Robots increasing unemployment
Still slow to hire here

From the article:On Friday, December 5, 2003, the government released its Non-farm Payroll numbers. With the GDP growing at an 8% to 9% rate, and profits up 30%, analysts were expecting the number of new jobs to start exploding. The number they expected for November was at least 150,000 new jobs. Instead, the economy produced an anemic 57,000 new jobs.

The stock market fell immediately on the news. The reason: investors realize that if the economy rebounds, but employment doesn't match the growth, we have a problem -- fewer consumers.

This problem -- known as "the jobless recovery" and exemplified by the article quoted above -- is exactly what you would expect in a robotic nation. Robots and other rapidly accelerating technologies take jobs faster than new jobs can be created. So employment stagnates -- that is what we are seeing today. Eventually unemployment will increase even as the economy grows. For example, there will be a day when robotic checkout lines, robotic sweeping machines, robotic shelf-stocking machines and so on allow Wal-Mart and every other retailer to lay off millions of workers all at approximately the same time. At that point, unemployment will increase significantly. At the same time, wealth will be concentrating significantly.

The question then becomes, what happens to this mass of unemployed workers? Because of the concentration of wealth, the alignment of the political process with wealth and the rise of robotic security forces, it is unlikely that the unemplyed masses will have any say in the outcome. Terrafoam housing, as described in Manna, seems like one increasingly probable path unless we begin taking action now to correct the imbalance.

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