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mihaicl1981 t1_j5zwe5z wrote

My brief summary : we will have a crisis of meaning if we don't have to work but we will recover and start doing stuff (voluntary) for the community.

Meanwhile I would continue to work if that was still possible.

Rents will go up, prices will go up.

People won't settle for their leafs and will want a shiny tesla.

Basic income will pay for rent and utilities and perhaps some cheap food.

There won't be a decent way out of this.

We need resource based economy and replicators.

Will it happen? Hope so.

Meanwhile I am holding on to my portfolio...


grahag t1_j61h7pg wrote

The way to prevent runaway inflation is strict government price controls on essential goods and services.

Housing, healthcare, transportation, food, fuel, education, and energy would all need extreme intervention to prevent predatory capitalism.

Or maybe an AGI has some ideas...


CellistDouble3772 t1_j63curn wrote

In theory this sounds good. But government intervention on prices has always lead to more harm in the long run.


grahag t1_j64p0co wrote

The problem with it has to do with corruption. There's always someone wanting to get around the controls and have exceptions made. That ugly head of capitalism shoving it's way through a tiny hole.


CellistDouble3772 t1_j64tz05 wrote

I disagree. The problem is that the government doesn't really know what they're doing or the unintended consequences, whether it's all well intentioned or not.

Case in point, the 2008 financial crisis was caused because for decades the government incentivesd irresponsible behavior from banks. Well intentioned or not, it pretty much destroyed the world's economy.

If you put price ceilings on things, you're just going to have people stop building houses, stop producing gas and groceries.

The real key is to let competitionand technology drive prices down.

For example, when 3d printing houses becomes the norm and companies can print entire neighborhoods of houses for a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time, prices will naturally drop. And then lab grown beef and vertical farming will reduce the amount of farmland needed and therefore land prices will decrease. Creating price ceilings on things will only retard the development of these things.

Ultimately, in the next few decades, the only true store of value will be things that technology or governments can nit make more of cheaply. So, think gold and bitcoin. However, you will never find more bitcoin at the bottom of the ocean or on asteroids...


grahag t1_j653zmd wrote

> Case in point, the 2008 financial crisis was caused because for decades the government incentivesd irresponsible behavior from banks. Well intentioned or not, it pretty much destroyed the world's economy.

This was due to corruption and lax regulations. The financial sector was instrumental in stripping regulations that would have prevented the 2008 financial crisis.

>If you put price ceilings on things, you're just going to have people stop building houses, stop producing gas and groceries.

If there is an actual shortage on goods or services, this is the case. When that shortage is artificial, it's a manufactured crisis designed to manipulate prices.

Consider the housing "crisis" right now. There are companies that have algorithms designed to buy up swaths of available homes JUST to jack up the prices. Those homes are then turned around and put up for enormous prices OR rented out at huge prices. I've had offers on my house for 6 times what I paid for it and a number of my neighbors have taken those offers leaving the houses empty.

OPEC regularly manipulates the prices of oil by cutting back on production in the middle of an energy crisis. More refineries are sitting idle or shuttering completely, not because oil is scarce in the world, but because they aren't being shipped oil to refine.

Frankly, I'd rather err on the side of working against profiteering and FOR consumers rather than for the poor conglomerates who will make less profit than the previous quarter. Assuming that manufacturers will stop producing goods because we reduce their profits seems a weird argument. What will they do? Do you have significant examples of that thinking? I've seen more mom and pop shops closed down because they couldn't compete with the big boys, who then ended up raising prices once their competetiton was gone, rather than a company stop producing or selling goods because their profits were affected negatively.

>For example, when 3d printing houses becomes the norm and companies can print entire neighborhoods of houses for a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time, prices will naturally drop. And then lab grown beef and vertical farming will reduce the amount of farmland needed and therefore land prices will decrease. Creating price ceilings on things will only retard the development of these things.

