[ExI] ai and job loss

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 20:54:11 UTC 2017

On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 8:48 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> >
>> ​> ​
>> … India's richest man and the fifth richest in the world spent 1.5
>> Billion dollars in his new house;
>> ​ ​
>> and he decided to tear down an orphanage
>> ​ ​
>> in Mumbai and build it there, right in the middle of one of the worst
>> slums in India's poorest city…
> ​>
> Indeed.  OK so who built the house?

 His name is
​ ​
Mukesh Ambani
​ ​
and he calls his ostentatious piece of shit "Antilia". Estimates of its
cost that I've seen range
 1 to 2 Billion dollars



​> ​
> Before I would buy into the scenario that the locals resent the new
> neighbor, I would need to talk to them.
> ​I don't know about you but I really don't need additional information
​before I can conclude that such a flagrant display of wealth inequality
might engender envy and resentment from people next door who live like this:


Or this:


​> ​
> I speculate that the rich guy didn’t actually slay the orphans, but rather
> arranged for an alternative facility, perhaps in a safer neighborhood.
​ ​
sold the land to an organization that promised to build a school for the
poor on it, but they broke that promise almost immediately and resold it to
​ to build his 400,000 square foot cottage on it​; as far as I know he
never gave the orphans a dime although I don't think he slayed any of them.

> >
>> ​> ​
>> …That very stupid man will probably end up getting his head chopped off
>> someday because it's just a fact that astronomical differences in wealth
>> causes resentment; I think that's the cause of the odd behavior of the
>> electorate in both Europe and the USA in 2016…
> ​> ​
> Hmmmm, well John, that scenario is a bit strained.

​When I extrapolate from history I don't find it one bit strained. In fact
I think the probability such a gargantuan wealth gap can continue to widen
and even accelerate indefinitely without a violent eruption is negligible.

> ​> ​
> If we view the Brexit and the recent presidential election as proletariat
> revolt, then that puts your favorite party in opposition to the
> proletariat.
​My favorite political party is the Libertarian Party, or rather it was
before their disgraceful behavior in 2018.  ​

> ​> ​
> It means deplorable masses rose up and expressed their resentment of
> wealth inequality by voting for a billionaire.
> I never said  American voters were smart
​ ​
but in all fairness to them the billionaire in question didn't get a
majority of
​ ​
votes or even a plurality
​ of them or even come close to doing so.​ N
​ ​
in American history has lost by so much and still won.

> ​> ​
> That notion appears to assume that wealth itself is limited.  Wealth is
> unlimited.
> ​It's true that wealth is potentially unlimited but inequality is
unlimited too. The USA today contains far more wealth than it did in 1999,
but most people have less of it now than they did then, although a few
people have much much more. And this wealth gap isn't just limited to
America, it's happening in every country in the world even in places you
might not expect like Scandinavia. Such a universal trend can only come
from advances in technology and those advances are not going to stop, so if
the acceleration of the widening of the wealth gap is to be stopped or at
least slowed down other means will be needed. If somebody knows of a way
other than government action or violent revolution I'd like to hear about
it.    ​

> ​> ​
> Wealth generates wealth.  That’s one of the most endearing qualities of
> wealth.
> ​Yes, wealth causes wealth, and that exponential process causes the
wealth gap. They say your first billion is the hardest to make but if they
get rid of the inheritance tax ​then you don't even need to do that, all
you need to do is choose your parents carefully.

> ​> ​
> The internet alone has generated more wealth in our adult lifetimes than
> anything.
> ​The internet has generated wealth but not jobs. ​

​Walmart has 2,300​,000 employees but it's chief competitor, Amazon, needs
only a tenth that many, just 230,000. And both Sears and Macy's also employ
a lot of people but both have suffered from competing with Amazon and it
wouldn't surprise me if they both go out of business in the next year or
two.  Other successful Internet companies make lots of wealth but need even
fewer jobs, Apple is the most valuable company on the planet but it only
has 66,000 employees, Google has 57,000, Facebook has 15,700, and Twitter
only 3,900.

> ​> ​
> Consider just one tiny corner of the internet: Khan Academy.  There is a
> great example of wealth just lying there for anyone to take it up.  It’s
> free, it’s excellent, it is a terrific educational resource.  Anyone can
> get to it.
​I can't argue with that, ​
Khan Academy
​ is great, the guy just has a knack for making things clear.​

John K Clark

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