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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

LiquidLink57 True, but he still doesn't quite get it (674 comments)

Something you'll never hear a politician say is that one of the goals of a real economy is to eliminate jobs. But over the long term that's exactly what makes our lives better. As technology replaces labor and makes products cheaper, we as a society spend less of a portion of our income on that, and can spend more on something else, possibly something entirely new, that we desire, thus improving our standard of living.
Very few people want to a job if they don't have to have one - they want the "stuff" and leisure time that the money they earn in that job can get them.

Think about it in terms of the broken window fallacy. Say there's a window guy, who has to repair our windows every time they break. So whenever that happens, people have to spend a portion of their income to have that fixed. So small disasters (and big, if you listen to the news) look like a boon to the economy because it gets people to get rid of their money in ways they wouldn't have otherwise - without broken windows, that guy would be out of a job!

But imagine if windows never broke. The repairman would be doing something else that's valued by society, perhaps making suits. With the money that everyone saves by never having to replace windows (and technically those jos lost), we could more easily afford to get those new suits. And society is wealthier and our standard of living improves, because we have suits that it wouldn't have had if the job-killing window tech hadn't come along.

I'm not saying it's great for the repair guy in the short term. He does have to find a new line of work, just like the telephone operators did. 90% of people used to have to be farmers and the vast majority of those jobs no longer exist. But now food is so much smaller of a portion of our incomes that we can have other great things in our lives. Computers, A/C, video games, music, and more leisure, that we all desire.

about a year ago

Adobe Bows To Pressure and Cuts Australian Prices

LiquidLink57 Re:Can they get away with it so easily? (159 comments)

Charging a high price is certainly not equivalent to breaking a law. If you think the price is too high, you don't have to buy it. They got bad publicity about it and reduced their prices, and that's all fine and good, but the government has no business telling a private company what they can and can't charge for their products.

If I went out in my backyard and sold pine cones for $6,000 each, we could all agree that's a bit of a high price. The fact that no one would buy them at that price, or at least very few people, would be the signal telling me that I should probably cut that down a little. And still no authority has any right to come in and force me to lower the price.

about 2 years ago

Why Can't Industry Design an Affordable Hearing Aid?

LiquidLink57 Re:three words, one hyphen: (549 comments)

True, but it's even more nuanced than that.

Right now, the government gives tax incentives for an employee to get health insurance from their employer. So if my regular income is taxed at, say, 25%, I could either receive $10,000 worth of health care benefits from my employer tax free, or cash, which would mean I would only receive $7,500. So I'd be a fool to not get my health insurance through my employer. So the employee has a government created incentive to favor getting insurance over money. And the more medical prices rise, the "better" it is for me to choose to get the health insurance.

With a huge amount of people incentivized to get this health insurance, and use it as the way to pay for every single medical treatment they receive, and not just insurance against catastrophic accidents (a certain amount of coverage will be mandated under the Affordable Care Act) the more people completely disregard the cost of the care they receive. Do you ever see a list of services and prices posted at a hospital? They're not paying for it, so what do they care what anything costs? If they don't pay (beyond maybe a deductible) why is it worth it for them to price shop? Insurance companies can attempt to do this to a degree by restricting where people can get care or choose not to cover certain things. But these choices are being legislated away as well, and force insurance companies to cover certain things free of charge, hugely distorting the market even more.

Imagine if we bought food like we bought health care. Instead of getting cash, we'd have a government incentive to instead receive an all-you-can-eat grocery card from our employers. We'd walk into a grocery store, and there would be no prices posted, because the shoppers wouldn't care because they aren't paying anyway. Naturally prices would skyrocket as consumers no longer consider price. The government then would come in, point out the skyrocketing price of food, declare a "food crisis," and take over the whole industry. Having caused the problems in the first place.

Look at areas of medical treatment in which the government is not involved. Sadly there are very few of those, but take for example Lasik surgery. Prices for that drop every single year. Why? Because of natural market pressures. People usually pay for that out of pocket, so they naturally price- and quality shop. Lasik establishments are incented to reduce costs and improve quality. And they do.

The problem is not that it's "for profit." The computer industry is hugely profit-driven, and advances in manufacturing and assembly efficiencies drive down costs a huge amount. McDonald's prices don't skyrocket because they're for-profit. The reason problems get solved and consumers get what they want is because people can make profits providing what they want at a price they want, without government intervention. But parent is right. The problem isn't "greedy capitalism." The problem is that we have gotten so far from real capitalism, though we still think that's what we've got, and whenever something like this happens, someone points out capitalism and greed as the problem and insert even more damaging bureaucracy.

more than 2 years ago

At my place of employ, we track business data ...

LiquidLink57 Free vs. free (185 comments)

Am I the only one who doesn't know the difference between "free" software and "Free" software?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Tips On 2D To Stereo 3D Conversion?

LiquidLink57 Re:new generation, new suckers for '3d' (125 comments)

It seems its decision is based upon movement. The more an object moves, the more it jumps out. It is logical, but you can imagine where that doesn't work.

