Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Why do we need Mass Immigration when our Future is this?

A viral video of an army of robots sorting packages in a Chinese delivery warehouse (more here):

And here:

The notion we need unending Third World mass immigration because of supposed labour shortages in the future has to be the single biggest absurdity pushed by advocates of multiculturalism and Neoliberals.

Instead, we are going to import millions of immigrants only to find there is no work for them, not to mention the millions of native-born citizens.

And then there is the terrible issue: what do you do with the low-skilled people who have been replaced by machines and automation? The notion that all or most people can be easily retrained to be IT professionals, middle class professionals or workers capable of doing highly-skilled labour is a cruel lie. Most people who have spent their lives doing low-skilled or semi-skilled labour obviously did so because they were not capable of doing something better. Their educational ability is likely to be limited.

Under Neoliberalism and in Neoclassical economics, there is a clear tendency to see human beings as fungible and homogeneous. This is an outrageous lie. The average person who is an unskilled or low-skilled labourer cannot magically become a surgeon or computer programmer, no matter how much money or education you throw at them. This is going to be yet another serious problem for the 21st century.

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  1. The first phase will be taxi drivers and haulage workers. How many of them do we think we can retrain to be brain surgeons?

  2. It's why the MMT Job Guarantee is so essential and why the left has to get used to the idea that a lot of people do need to be told what to do and have direction in their lives.

    See Waiting for Godot for an object lesson in what happens when that is missing. We all need something to pass the time...

  3. The notion of future labour shortages as a justification for mass immigration is laughable.

    Equally ridiculous is the notion that mass immigration will solve the so-called 'ageing problem'. Dr Katherine Betts has clearly documented how the over 65's in Australian society are less of an economic burden now than they were in 2004, due to better medicine and healthier lifestyles. This trend will only accelerate in future.

    But even if we accepted that ageing was a problem, real demographers (not shills for the FIRE sector) have demonstrated that mass immigration is largely ineffective as a long or medium term approach to offsetting ageing. Why? Because unless our migrants are Peter Pan, they will age like the rest of us.

    See 'The Impact of Immigration on the Ageing of Australia's Population' (McDonald and Kippen 1999)


  4. Retrain as tradesmen, social workers and carers with a 15-25 hour working week subsidised by a UBI.

  5. We need to bring the idea of work-sharing back into the public psyche, but not for the best and brightest. It's a waste to have brain surgeons working only 20 hours a week.

    1. Even brain surgeons may become redundant (hence ZERO hrs a week). Yes, UBI or negative income tax.

  6. My solution is that instead of targeting interest rates and subsidize the rentier class by doing so (specially when the government relies on monetary policy to inject demand in case its deficent), it will be better to use the wage targets system, in which workers will get additional portion of income (according to the rate which the central bank will choose) which will be financed by deficit spending/OMF until full employment is achieved.

    in this case we can kill 2 birds with one shot.

    because with wage target rates workers can always be attractive for employers and it will always be efficent economically to hire them (its vital since otherwise their labour potential will be literaly wasted).

    but when full employment achieved the prices of workers will start to rise (since it will create a situation of labour shortage) which will incentivize buisnesses to invest in productivity and automation which in turn will boost productivity and will decrease worker salaries and job opportunities but when this will happen the central bank can simply increase the wage targets even higher in order to make workers attractive again and in this case full employment will be not threatened by automation never again, and the virtous cyclee will not be aborted by shortage in aggregate demand.

    in this case we can insure 3 important things

    1.full employment

    2.that workers will get wages according to the average growth of productivity in the economy since they will able to enjoy from the fruits of rising productivity and automation without the unpleasent experience of involuntary unemployment.

    because this solution work simultaneously on the demand and supply side of the economy. will insure wage led growth and circulation of enough free of debt assests (from private sector perspective) in order to insure safe deleveriging of the aggregate private debt in the economy (without causing economic crisis) as well as it will end the dependency of aggregate demand on housing debt and housing speculation.

    4.low skilled/semi skilled workers will still be attractive and will help small businesses stay competitive against automated giant corporations and will help the economy to keep the prices of automated oligopolies in check (otherwise the wage subsidies will able to offer more attractive prices so it will become a price buffer as well).