Saturday, June 18, 2011

The most depressing thing I've ever read.

This just might be the most depressing thing I've ever read. 
Seriously. 

The experiment was prompted by Obama's recent comments that things like ATM's, airport check-in ticket scanners, and other technologies have killed a lot of jobs. 

Please pray for our nation.

4 comments:

Nick said...

At least two states, Oregon and New Jersey, have banned self-service gasoline stations. The states did so specifically to maintain higher employment, not for any public safety reason.

I was happy to have a job pumping gas when I needed the work, but it's ridiculous to tell businesses that they MUST hire labor when self-service opportunities exist.

Many grocery stores and home improvement stores have added self-service checkout to save labor costs. I avoid these like the plague because they seldom work well, and the stupidest person in the store is likely to be in line in front of you.

Some gas stations offer full service for a higher price. That's good too for people who can't or don't want to get their hands dirty. Frankly, I avoid the human interaction. While I was conscientious about protecting people's cars when I pumped gas, others are not. I've had attendants scratch my car, drip gasoline down the side, try to overcharge me, steal my credit card number, and wasted my time trying to get under my hood to sell high-priced fluids I didn't need.

The bottom line is that labor is being priced out of the market NOT because technology is so cheap, but because the cost of labor is so high. With payroll taxes, workers comp, unemployment insurance, OSHA, unions, and other regulations, it's simply not cost-effective to have humans do certain chores anymore.

Machines free up labor from menial and dangerous chores to do much higher-valued work. The problem is that people aren't gaining the skills to do higher-valued work.

Cedric Katesby said...

One of the things I like to do is read interesting stories.
I also like surveys and opinion polls and commentaries.
Love 'em.
Can't get enough of them.
But...
Out of force of habit, no matter how shocking or interesting or amazing the story or opinion poll is, I always ask one simple question.

Who says?

(I never fail to ask this question. It's a good skeptical question. People should ask it more often.)

In this case, it's "MRC TV: A division of the Media Research Center."

Never heard of them.
So then I ask myself "Who are they?" and I google them.

And then later, I look at some of their other videos...
Hmm.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Nick,
From a Keynesian/Big Government point of view, the best thing we could do is outlaw all engines and motors. The number of jobs created would be staggering.

From an Austrian perspective (and I have the right to comment on these things because, after all, I ship fruitstands), ATM's, scanners, pay at the pump systems, merely lower costs, leaving the customer with more money to spend on other things at other places. And yeah, some people who get replaced by electronics never, ever recover from it.

Cedric,
Help a brothah out here. I'm not seeing anything weird about them yet, other than a desire to see how many American sheep/victims would actually sign a petition to ban ATM's, and use the video as a commentary on the sad state of the electorate.
Hope you're doing well. Come to Texas !!!!

Cedric Katesby said...

Help a brothah out here. I'm not seeing anything weird about them yet, other than a desire to see how many American sheep/victims would actually sign a petition to ban ATM's.

Oh, that's innocuous enough.
Yet it's a good idea to to find out who these people are.
Who were the nice people that brought you that message?
What other messages do they want to bring to you?

A KKK website (that surprisingly does not openly admit to being a KKK website) might promote a "Support your local police force" week. Doesn't mean that you should link to them just because you like that one idea.
That one video or even a series of videos could be just designed to create a veneer of respectability.
Think of it as packaging as part of an overall marketing strategy.

Take freedom for example.
We all love freedom, right?
So...nothing wrong with a website called "Real Patriots for Real Freedom", right?
Ok.
Click the site and, gosh, they talk in glowing terms about the flag, mom, apple pie, good ol' folksy wisdom, blah, blah, yadda, yadda etc.
(There might even be a few videos of children playing with dogs...in the sunshine)

Then they start talking about...cigarettes. And freedom.
A theme gently emerges. "They" want to "take away" your cigarettes which morphs into "them" taking away your freedoms.
Everybody loves freedom, right?
Well, don't let them!

A really good question to ask is who exactly is ""Real Patriots for Real Freedom"?
It's great that they are all for freedom and all but...who are they?
Chances are "Real Patriots" doesn't actually exist.
It's just a front organisation indirectly supported by Phillip Morris.

Cigarette companies don't actually care about your freedoms.
They care about cigarette sales.

The whole freedom thing wrapped up in the flag with happy children playing with their dogs is just good packaging. They just want to push your emotional buttons.

When someone sends you a message, always find out who brought you that message...even if you really like that message.

(...re-reads the last sentence...)

Let me modify that a little.
When someone sends you a message, always find out who brought you that message...ESPECIALLY if you really like that message.


Hope you're doing well. Come to Texas !!!!

Still waiting on my paperwork to filter through the system. It's been six months now. Once that monkey is off my back, I am on the first plane over.