It’s shocking to me that a data scientist has so little faith in software engineers. We’re on the cusp of going exponential.

I have great faith in software engineers, and have personally been involved with both “waves” of AI research, both in the late 1980's/early 1990’s and the current one. Part of the reason why we are having this debate is because we *are* going exponential with automation; if the advances were linear, it wouldn’t be a problem until the 2100’s.

The last decade was just ramping up. There are legal barriers to deal with for trucking, but not for call centers or retail workers or most other industries. It will be blazing fast and will only accelerate with any economic downturn.

It will be as fast as the public will tolerate. Software engineering doesn’t change people’s attitudes towards automation.

Business to business automation is governed by profit. Business to consumer automation is governed by consumer acceptance. When the ATM was perfected around 1980-ish, banks wanted fire all their tellers the next day. Know what stopped them?

There will be riots and protests before 2024. I’ll bet you any amount of money and you can bookmark this.

Boy, I bet you’re a lot of fun at parties. :-)

However, I think there’s a nonzero chance that there IS an uptick in riots and protests before 2024, but not for your reason. The reason would be that as far as I can tell, with the exception of the Democratic governors who are now dropping out of the race, every single person that could be on the ballot in 2020 is stark, raving mad; they’re either Trump or 1970-style statists who have forgotten where statism in the 1970’s got us.

But, there is an old saying that “We get the president we deserve.” I guess that’s true also, considering all the hate that’s bouncing around today.

So, couple together statist policies with an inevitable economic downturn caused by the old-fashioned business cycle and you get capital flight and an longer period of economic morbidity than we had in the post-meltdown years of 2011–2016. For THAT reason you may be right about the riots, and if it does, living overseas again starts to look pretty attractive to me.

A flat VAT is regressive in nature but when coupled with UBI, it’s simply the most progressive policy proposal out there today.

Sure, if you ignore the fact that it will destroy jobs at the lower margins (retail, call centers, as you’ve mentioned) a lot faster than other jobs.

How is it “progressive” when it accelerates job loss to the people who most need those jobs?

But, that all said, I wouldn’t be opposed to a VAT if we were to also get rid of the income tax. The VAT is broadbased and IN THEORY, affects high spending consumers (and large business) more than it affects low spending consumers and small business. So, there’s that.

So, how about that? Trade the income tax for a VAT and UBI? I think the VAT would be about 35% in order to make that work. You in? Lots of conservative thinkers would go for that one.

There’s a reason every other developed nation has one, yet we have one of the highest divides of rich vs. poor in the world.

The VAT and inequality are unrelated matters. Kind of like where the massive increase in crime in the 1960’s occurred immediately after prayer was banned in the public schools.

European countries use it to fund social programs and healthcare. Some 90% of Americans come out ahead. You can’t say that for any government jobs program.

See above comment regarding the acceleration of low end automation. How do low income americans come out ahead with a VAT and a UBI if all the burgers are being built by burger machines, calls answered by chatbots, and shelves stocked by robots?

You gotta peel the onion another layer down.

What we’re talking about is recapturing value that is going from poor american to rich american. Someone buying an item on Amazon, or a company advertising a product on Youtube. That cannot be shipped offshore.

The manufacture of the item can be shipped offshore, if it’s not already. Further (and Amazon hasn’t done this yet, but will in the future) sales and marketing and advertising development can be moved offshore.

(I have no idea how many developers Amazon and Facebook and Google employ in those large campuses, but ……. there is precisely no reason why those people need to be in the USA. You’ve admitted that yourself.)

You’re an interesting conundrum, you know. You are very concerned about the exponential acceleration of automation and what it will do to the US workforce, but then you support policies that would increase that exponential acceleration. :-)

I also have more faith in local government than federal, but what exactly is your solution? Local governments don’t have the money to fund jobs. It would need to come from the federal government. So where is that money coming from?

Good question. My experience is that if local citizens see explicit value from a local tax increase, they are not opposed to increases in funding. It’s no different than any other value proposition. If the mayor says “OK, we are going to institute a city sales tax of .25% (which for most local jurisdictions is a LOT of money, btw) we’re going to create X jobs that pay $Y and that will all go to people with a local address”, voters, in my opinion, will sign off.

Saying the corporate tax works but the largest 50 companies are avoiding it is… I don’t even know how to respond to.

I have no idea what the confusion is. We have an excellent corporate tax system (finally) that has some loopholes on the high end. Close the loopholes. You don’t have to rewrite the entire damn code because of Google.

Is there any chance in that situation to reduce equality?

I suggest you stop worrying about inequality. The guy on the burger line at McDonalds does not care that BuffetGatesBezosZuckerberg have megabucks. What he cares about is an extra .50c in his paycheck.

Work bottom up, not top down.

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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