Bill Gates Wants You to be Prepared for the Massive Robot Workforce

Bill Gates Wants You to be Prepared for the Massive Robot Workforce

Robots are going to take millions of jobs over, and Bill Gates doesn't think we're prepared for the shift.

During a lengthy interview with D.C. think tank American Enterprise Institute (via Business Insider), Bill Gates commented on how software automation and robots will take over lower-wage jobs in the near future.

"Software substitution, whether it's for drivers or waiters or nurses... it's progressing," Gates said. "Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill set... 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don't think people have that in their mental model."

It's like any popular sci-fi flick, from Back to the Future II to The Fifth Element. Instead of a bartender or waiter, you get a screen, or a robot dressed up in a suit. We all get excited at the prospect of interacting with robots, I think, but we don't often think about the economic impact.

So how does Gates propose keeping a human workforce in the minimum wage space? Governments need to offer incentives to business to keep real people on the payroll. This could be through tax breaks, or even through the elimination of the payroll tax.

The entire Gates interview is about 67 minutes long, and it covers the aforementioned, along with minimum wage, American foreign aid, education, and the connection between charity and capitalism.

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Hate to break it to you, Mr. Gates, but you're years late to this discussion. Automation is rapidly displacing low-skill manual workers out of their jobs, and so far the primary plan of the rich and powerful has been "let them eat cake". They seem to have forgotten what happened the last time someone in a position of power said that.

I'm no Luddite, but change comes with consequences, and history has shown that those in power who don't ensure the well-being of the masses during times of great change tend to be removed from power quite harshly.

I'm a little offended at him putting nurses into the "lower end of the skill set." I can't see any way, short of real, honest to god sentient AI becoming a reality, that nurses can be replaced by automation. That is in no way a low skill set kind of job.

Makes sense if you subscribe to the notion that as efficiency goes higher, jobs go down.

The Rogue Wolf:
Hate to break it to you, Mr. Gates, but you're years late to this discussion. Automation is rapidly displacing low-skill manual workers out of their jobs, and so far the primary plan of the rich and powerful has been "let them eat cake". They seem to have forgotten what happened the last time someone in a position of power said that.

I'm no Luddite, but change comes with consequences, and history has shown that those in power who don't ensure the well-being of the masses during times of great change tend to be removed from power quite harshly.

Have to agree with you overall. The reality is companies don't tend to hire workers because they're getting tax incentives. They hire workers because they have a need of more workers. Automation is going to continue, and I'm not sure we'll be able to live in an economy with sufficient numbers of higher skill jobs to employ everyone. I mean, between automation and shipping jobs off to countries with substantially lower wages we've already kind of demonstrated that there aren't enough jobs (though there are more than are being filled. The problem is not enough people have the appropriate education for these jobs).

I do not think for one second that going backwards and reducing automation is necessarily the answer. But I do think it's time to revisit the idea that is capitalism and perhaps admit to ourselves as a society that it really isn't perfect, it isn't ideal, and it may not even be capable of functioning in a world where the amount of goods continue to increase at an alarming pace, but the number of people needed to produce them is rapidly declining as well.At a certain point the "free market" seems likely to result in an untenable number of unemployed. And when enough people can't eat, they're going to be coming for the wealthy who've been making out better than kings for the last few decades.

It'll be interesting to see if the number of skilled jobs can keep up.

This had to be linked. I don't think we're quite there yet Mr Gates X3

Eventually, we're going to have to ditch capitalism and that's going to be a fairly brutal process. We'll reach a point where pretty much everything we do, or at least a large percentage of it, can be done more effectively by robots and computers. Incentivising companies to employ real people is a good short term solution, but it's not the long term one, because ultimately we want robots doing these jobs because it increases our productivity so much. I don't know how we avoid communism though but equally all the money is going to be concentrated in the people who own the robots*. It can't be a top down solution.

