism defeated Communism. By 2010, it had also defeated Democracy and Free Markets.

  8. colddeadhandsdays

    So his solution is a huge welfare state. Socialism. I guess it will work for the first time in History when the robots take over…

    • anonymous

      “Socialism. I guess it will work for the first time in History when the robots take over…”

      Why not? If the argument against socialism is “something, something, something, human nature” — e.g., “socialism will always fail because it’s against human nature to work as hard for others as you do for yourself” — what happens when you take “human nature” out of the equation?

    • Jimmy the Saint

      As a practical matter, most countries will have to choose between: (1) paying idled workers to do nothing; (2) create makework jobs; (3) liquidate excess, or some combination of the three.

      While some percentage of workers can be retrained for new careers, another percentage can’t (too dumb, or too old for employers to justify the cost). The future isn’t necessarily going to be pretty.

  9. anonymous

    “The obvious solution, one I think inevitable within a few decades unless we want a revolution, is a guaranteed minimum income, enough to live on comfortably, for everyone. Whether this is a good idea can be debated, but it seems likely to be the only idea. Capitalists will tell me that I do not understand markets, or capital flows or pricing mechanisms, and that I am against freedom.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of readers here at WRSA believe that Mr. Reed does not understand markets and is against freedom. They will defend whatever it is they call “capitalism” to the bitter end of the world, no matter how counter-productive and destructive their idea of capitalism becomes.

    As we like to say, “That which cannot go on forever, won’t”; because it makes us feel so clever when we do. Yet somehow, we then go on to pretend that displacing workers and lowering wages can and will go on forever because…uh…something something about Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman and markets adapting. We then expect anyone who is of no use to the Job Creatorz ™ should just read Atlas Shrugged and accept their duty to die, while foolishly believing that we will be welcomed into Galt’s Gulch by our betters.

    This is what happens when we base our ideas on bad science fiction written by a Hollywood screen-writer turned New York celebrity author, rather than actual science. I, for one, will welcome our new robot overlords.

    • It’s easy to critique capitalism, since it can mean anything you want it to mean. But even in the future, robots or no, people will contract with each other to do mutually useful things – if only government and various other institutions get out of the way. If they don’t, then people will resort to war.

  10. LeGrandeGuy

    Yes, robotics is the penultimate wet dream of capitalism: the final disintermediation of labor and capital. This is because humans suck-if you’ve ever managed people, even good little servile not-too-smart-yet cheerful-and-very-productive types, it’s still like herding cats. Not to mention the illnesses, pregnancies, rivalries, politics and backstabbing. It’s enough to make you run for the robotic embrace. A big picture big problem is, of course, that capital cannot live without labor, e.g. customers AND the surplus that results from productive activity. Via robotics capital will extinguish itself. POOF. Gone. Somewhere in the dark slimy recesses of its collective Harvard-Yale-Princeton educated hive mind capital senses and fears this eventuality, hence the death-grip embrace of keynsian monetary theory. I see the elites squatting in a corner of their cell, rocking back and forth like a mental patient, muttering “I don’t need productive surpluses, I simply create money for myself”. Henry Ford understood what Elon Musk cannot grasp: SOMEONE has to actually buy your products, and your first line of customers is your employees.

    • No, they get it and they’re moving towards a steady state, high tech Medievalism with themselves of the Over Lords, immortal in android bodies and the rest of humanity as the serfs – no more than 500 million a la the Georgia Guide Stones.

      Remember, they’re smarter than other people. Capitalism is a vehicle of power and wealth, nothing more. Once you arrive, you change or abandon the vehicle. As Morgan said long ago, competition is a sin. Only the small fry and suckers ever believed in “pure” Capitalism. Winners believe in alliances and aristocracy, if only the aristocracy of pull.

  11. anonymous

    Guess who’s going to be sent to take your guns, collect your taxes, serve you with an eviction notice (and enforce that eviction), etc….

  12. FrozenPatriot

    “The first crucial question of coming decades: Who is going to buy the stuff pouring from robotic factories?”