That's what comes from basing their 3D algorithm on T-Rex vision.

about 3 years ago

Judge Prevents 23,322 Filesharing Does From Being Sued For Now

LiquidLink57 "The Expandables"? (199 comments)

Yeah, I'd say that movie had a lot of room for growth.

more than 3 years ago

US Intelligence Agency to Compile Mountain of Metaphors

LiquidLink57 Re:Not enough really. (151 comments)

If you don't understand analogies, don't use them. It's like a pig on a tightrope.

more than 3 years ago

Netflix CEO Hesitant To Fight Cable

LiquidLink57 Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (366 comments)

Exactly. People don't seem to realize that the reason big corporations lobby for (and often get) legislation passed in their favor is that the overreaching government has the power to change and shape the system in their favor. If the government didn't have this power to begin with, lobbying would be a fruitless endeavor. Instead, all of them tug and pull to get what they argue is "fair" for them, and all of a sudden we have thousands of tiny laws for every permutation of business out there, leaving gaping holes for rampant corruption.

Too bad, really. The Constitution was set up specifically to limit the government's power to very few, very particular things. What it does today, or tries to do, continues to astound me, and they're only pushing to make it bigger. A government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have.

more than 3 years ago

Is the Gaming Industry Moving Online Too Fast?

LiquidLink57 Re:Sounds practical (185 comments)

Whoosh? Whoosh.

more than 3 years ago

Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy

LiquidLink57 Re:Technically... (1277 comments)

You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship.

more than 3 years ago

Israeli Company Trains Security Mice

LiquidLink57 Re:Won't replace dogs (96 comments)

Follow. But! Follow only if ye be men of valor, for the entrance to this airport is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel, that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair! So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!

more than 3 years ago

Egypt Shuts Off All Internet Access

LiquidLink57 Re:I'm pro-gun control, but .. (840 comments)

This is exactly why the Second Amendment exists. The people who wrote that amendment had just fought a war for two years against a tyrannical government. They sure as hell couldn't have done that without guns. And they knew the day would come when it would have to happen again, so they made possessing firearms a right that the government could never take away.

The Second Amendment isn't so hicks can hunt raccoons - it's so we have the means by which we can keep our government in check.

Fear the government that fears your gun.

about 4 years ago

I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

LiquidLink57 Re:Gold Coins! (868 comments)

My name is Guybrush Threepwood, and I want to be a pirate.

about 4 years ago

Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

LiquidLink57 Re:Loyalty (785 comments)

Stolen from Dwight on The Office. You could have at least changed a word or two.

Still hilarious though.

about 4 years ago

Should Younger Developers Be Paid More?

LiquidLink57 Sure, if he's worth it (785 comments)

If one employee is worth more to an employer than another, then of course he should make more. If a junior developer can do what my company needs to have done, and the older one can't, then he's worth more and should be compensated for it.

It's just economics. Salary for a job is based on the supply of workers with the skill set needed and demand for them.

about 4 years ago

Anti-Piracy Lawyers 'Knew Letters Hit Innocents'

LiquidLink57 Re:I think Shakespear had it right (240 comments)

I see all of your points, but I have to say I'm against the death penalty. I have many reasons for this, but I'll tell you the main one.

Many convicted people on death row have been later found innocent and exonerated due to newly found evidence, or after discovering prosecutorial misconduct or whatever. These are innocent people that all of us, as members of this club called the United States, who allow the death penalty, would have murdered. If we haven't done this already, which we almost certainly have, we will, at some point, know for a fact that we murdered an innocent person. At that point, we are all murders. And we, in turn, deserve to die.

That's the paradox of the death penalty. Lock the murderers up forever, definitely. But if we kill people that we're "pretty sure" killed someone else, even if the evidence seems terribly conclusive and emotions run high, it remains an incredibly dangerous legal environment. And if you don't think it happens, it does: http://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/innocent-north-carolina-man-exonerated-after-14-years-death-row

more than 4 years ago

Iron Man Is Another Step Closer To a Reality

LiquidLink57 Re:Pine boards... (289 comments)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeWQxI15aaw When people in martial arts classes break 3 and 4 boards at a time, they use something to separate the boards at the edges - usually chopsticks or pencils.
This space makes it so you're only breaking one at a time, and each one actually helps to break the one below it. The "Iron Man" suit here is actually shown without anything separating the boards. You don't see martial arts teachers or students doing anything like that.
Checkout the Bullshit episode on martial arts for more info too. I'd provide a link to that on YouTube, but want to avoid linking to copyrighted stuff.

more than 4 years ago



ICANN votes to allow unlimited Domain names

LiquidLink57 LiquidLink57 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

LiquidLink57 writes "ICANN has voted to allow company to purchase virtually unlimited domain names. Though the application costs a hefty $185,000, they said it will allow companies to protect their valuable trademarks."
Link to Original Source


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