And then we'll have to adjust to a leisure society where humans don't have any more purpose than they give themselves. It'll be more natural to dedicate yourself to hobbies etc and obsess over them. We'll value the wonkiness in non-machine goods

*I know this is essentially Marx's argument, but the flaw in his reasoning was 'In the future machines will take over the workforce who will have no way of supporting themselves leading to a collapse of capitalism. So lets break it now'. We don't even have the problem yet, we definitely need the 100x more efficient robot workforce before we can start to ponder the solution

Royas:
I'm a little offended at him putting nurses into the "lower end of the skill set." I can't see any way, short of real, honest to god sentient AI becoming a reality, that nurses can be replaced by automation. That is in no way a low skill set kind of job.

Except he didn't say that.

He said software substitution for jobs in general (such as nursing ), is progressing.

He then went on to say that robots will continue to replace humans, especially in low skilled jobs.

You're the one connecting the two points. Still, I would agree that nursing is suitable for replacement by automation, not because it is an unskilled position, but because it is a role which can be well defined, one that requires a known level of knowledge and is responsible for specific tasks, that's the sort of think that makes you robot replaceable.

Of course, that applies to most jobs, which is kind of what Billy is getting at. The only jobs safe (or at least, safer. For now.) are those requiring high levels of ingenuity and problem solving. Basically, those who invent new solutions to problems, not those who apply existing ones.

I've often wondered about this myself. When I go into a supermarket and see those self checkout stands. How much longer until there are just no more cashiers at retail stores? It sounds crazy, and yet more and more stores are putting those self checkout things in.

I am worried about what will happen when these low-end jobs are taken out of the game. I think things are going to get pretty ugly in a lot of places.

When technology made hunter-gatherer societies unviable, humans moved to agricultural societies.

When technology made agriculture-based economies unviable, humans moved to industrial economies.

When technology made industry-based economies unviable, humans moved to service economies.

I feel confident that when technology makes service-based economies unviable, new opportunities and avenues will make themselves evident, and average quality of life will make another huge leap forward.

I watched the whole interview by the way. Very cool stuff.

Royas:
I'm a little offended at him putting nurses into the "lower end of the skill set." I can't see any way, short of real, honest to god sentient AI becoming a reality, that nurses can be replaced by automation. That is in no way a low skill set kind of job.

Its a very particular skill set kind of job. I'm in biotechnology, and a key aspect of the biomedical devices I design is that the nurse should be able to deploy it immediately without learning anything new. I understand your discomfort, but it is exactly the kind of job that one could imagine automating. Infeasible now, to be sure, but one could imagine a hive mind computer system for doing all of the monitoring, patient turning, butt wiping, bag replacing, and medicine delivering needed in long-term outpatient care roles at lower cost and risk than a visiting nurse. Add networked machine learning and a cadre of trained nurses helping that along, one could do amazing things with machines.

What bill is saying here is not that nurses are low skill; its that jobs today filled by people may be relegated to computers. Anything that requires training to do could in principle be automated. You don't see pin head makers, switchboard operators, or soda bottle labelers much today. Those are replaced by assembly line robotics or networking. GoogleCar is going to kill the taxi driver and the truck driver within 3 decades-- and I argue sooner-- by taking the wheel away from drivers.

Whats more likely-- a touch screen menu at burger king, or $15 an hour fast food unions? Applied robotics and the explosion of software would mean a self-driving lawnmower could be readily obtained to keep an entire neighborhood's grass mowed 24 hours a day. Run your grocery cart through an RFID bin and simultaneously scan every item that goes into it. The cashiers are gone, and they replace the baggers, whom could all be replaced by food delivery at home by Amazon, which wants to start cutting local delivery drivers with robotic flying drone fleets. Unintended consequences of this would make everyone obsolete. Whats a secretary for anymore? Who needs a cafeteria staff when the central factory pre-slices the ingredients and the machine at location assembles the meals hygienically, deliciously, and waste free?

I predict that the luddite movement of centuries past is going to see a resurgence. During the transition, the folks working actual physical jobs are going to reflexively react; I predict the change will come much faster than most people expect. Its got potential for ugliness, and I am not sure the way society is going to pan out when even those who want to labor cannot as they've been effectively priced and skilled out by robotics. Bill's suggested solution-- regulation to keep people employed-- will be a temporary solution at best that does not address the underlying societal effect of a society that can effectively replace manual labor with robots and become more productive. I can hope that a robotic society needs more robiticists, maintenance, and programmers... but how many do you REALLY need?