I'm not sure if you've been paying attention but land prices aren't decreasing at all. I've known people that have held onto land for decades only to see the offers keep coming in for higher and higher prices. My uncle's hovel in Redwood City, just sold for 1.2 million. 10th of an acre in a seedy neighborhood. They tore the house down and the developer is just sitting on the property.

These are all GREAT examples of predator capitalism and the corruption that it fosters and WHY price controls are required. There are plenty of empty homes out there. There's plenty of oil in the ground, and there's plenty of crops to be planted and picked. Prices don't have to be this high, and while it doesn't really affect me, because I can afford it, I see that many people I know are having a hard time.


CellistDouble3772 t1_j65bofh wrote

I agree that the 2008 crisis was exacerbated by deregulation. But that wasn't the cause. The cause was bad government policy that allowed people to get loans that they couldn't afford.

And I don't disagree that people are suffering. It sucks. But it's because the government has acted irresponsibly and frankly, stupid, on many levels. And enacting prices controls as a way to band aid over their own mistakes will create short term relief. So maybe that is the way to go. But don't think for a second that there won't be consequences down the line.


grahag t1_j65puy7 wrote

> The cause was bad government policy that allowed people to get loans that they couldn't afford.

Incorrect. The cause was financial institutions giving loans to people they KNEW would end up defaulting.

It was made possible by deregulation, but it wasn't the government who actually made it happen. You COULD say that the government LET it happen, but it was really an inside job.

Those financial institutions were the cause and some of them are no longer around because of it. Frankly, we should have taken them over and made them a government institution for the good of the people. And that really SHOULD be the penalty for ANY company that betrays the public trust. Especially when the failure of it will cause widespread financial calamity.


CellistDouble3772 t1_j6631dt wrote

The government made possible and even incentived those institutions to give those bad loans. The institutions aren't free of blame, but the government was the enabler.


grahag t1_j66tata wrote

That's like saying that the criminal isn't fully to blame for committing a crime that the government made so easy to do.

C'mon, you HAVE to see that, right?

And you're acting like banks didn't have control of legislation to deregulate themselves. Phil Gramm, a Republican Texas senator, AND Bill Clinton, were largely responsible for getting Glass-Steagall repealed and later deregulating derivatives. Gramm is now towards the top of UBS now, benefiting from that deregulation.

This wasn't "the government". This was the banking industry who as a whole, spent money for lobbying to get the industry deregulated. The government was a tool to do that and the banking industry was largely responsible for it.

I, as well about a hundred million others were directly affected, either losing their homes, their 401k's dropping half their value, or other financial disasters that left us all worse off than when 2008 hit. This orchestrated event was a culmination of decades of planning by the financial industry and rests solidly on their shoulders.

I'm aware the government is broken in a way that can't be easily fixed, but I'll never forget the details of my financial ruin or the people responsible.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62rn89 wrote

Interesting take - there will prob be some form of government intervention


Ammordad t1_j63fcrt wrote

Venezuela and Iran both have strict price controls. But it didn't help. It only led to scarcity and curroption.


grahag t1_j64lxg4 wrote

Which is why the problem with corrupt regulation needs to be solved at the same time.


Lawjarp2 t1_j64qwfc wrote

Or you know, increase supply.


grahag t1_j64ygs5 wrote

I agree entirely.

Predatory capitalism though incentivizes artificial scarcity to raise prices.

This is why regulation is a requirement.


Lawjarp2 t1_j65jkm8 wrote

Price control is opposite of what you want. Prices will drive down to nearly nothing if supply is pushed. What you should be afraid of is people in power no longer needing to obey you. Increasing government control or power is quick way to extinction when robots do all the work.


grahag t1_j65p1z0 wrote

So how do you force a supplier to ramp up their supply when they don't have to work as hard, spend as much resources, and will make MORE money by limiting the supply? What if they are a monopoly like an energy, medicine, or food provider?

>What you should be afraid of is people in power no longer needing to obey you.

This already occurs, but we have a process in place to remedy that with voting.