    I couldn’t disagree more. The first crucial question is, “Who is going to design, build, and maintain these inevitable robotic factories?” Robots will do none of those tasks for the foreseeable future, and the opportunities for anyone willing to learn a new skill are boundless. Isn’t that what’s preached around here; learning new skills? Bettering ourselves? Especially those skills which carry multiple uses? These proficiencies could easily be repurposed to produce effective FREEFOR force multipliers, should the bureaucratic alphabet soup decay into a treasonous slime. The only limit is your imagination…

    • Jimmy the Saint

      There is a fundamentally huge difference between learning new skills and learning marketable skills, however. Therein lies the rub.

      • FrozenPatriot

        Agreed. I learned the skills of creating high-tech tools and machines which make workers more efficient. My skills are exceedingly marketable right now.

        Sadly, it seems this makes me the enemy of half the commentariat here, even though the tools and materials I use could quickly be repurposed for any use imaginable.

    • Answer: a very few people. Try to get some sense of numerical proportion. Technology eliminates jobs. That’s the whole point. Managers stay up late at night dreaming of how to eliminate workers. It’s an inhuman system. Always was. Now it’s just reach the end point where it doesn’t need people hardly at all.

      Have you read Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, or Orwell? Early industrialism was brutal beyond belief – and some of that still lingered in their day. Yes, they had little kids working 12-16 hours a day. They’d fall asleep and fall into the machines. John Locke, that paragon of Capitalist virtue, said someplace that he sympathized with reformers, but didn’t want to deny children their right to work. Damning.

      • FrozenPatriot

        My point is that technology also creates other jobs — jobs which pay better and are in higher demand than the old ones. The same thing happened 120 years ago when the horse buggey makers were displaced by automobile makers. Automobile manufacturing was consolidated geographically and the rest of the country lost out. The good news is that nobody is discussing the long term effects of horse buggey worker displacement…

        Back to my point: if the people in the patriot community really believed this was about to be a problem, the good news is that we have a head start on adapting and preparing ourselves personally and professionally to capitalize on this inevitable paradigm shift, and that skills in robotics and automation will absolutely come in darn handy if the tyrants ever go full retard.


    “…as time goes on and fewer and fewer people find work, something has to give.” It just did, in Dallas. The RENT-A-MOB industry is one of the largest in THE USSA. It has been growing steadily since the 60’s. It has been and is funded by Communists, Cosmic White Progressives, and the useful idiots in Hollywood. It is coming to a neighborhood near you. Bleib ubrig.

  14. anonymous

    So what happens when foreign robots start taking jobs from American robots?

  15. I kept waiting for the robot to get annoyed and bitchslap the guy with the broom.

  16. anonymous

    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC): “Why We Are Doomed” (July 5, 2016):

  17. Grenadier1

    I have no doubt that 150 years ago our kin folks had the same conversations about steam, electricity, and tractors. People adapt and find new ways to do things. It’s what we do.

    • Robot-lover….


    • Steam, electricity and tractors did not replace labor; it enhanced labor. Robots will not only replace, but eliminate labor, skills, talent…

      The argument makes sense. Replace truck drivers with robo-trucks and all the electronic sensors and watch the disasters unfold with “find fuel station” and the robo-truck driving through swamps, parks, malls, because the GPS told it to. Add to that, black ice, commuter traffic, the programmed sudden safety stops and weather and atmospheric conditions.

      Loss of Wi-Fi signal and the autonomous truck is solely on programmed operations without any ability for judgement. May work for dedicated remote roads, not for travelled public roads.

    • Yes, all those things eliminated jobs. And the jobs they created did not equal the number they took. Computers were far worse. And automation is far worse again. You’re not looking. Let go of the feel good ideology and Look. If you wont Look, you can’t See.

  18. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on ETC., ETC., & ETC..