We'll transition. It will get figured out. But I think a whole lot of poor people are going to fall off the societal treadmill.

Whenever this discussion pops up, I immediately think of Star Ocean 3. In it (spoiler alert) you eventually come across a society that has advanced so far that less than 10% of their population is actually working. To combat boredom, and give the populace that aren't privileged enough to be given a job something to do, they let them play a giant MMO all day long.
There's other story related nuances going on with this, of course, but that's the basic gist of it.

Currently in our society, we're conditioned into thinking that if you don't have a job of some sort, you're a failure.
I've been unable to prevent my unemployment for over 1 years now and counting (not for a lack of trying, mind), and despite my innate resistance to other people's opinion on how I should live my life, it still gnaws on me.
The Swedish social welfare system is pretty strong, and due to my hobby being computer games (a relatively cheap hobby, in comparison to others) I have no problem getting by. But... money aside, it just doesn't seem quite right. Not anymore.

The thought of going the rest of my life this way makes me feel a bit uneasy, but at the rate we're going, getting a job is not getting any easier. Humans need purpose, and if we're not getting it out of a job we need something else to fill that particular void.

Totally ready for a workforce of massive robots.

The Plunk:
When technology made hunter-gatherer societies unviable, humans moved to agricultural societies.

When technology made agriculture-based economies unviable, humans moved to industrial economies.

When technology made industry-based economies unviable, humans moved to service economies.

I feel confident that when technology makes service-based economies unviable, new opportunities and avenues will make themselves evident, and average quality of life will make another huge leap forward.

I watched the whole interview by the way. Very cool stuff.

I fully agree. Need drives progress. We can't see what the change will be yet, because we don't have a big enough need for a solution. It may be a nice easy solution, and it might not, but I think it will be for the better when we each have robot butlers.

I can't flirt with a robot bartender :( or chat. Even Siri is useless.

Is this not the plot to the Matrix ? ^.^

Very interesting thou, a long way off i think thou unless AI takes some giant leap

Jobs have been lost to machines since the industrial revolution, arguably before that. The introduction of robots into assembly lines just increased that rate dramatically and that was decades ago. But, robots and software can't judge and adapt the way a human mind can. Robo-waiters might not be able to compute a person's special request(like a food allergy). The AI for a nurse-bot might not be programmed to recognize rare symptoms or behavior in a patent and might not be able to react the right way even if it was. There's also repair work for many things that a robot just can't do and won't be able to for decades. That judgement and adapting thing hits them hard for any diagnosis of any system and virtually all repairs since anything can happen in the real world. I'm talking about things like circuit board repair, welding repairs on vehicles and equipment, automotive mechanical work, home improvement of any sort and many more. Those kinds of things have too many variables and are too complex to program a robot for right now. A robot cop is a thing from Futurama and will remain so for eons. (Robocop might be possible with augmented reality and powered armor, but an officer must be be in control for adapting to new situations.)

Then there's service robots. I've heard of how horrible chat bots and phone bots on customer service lines are. These along with other things like waiters, nurses or any other friendly face being taken away and replace by a machine that doesn't know shit and can only respond to however many variables the programmer thought of does not sit well with current generations and might not in the near future or beyond. Seeing that kind of thing happening just shows whatever company deployed those bots doesn't care about anything but their bottom line and will drive customers away from them.

That's not to say the robots are entirely bad their just scaling down the amount of old jobs the replace while creating a small amount of new ones. What people should do is learn how to repair and operate them, because, at least until bots repair bots, someone will need to perform maintenance on them and program them. CNC machines and welding robots can perform tens of times faster than manual machines, but both must be programmed and have their parts checked for QA every so often. Robots exist to do quality checks, but many jobs require that judgement deal again.

No one can say what the future holds. I say just stay in school and try to get a job a robot has no chance of doing until after your retirement.

Well, if you believe that there is only a limited number of jobs available, and when they run out they are gone forever, then that might be true. However, where jobs in old industries go, new industries spawn and new growth opportunities spring up for old industries. The invention of the wheel made a lot of people lose their jobs too, the tractor destroyed millions of farming jobs. We'll survive this new automation process. Besides, the west isn't in a manufacturing heavy economy anymore anyway. China may have to worry about this, if there comes a point where manufacturing is cheaper in America again. China might not be ready, but I think we'll be alright.