What remedy do I have when the single broadband provider in my neighborhood doubles it's prices for internet, considering that being connected is part of my livelihood? I take it on the chin.

What do I do when gas prices skyrocket? What do I do when food or electricity doubles in price? What can we do when healthcare costs quadruple in a 10 year period? We take it on the chin because we have no alternatives.

I'm capable, and I can afford it, but what is something that chips away at my finances may ruin a family who is not doing so well. When business won't do the right thing, you have to regulate them to DO the right thing.

The problem we're seeing is one that will cause repercussions YEARS down the road. Less people are having kids. Less people are spending on house. Less people are buying new cars. Less people are splurging on vacations. All that money that COULD be going into the economy is going on things they consider essential because they have no choice. Pooling that money into these industries that are ALREADY making record profits is bad for the economy, and bad for the citizens.


Lawjarp2 t1_j679l0r wrote

Dude the government can just build it's own production. When cost of production is cheap and labour infinite what prevents them or anyone from creating more production. People are overcomplicating things here.

None of the issues you mention matter if we are at a point when ubi has to be doled out because of AGI. The hyper deflation that will occur due to sudden increase in productivity means the governments can and probably have to print their way out anyway.


grahag t1_j6cgtbx wrote

Frankly, I think that's a great idea. The government SHOULD produce anything that is required to live. It doesn't have to be top shelf quality, but it would need to be an alternative to for-profit products and services.


SpecialistHeavy5873 t1_j62xkrp wrote

AGI comes in combination with things like 3d printing, etc. which would bring manufacturing and other costs down, so rent and house prises could go down. you're right that people would likely still compete over *luxury* things as their basic needs are met, but thing about exponential growth in technology is it can make luxury items become widespread like internet/smartphones would be considered a luxury once open a time but now everyone is expected to have them. once you have robots building everything without human labour, mass production becomes easier. the main issue will be the amount of natural resources available


FusionRocketsPlease t1_j60lacz wrote

I am immune to the crisis of meaning because I don't work on something that I think would make me feel valuable, in fact it's the opposite, I feel like a failure, therefore I no longer feel that I have any value.


Lawjarp2 t1_j64qskx wrote

Rents will go down in large urban centers. Why would you pay more to get less?

Prices of everything will eventually be driven down to zero through the massive increase in productivity.

Resources are not scarce, energy is. Fusion and other methods could solve the same. We sit on the biggest rock in the solar system, minerals are abundant. With enough energy you can refine anything from dirt.


rthomas10 t1_j60f6j4 wrote

UBI will (actually it won't) enable you to just survive. The trips to other countries you mention won't be possible because that's not basic income type stuff. You will get a studio in a iffy part of town after the rents go up to compensate for the flush of money. Inflation will eat away any left over cash because now everyone will have money for food...but what do you classify as "basic" needs? shelter/food/toilet paper.....Cable TV is not basic. A cell phone is not basic. A car is not basic (you are living in a city with public transport?)

By the way....Does everyone get this UBI? I mean EVERYONE? The guy that went to college and has a good programming job that programs the machines that do the jobs humans once did? So EVERYONE gets it or it's not "UNIVERSAL" basic income. It will never work. As soon as everyone has the same amount of money to spend on the basics the cost of basics will go up to make the UBI not sufficient to provide the basics.

And if it's not "UNIVERSAL" basic income it's not fair to the workers that keep earning. Why work to make my life better when you take away my UBI because I chose to make money and better myself. You would in essence be penalizing hard work.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j60j1ce wrote

Very interesting thoughts, I agree that it would be very difficult to make it "fair". Just out of curiosity: Do you think there will be any financial compensation at all if AGI theoretically replaced almost all human workers (unlikely) and if so what could it look like?
Is capitalism going to need to be changed or tinkered with?