  19. Try this one on. When the next generation can go get a robot/love object, that doesn’t break up with you, doesn’t get pregnant, always does what you want, when you want it, as many times as you want, doesn’t get old, fat, wrinkly, squirrely, bitchy, menopausal, won’t cheat on you, file for divorce, spend all your dough, or fail to clean the house and make you a sammich, shuts up during football games(between robots in the RFL) gets you a beer, always dresses sexy, how the fuck is the human race going to perpetuate itself when no one is replacing themselves? Why would anyone want a human/human relationship, with all its faults and pitfalls, when a robot will do everything you want, perfectly, consistently, forever? Anybody remember Cherry 2000? I’ll be honest, I wanted one.

    • anonymous

      “Anybody remember Cherry 2000? I’ll be honest, I wanted one.”

      I don’t want people thinking I’m some kind of robosexual.

    • Evolution, genetic and memetic. There are and always will be people who thrive on challenge. Having a relationship is a challenge, and some people will enjoy it. Those who can pass this on to later generations will create tribe and culture that will continue to progress, where those who curl up with the sexbots will die out.

    • FrozenPatriot

      I welcome this paradigm. The losers who take the easy path in life will finally be removed from the gene pool, and we old-fashioned hard working conservative Godly folks will keep having huge families.

      In two generations, we win.

  20. Jimmy the Saint

    It’s not like governments don’t already know quite well how to deal with “excess labor”. Headcount reduction is one of the few things that they are very, very, very good at.

  21. Anonymous

    Luddites said cloth weaving machines would lower the standards of living of poor people. But today, starving children in Africa can afford to wear cloth clothes. If someone were to invent a Star Trek food replication machine that makes food even cheaper, Luddites will say everybody will starve.

    Kunstler is even crazier than the Luddites; there is no track record of technology decreasing long-term. What, you’re going to exterminate every copy of Linux on the planet?

    When sex robots arrive, children will only be made by parents who want them. All the children are wanted, what a disaster! The conservative Christian policy is to force teenagers who wanted sex but not children to be parents, and force third parties to pay for them. Conservative Christians need a big government to force everyone around at gunpoint to do things they hate.

    Fred must be a liberal: he claims to have good intentions, therefore he gives himself credit for good acts. Doesn’t matter what the results are, doesn’t matter that he can tell in advance that it won’t work. On some level he has happy utopian wishes, and that’s all that matters. Socialized medicine? Wind power? Gun control? Liberals have good vibes about these things, and that’s all that matters, to them. Why do you let policy be set by hippies?

  22. Anonymous

    Let me see if I understand: human society would be better off overall if labor-saving devices disappeared, re-creating the jobs these devices eliminated. Someone to wash clothes by beating them against rocks in a stream. Someone to weave those clothes by hand. Someone to bend over and plant and cultivate and harvest food plants by hand. Kunstler would ban the wheel if he could.

    Conservative Christians, the cultural descendants of Puritans, are so full of self-loathing they want every human to be miserable all the time. They say ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’, which means if people have unsupervised free time and saved capital beyond subsidence, they might think up a disruptive innovation like the cotton gin. Much better that slaves do fieldwork by hand, and be so tortured their minds are busy with survival and can’t imagine anything else. Handcuff humans to a hamster wheel so they can’t get ahead. Steal their retirement savings. Excess capital must be drained off by taxation into makework like war, and fake internal improvements like Egyptian pyramids or wind power.

    • anonymous

      “Let me see if I understand: human society would be better off overall if labor-saving devices disappeared, re-creating the jobs these devices eliminated.”

      No. But a robot economy means we need to re-think how we distribute wealth, since human labor will be worth zero. But our slavish devotion to the gods of Capitalism will prevent that from happening.

  23. I think Fred is totally wrong on this one.

    The increase in automation is about the de-centralization of production as much as anything else.

    You think that the beginning of the industrial revolution and the numbers of jobs putting widgets together was a perminant thing?

    You will have to learn new skills or go hungry. You think you can vote to take from my productivity cause you didn’t learn?

    Guess what? The decentralization of production makes it much harder to tax and this in turn makes governments less able to divide the spoils from those who produce and those who are rent seekers.

    Keep up or go hungry. You think you are so special cause you are in the west with the welfare state?

    That is a aberration in the world history. Take a trip and live somewhere there is no social safety net. Then you see how the world really is.