I don't feel like this labor replacement will happen fast enough to really shock people's systems. I mean, sure, he's right, there will be a point within our lifetimes where the concept of a low paying office or agriculture or retail job will be a think of the past, because computers and robotics will have become cheap and efficient enough over time too totally replace human beings in those fields.

However, I feel like this won't be such a bad thing. I mean, sure, over the decades it'll mean the loss of many millions of jobs, but it'll also create conditions for economic booms. Labor costs are the deciding factor in the end price of any consumer good, and this might lead to a post-scarcity society, where things like food and shelter can be produced so cheaply that people who don't want to work don't have too.

Well I for one welcome our future robot peons.

And as an engineer, I welcome the fact that it will only make my job easier.

Bill, have you ever seen Ghost in the Shell? Don't worry about it! We'll be fine.

Evil Smurf:
I can't flirt with a robot bartender :( or chat. Even Siri is useless.

At least you didn't game-over in Love Plus >_>

Yes.. I 'LOST' THE GAME

The Rogue Wolf:
Hate to break it to you, Mr. Gates, but you're years late to this discussion. Automation is rapidly displacing low-skill manual workers out of their jobs, and so far the primary plan of the rich and powerful has been "let them eat cake". They seem to have forgotten what happened the last time someone in a position of power said that.

I'm no Luddite, but change comes with consequences, and history has shown that those in power who don't ensure the well-being of the masses during times of great change tend to be removed from power quite harshly.

Hmm. Maybe, but remember that there was a time when skilled craftsmen complained about being replaced by factories, and factory workers in turn complained about being replaced with construction line machinery. Field hands and sharecroppers were replaced by tractors. Thousands of workers were replaced. Sure those people raised hell at the time, but they didn't upturn the government, and nobody now would seriously consider going back to manual labor. There will be a brutal period of low paying job loss before the market eventually corrects itself, but do I really think that a bunch of established forty year olds, the ones with real power, are going to care if a generation of twenty somethings can find work as a cashier? Not really. There will be push back, but in the end the march of progress cannot be stopped.

Oh well, there's no way this could end badly :P

I've been increasing worried about this as the economy fails to pick up. If machines also start replacing people on top of the staggering loss of jobs overseas I'm extremely worried we might not even be able to maintain the US's slow fall into poverty.

I haven't seen any new industry providing employment to the millions of people losing their jobs. On top of the fact that most of the people I know who have been able to find a new job are almost all getting only part time jobs and they usually pay less hourly as well. And many people I know who have kept their jobs are doing so because they took pay cuts.

And what should people even try to go back to school for? Any job thats done on a computer is likely to be shipped over seas. And there are less and less openings for lawyers, teachers, nurses. Not that anyone I know who needs retraining has the money to pay for school anyway.

And the whole go to school thing is ludicrous to begin with. That is not a solution for the tens and hundreds of millions of people who are going replaced by machines. Does anyone really think that all the truck drivers, clerks, waitresses, etc... are really going to be able earn advanced degrees? Not to mention that getting a degree is in no way a guarantee of a job at all. Many of the college grads I know are working the same min wage jobs as everyone else. Only they have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off.

you know, there is an old joke about a factory. There are two things in it: a guard and a dog. A guards job is to feed the dog. Dogs job is to make sure the guard doesnt touch the machines.

I am now very glad i got a job that involves human judgement which means a robot cannot replace me, only help me. and i already got a robot for that, Mr EXCEL.

The Plunk:
When technology made hunter-gatherer societies unviable, humans moved to agricultural societies.

When technology made agriculture-based economies unviable, humans moved to industrial economies.

When technology made industry-based economies unviable, humans moved to service economies.

I feel confident that when technology makes service-based economies unviable, new opportunities and avenues will make themselves evident, and average quality of life will make another huge leap forward.

I watched the whole interview by the way. Very cool stuff.

and each those changes were very painful. see the industrial revolution for reference. Thats because they were never prepared. Bill wants us to prepare for it so it wouldnt be so painful. Its not a matter of if, but how hard.