Even if you don't believe that there won't be any human workers anymore, I would still be interested in your prediction.


rthomas10 t1_j60pcxg wrote

Lest you think I'm being difficult I actually think the best solution for humans is to do away with profit all together, everyone gets all that they need. There are barriers to this chief among them is "power corrupts." you could never put together a group of humans that administered society fairly they would and could be influenced by their power. AI distribution of assets? Probably a good start but there would be some human that would game the system and there the problem goes again. also who over sees the AI? Humans are the problem with this and your idea of UBI. Are there some altruistic individuals? sure but there are far more corrupt or influenced humans. I think Bernie was on the right track. (don't tell my conservative friends though) Hell, humans sold other humans for money. That's pretty F'd up.

Look at the Star Trek of old. Their society had no cash (or that was the premise) . Everyone got what they needed, healthcare, food, shelter, toys,...etc. However this was made possible by energy abundance and eventual technological advancement that turned energy into matter. Which is what would be needed to supply everyone with everything they needed or wanted right, material socialism? Take away the struggle for "stuff" and what are you left with? The struggle to do what you want for the joy of "doing" this thing. (which is what you were driving at right? Look I agree with you there) But you would also need to have people doing the "Dirty Jobs" right? How would you incentivize the shitty jobs that need to be done so that society continues without....extra stuff/money/prestige? I haven't figured that one out yet. Perhaps we can design robots to unclog sewars in the future or maybe the mater transmittance tech can just whisk away poop and there won't be clogged sewars. Dunno.

EDIT: In reality if we had abundant clean power then money would become meaningless really.


gahblahblah t1_j62tmzw wrote

No, I dont think you understand. When there is UBI, there won't be dirty jobs, or at least not for long (the transition period is the tricky part). The point of the need of UBI is that there won't be jobs, because society will be automated.

There also won't be out of control inflation from human greed, because there won't be human run businesses (potentially). The traditional store front with a business owner will be gone - out competed by a ubiquitously cheap AI run, robot staffed, food service.

But the remainder of your negative perception seems to come from a belief of the irredeemably corrupt nature of people. If you truly think this, this would also be an admission that you yourself would behave this way if given the chance.


rthomas10 t1_j63fr8w wrote

>The point of the need of UBI is that there won't be jobs, because society will be automated.

So when there are no jobs (this will never happen) we can talk about a UBI ok? Humans are all driven by what they perceive as their best interest. Me, you, the person down the street, the politicians pushing the will never breed this out of humans.


gahblahblah t1_j65pzp0 wrote

>Humans are all driven by what they perceive as their best interest

Not necessarily at the expense of everyone and everything else though. Certainly for a long time I considered my main life goal as helping others - but I found that the people that needed help the most seemed to not listen to advice and rather fixated an attempts at exploitation.

>So when there are no jobs (this will never happen) we can talk about a UBI ok?

We can talk about it now, no problem.


mihaicl1981 t1_j60uf14 wrote

I agree , personally. But I am trying to upgrade to a Tesla( true story , already started the paperwork for leasing)

Say .. normally I get a UBI of 1000 USD /month.

I can't possibly get a new car lease for a 60k car.

They will just take it from my UBI ? Ok , then I need more money for my mansion (can't live in a studio bro) and more for my MacBook.

Of course I could just keep my old Leaf and just accept I can't afford it. But how does it feel to be the one with the old car and small house? You will get to appreciate stoicism fast ..

So sadly capitalism is the only way out .. that or learning hedonic adaptation ..

Wish there was a way for all of us to get our mansions and expensive cars and laptops/phones but somehow this has to be spread.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j60vx7e wrote

Question that we're kind of left with is, if AGI is so powerful that it can replace almost all human workers - wouldn't it do so for a fraction of the cost? Obv. then the incentive for companies would be to just make more profit, but maybe it also leads to a scenario where consumer goods like cars (and even teslas) also reduce by a substantial amount in cost.

How much of the price of a consumer good is determined by the number of employees working to produce that consumer good?


grahag t1_j61ni99 wrote

> How much of the price of a consumer good is determined by the number of employees working to produce that consumer good?