General Winter:
The invention of the wheel made a lot of people lose their jobs too, the tractor destroyed millions of farming jobs. We'll survive this new automation process.

And a lot of people starved in the process. Bill does not says its bad, merely that we should be prepared.

Raziel:
snip

The economy has picked up already. Well ok, not in US. but then, as you say, youve been in the slow fall to poverty for the last 40 years anyway.
Jobs do appear and people do hire. And the reason you get paid less is simply greed. The profits are back to pre-crysis level yet the payment hasnt. because they can get away with it, since capitalism and "ze freedoms".

I do not know the situation for lawyers, but its not like they had job openings, well, ever. Teachers and doctors/nurses are actually in demand in my country. In fact they dont want to let the old ones go to pension because there is noone to replace them - noone wants to do the job. So if your one do come here we welcome you.

Going to school is sort of the only way for those people to retain job. and that does not mean going for a degree - merely reskilling. their skill will simply no longer be needed. at all. the only way they can find a job is if they learn a new skill. does not have to be something miraculous, just something thats irreplacable by machines. And degre by no way means skill. If colleddges would actually give you job skills then we could put that argument.

Don't see why can't we just do what Europe has been doing for years, gradually decreasing the amount of hours people are expected to work while forcing the wages to stay the same. That way, there are still plenty of positions available since everyone is ultimately only working part-time for the same amount that their parents used to work 40 hours a week for.

I will say that "unskilled" labor is going to be important going forward unless we're planning to genetically engineer the less intelligent portion of the population out of existence. We've already hit a wall where some of the most basic tasks are outside the grasp of those expected to do them. Witness the many, many people who clearly have no clue how to use their own computer without infecting the entire office with a virus.

Strazdas:

Raziel:
snip

The economy has picked up already. Well ok, not in US. but then, as you say, youve been in the slow fall to poverty for the last 40 years anyway.
Jobs do appear and people do hire. And the reason you get paid less is simply greed. The profits are back to pre-crysis level yet the payment hasnt. because they can get away with it, since capitalism and "ze freedoms".

I do not know the situation for lawyers, but its not like they had job openings, well, ever. Teachers and doctors/nurses are actually in demand in my country. In fact they dont want to let the old ones go to pension because there is noone to replace them - noone wants to do the job. So if your one do come here we welcome you.

Going to school is sort of the only way for those people to retain job. and that does not mean going for a degree - merely reskilling. their skill will simply no longer be needed. at all. the only way they can find a job is if they learn a new skill. does not have to be something miraculous, just something thats irreplacable by machines. And degre by no way means skill. If colleddges would actually give you job skills then we could put that argument.

Jobs do appear in the US. Not enough to employ all the people who's jobs were eliminated. And its actually far worse than just not enough. A large percentage of the new jobs are part time and probably min wage. So not only are there just plain not enough jobs at all. Many many people will need 2-3 to even hit the poverty line. The only reason unemployment rate drops in the US is that they don't count you any more when you finally just give up and stop looking for work. Something that happens a lot once unemployment insurance runs out after like 1.5 years.

I'm well aware its simple greed thats cutting wages. Unfortunately its greed thats being sanctioned and almost enforced by our government. Many governors are actively looking to hamstring unions, teacher unions especially are being targeted, and there is an upcoming Supreme Court case the might over turn worker victories in wage theft cases.

As for as teachers and medical professionals needed in your country. I'm not sure which country that may be. But its highly unlikely many people want to move at all let alone out of country. And even those that might wish to very likely cannot afford the cost of moving.

Going to school to just keep your job is only an option if you have a good job or if your work is paying for that school. Which most of them are stopping. I have several relatives who are nurses. Not only are they getting pay cuts, they are losing all education support, and they probably still going to be required to have more advanced degrees to keep their job, regardless of how long they have been employed. On top of which the college courses are UTTERLY useless. I was talking to one of them recently who is $10,000 into their degree program and they have not had even 1 course that actually helps them do their job any better. The only thing close had been a course that mentioned some cultural practices of some ethnic groups.

As far as "just something thats irreplacable by machines" I have no idea what you think that might be. But keep in mind its NOTHING that can be done on a computer either. Almost all those jobs are being outsourced over seas.

There is no hard data to track how many careers the average person in the USA has during their lifetime. 7 is the most common quoted statistic although there is controversy its actually that high. But it is increasing. Its simply not possible for everyone to go get retrained that many times if all the jobs are going to start requiring some kind of advanced degree.

Raziel:
Jobs do appear in the US. Not enough to employ all the people who's jobs were eliminated. And its actually far worse than just not enough. A large percentage of the new jobs are part time and probably min wage. So not only are there just plain not enough jobs at all. Many many people will need 2-3 to even hit the poverty line. The only reason unemployment rate drops in the US is that they don't count you any more when you finally just give up and stop looking for work. Something that happens a lot once unemployment insurance runs out after like 1.5 years.

I'm well aware its simple greed thats cutting wages. Unfortunately its greed thats being sanctioned and almost enforced by our government. Many governors are actively looking to hamstring unions, teacher unions especially are being targeted, and there is an upcoming Supreme Court case the might over turn worker victories in wage theft cases.

As for as teachers and medical professionals needed in your country. I'm not sure which country that may be. But its highly unlikely many people want to move at all let alone out of country. And even those that might wish to very likely cannot afford the cost of moving.

Going to school to just keep your job is only an option if you have a good job or if your work is paying for that school. Which most of them are stopping. I have several relatives who are nurses. Not only are they getting pay cuts, they are losing all education support, and they probably still going to be required to have more advanced degrees to keep their job, regardless of how long they have been employed. On top of which the college courses are UTTERLY useless. I was talking to one of them recently who is $10,000 into their degree program and they have not had even 1 course that actually helps them do their job any better. The only thing close had been a course that mentioned some cultural practices of some ethnic groups.

As far as "just something thats irreplacable by machines" I have no idea what you think that might be. But keep in mind its NOTHING that can be done on a computer either. Almost all those jobs are being outsourced over seas.

There is no hard data to track how many careers the average person in the USA has during their lifetime. 7 is the most common quoted statistic although there is controversy its actually that high. But it is increasing. Its simply not possible for everyone to go get retrained that many times if all the jobs are going to start requiring some kind of advanced degree.

Part time jobs is a problem i agree. The minimum wage in US is livable. Heck, your minimum wage per hour is almost as much as our daily wage. Of course its worth remembering the messed up system that allows exceptions from minimum wage (seriuosly, who the fuck though that is a good idea).
As for people having 2-3 jobs, they are increasing the problem by denying jobs to others. having 30 people work 30 jobs is better for economy than have 10 people work 30 jobs and 20 people jobless. But i can understand why they do it as US dives into poverty. its one of the defence mechanisms to fight it tempolarely.

I can udnerstand people not wanting to move, merely pointing out that situation isnt like that everywhere. My country[1] can be seen in my profile by anyone, so if you want to know you can easily check it out.

Employers never paid for courses here, its not part of the culture, with few rare exceptions (mostly oversee companies owning local companies). Yet people managed to get on them on thier own and make use of them. I can udnerstand the uselessness of colledge, we have instututions that are kinda useless here as well. Education system does need a massive restructuring.

I didnt mean going to school to keep your job though. i meant going to school to even be elegible for a new job when yours are replaced by a robot. Essentially a reskill. And yes, we are capable of reskilling 7 times in our lifetime. Its just that most people, myself included, dont like change. I think a big push would be for actual free education as seen in some countries.

Human judgement cannot be replaced by a robot. Not until we make a trueAI anyway. and by that point scarsity shouldnt be a problem to begin with unless we allow rampant capitalism to exist. It can be outsourced? some of it sure, mine not really since it needs knowledge of my country, but i admit my case may be a bit special here. Then, that isnt a real problem now. the problem is that overseas work is cheaper. the inequality in the world is catching up with the world.

Inequality for all!

Capcha: case closed.
somehow i doubt it.

[1] Its Lithuania

Strazdas:
Part time jobs is a problem i agree. The minimum wage in US is livable. Heck, your minimum wage per hour is almost as much as our daily wage. Of course its worth remembering the messed up system that allows exceptions from minimum wage (seriuosly, who the fuck though that is a good idea).
As for people having 2-3 jobs, they are increasing the problem by denying jobs to others. having 30 people work 30 jobs is better for economy than have 10 people work 30 jobs and 20 people jobless. But i can understand why they do it as US dives into poverty. its one of the defence mechanisms to fight it tempolarely.

I can udnerstand people not wanting to move, merely pointing out that situation isnt like that everywhere. My country[1] can be seen in my profile by anyone, so if you want to know you can easily check it out.

Employers never paid for courses here, its not part of the culture, with few rare exceptions (mostly oversee companies owning local companies). Yet people managed to get on them on thier own and make use of them. I can udnerstand the uselessness of colledge, we have instututions that are kinda useless here as well. Education system does need a massive restructuring.

I didnt mean going to school to keep your job though. i meant going to school to even be elegible for a new job when yours are replaced by a robot. Essentially a reskill. And yes, we are capable of reskilling 7 times in our lifetime. Its just that most people, myself included, dont like change. I think a big push would be for actual free education as seen in some countries.

Human judgement cannot be replaced by a robot. Not until we make a trueAI anyway. and by that point scarsity shouldnt be a problem to begin with unless we allow rampant capitalism to exist. It can be outsourced? some of it sure, mine not really since it needs knowledge of my country, but i admit my case may be a bit special here. Then, that isnt a real problem now. the problem is that overseas work is cheaper. the inequality in the world is catching up with the world.

Inequality for all!

Capcha: case closed.
somehow i doubt it.

No, min wage in the US is laughably short of livable. Min wage is $7.50 and hour and supposed to be based on a 40 week. Except that doesn't happen. NO jobs paying min wage give you 40. If they did they would have to provide health insurance based on the new health care law. So ALL of them cut hours to under 30 a week. And most of them went with 15-20 a week. And just to screw people more they don't just schedule you 3 days a week, most of them like to have you come in 5-6 days a week. And the schedules ALWAYS change. Just to make it super fun to try and make time for a 2nd or 3rd job, or school or whatever.

A person living VERY frugally might be able to get by on 40 hrs. NO ONE can support themselves on 15-20.

Even just transportation is nuts. Many many americans live in areas without good public transportation. A significant portion of people MUST have their own car to get to work. On min wage it can be very hard to even pay for gas let alone repairs, and thats assuming you own the car free and clear. Add in a car payment really screws things. And drivers insurance in mandated by law here. But in some areas its insanely expensive. My sister just tried to get car insurance the CHEAPEST she qualified for was $400 a MONTH. (insurance here is mostly based on your zipcode, credit score, and car age). Were she lives insurance is so expensive 50% of people don't have it even though its a crime not too.

As school cost about $10000-$20000 to get a degree you see why that prevents many people from even trying unless someone else is footing the bill.

And here many people do have to get a higher degree to KEEP their jobs, forget getting a better one. My relative has been a nurse for 16 years at the same hospital. Unless she gets a higher degree in the next 4 years she will loose her job. As they have cut all nurses salary by like $10000 a year its going to be much harder to pay for school.

And most business are targeting people like her for elimination. A person approaching 20 years on the job is much older and so not only are they being paid more they also draw higher benefits like health care or retirement. Fire them and hire someone just out of school and you can pay that new person way less. And those older people have a much harder time getting new jobs because of their age or the fact that they are over qualified.

It much harder and more costly to get into anything that could be called a "career" here and those jobs are steadily getting worse and worse even as they are harder to get.

[1] Its Lithuania

Raziel:

No, min wage in the US is laughably short of livable. Min wage is $7.50 and hour and supposed to be based on a 40 week. Except that doesn't happen. NO jobs paying min wage give you 40. If they did they would have to provide health insurance based on the new health care law. So ALL of them cut hours to under 30 a week. And most of them went with 15-20 a week. And just to screw people more they don't just schedule you 3 days a week, most of them like to have you come in 5-6 days a week. And the schedules ALWAYS change. Just to make it super fun to try and make time for a 2nd or 3rd job, or school or whatever.

A person living VERY frugally might be able to get by on 40 hrs. NO ONE can support themselves on 15-20.

Even just transportation is nuts. Many many americans live in areas without good public transportation. A significant portion of people MUST have their own car to get to work. On min wage it can be very hard to even pay for gas let alone repairs, and thats assuming you own the car free and clear. Add in a car payment really screws things. And drivers insurance in mandated by law here. But in some areas its insanely expensive. My sister just tried to get car insurance the CHEAPEST she qualified for was $400 a MONTH. (insurance here is mostly based on your zipcode, credit score, and car age). Were she lives insurance is so expensive 50% of people don't have it even though its a crime not too.

As school cost about $10000-$20000 to get a degree you see why that prevents many people from even trying unless someone else is footing the bill.

And here many people do have to get a higher degree to KEEP their jobs, forget getting a better one. My relative has been a nurse for 16 years at the same hospital. Unless she gets a higher degree in the next 4 years she will loose her job. As they have cut all nurses salary by like $10000 a year its going to be much harder to pay for school.

And most business are targeting people like her for elimination. A person approaching 20 years on the job is much older and so not only are they being paid more they also draw higher benefits like health care or retirement. Fire them and hire someone just out of school and you can pay that new person way less. And those older people have a much harder time getting new jobs because of their age or the fact that they are over qualified.

It much harder and more costly to get into anything that could be called a "career" here and those jobs are steadily getting worse and worse even as they are harder to get.

Jobs not giving you 40 hour weeks are the culprit here and not minimum wages. If the companies would bother to be decent that would amount to 1200 dollars per month (more in reality, i used 4 weeks (28 days) months). If you are unable to live off 1200 then there must be some kind of problem your having. Note that im saying that as living alone, not supporting your whole extended family on a single pay.
The health care law is kinda broken sadly. Here healthcare must be provided no matter the hours worked, so there is no point avoiding giving people hours.

You also take the extreme examples and use them as the average conditions as far as expenses go, which is nice when you try to illustrate the point but really provide no actual information. Altrough i would agree that 400 dollars a month car insurance is criminal. I did hear about the stupid situation of public transport you have in USA, i guess Europe is lucky to have bothered having actual public transport exist. However if your car expenses are more than you earn then clearly moving is cheaper than continuous driving. I know moving isnt solely a monetary matter, but were talking living o minimum wage here and not emotional attachments.

I paid 8000 dollars for my first degree, 4000 for my second one. Not sure if US prices are hiked that much or just the specialization you picked is expensive. However i did hear that college pretty much robs you upfront in there.

Altrough the whole general situation in US seems to be fucked beyond repair from what your saying. I guess its going to be a very painful example of why free market doesnt actually work.

I have no real access to what is average. I'm not going out of my way to quote you extreme figures. I'm just giving you the stats from the people I actually know, not finding stuff online.

An individual get by on $1200 a month? Well rent will probably run $500-$600 (utilities may or may not be included $100-$350), car insurance $100-$600, gas $120-$240, phone or internet $40-$100, possibly a car payment $100-$250. And then there are the things like food, clothing, other incidentals.

Even if you can get by on that what often happens is that some unexpected expense occurs, home repair, car repair, illness, and you don't have any savings to cover it. That starts the dominoes falling. One check bouncing incurs fees that cause 3 more to bounce. Bouncing a check is usually $25-$40 from the bank and then $5-whatever from the company you wrote the check to. You can end up with a couple hundred in fees and a bunch of unpaid bills before you are even told their is a problem if it happens at the right time.

If someone has no savings how are they supposed to move? Yeah maybe if you sold almost all the stuff you own you might scrape up a couple hundred for gas to drive somewhere, if you had a car. And it probably wont cover food or a place to stay. Then what? Living in your car is not only dangerous I'm betting its also illegal (not really sure how the vagrancy laws are written but I'm pretty sure there is something about needing a permanent address). What I do know is that not having an address makes it MUCH harder to be hired anywhere. Getting some place is to live is far from cheap. Ever place I've ever lived has required first and last months rent and a security deposit up front. So $1800 - $2500. So no. Moving is not a simple option on min wage unless you happen to have 2-3 months pay saved.

As far as a degree, college costs about $200-$400 per credit hr from community college/ online school. If you want to go to a real university $1000 or more per credit.

 

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