While that cost is factored into the cost of a product, the profit margin can be arbitrarily decided.

In a healthy economy, supply and demand is key, but we're in a new age of artificial scarcity where key manufacturers can restrict the flow of a product to boost prices and deny products to the multitudes. Housing, healthcare, fuel, electronics, virtual goods, etc are good examples.


No_Ninja3309_NoNoYes t1_j60yndz wrote

Endless summer or endless competition without meaning depending on personality and circumstances.


johntwoods t1_j5ztdgm wrote

Commenting so I can remember to read it. Looking forward to it. :)


Rfksemperfi t1_j603qd9 wrote

Nice read, thanks! We can only hope and work toward the best possible outcomes. We will likely be surprised how it happens.


kvlco t1_j610l50 wrote

Nice text. I would like to read your take on the advent of ASI.


rootless2 t1_j60qme0 wrote

AGI is kinda like Star Trek futurism, where you wouldn't actually need cash, you just get chits for use in the assembler. As a society you would just be waiting around in realspace waiting for the AI to come up with solutions to n-compute problems.

I think a bigger problem would be humanity in trying to get away from baser instincts, drugs and self depravity. It sort of goes into Brave New World, where Soma is the better drug and it leaves people harmless and willing to exist safely as opposed to something else (like crime).


grahag t1_j61bjhw wrote

I like the varied focus, highlighting that humans require "meaning" of some kind to feel fulfilled is important.

I'm sure if we ever get there, it'll be a period of emotional and psychological turmoil while we (re)discover what it is we truly want to do.

Sure, some of us will want to play games and lounge, but I think enough of us will want to create, help, teach, and explore, that it'll bring us to the next level of our development, along with a benevolent AGI that will help us get there.

We just need to figure out how to get past the forces of capitalism aligned to monetize everything and keep scarcity a thing in the face of technology that could break the chains of servitude.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62sqjy wrote

Totally agree. I also hope that by then we have celebrities (let’s say philosophers, scientists etc) that can help us transition through that difficult period. If the media landscape doesn’t change until then I’m a bit worried that we’ll have people that use this crisis of meaning to their advantage.


TheOGCrackSniffer t1_j64cukr wrote

ehh, id only be worried for the west, capitalism is the meaning of life there tbh and suddenly no longer working which is a crucial tenet of capitalism will collapse your worldview, good luck with that. know that work is just a means for survival, nothing more nothing less, if we can survive without work then so be it. it wouldnt be work then but a recreational activity


grahag t1_j64oug4 wrote

Capitalism IS the defacto system in use by all first world countries. Even China is gripped in it's fist.

Until we can get to a resource-based economy, we'll have to work within capitalism to solve the problems presented when a UBI is introduced. Consumption is a tenet of capitalism and that'll still need to happen.

UBI won't stop people from working. We'd all need to find something we CAN do that someone will pay us money for. I feel pretty good about my role, but I'm almost ready for retirement, so I'm not as worried as I would have been in my 30's....


buddypalamigo25 t1_j61d011 wrote

"Made By Humans" is definitely going to be a huge thing, even when cheaper, higher quality substitutes could be had from an automated system. The subtle imperfections, the uniqueness, the character and humanity of a thing made by skilled hands will still speak to people.

That's not to say I think mass-produced super-goods don't have a place. I'd rather everyone on earth have an identical, flawless table than anyone go without one. Just that above and beyond basic needs being met, "Made By Humans" will be a big selling point.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62su1f wrote

Yess, I hope so. At least here in Europe people that work in apprenticeship were always looked down upon by people going to university. I think that will change quite a bit :)


Capitaclism t1_j61fr93 wrote

I think you have missed one consideration. UBI addresses the demand side, that is, the income people have. But income is meaningless without context- the supply side needs addressing. As it is, no country is fully self sufficient and must trade goods and services with one another. The US happens to be in a more advantageous position in some regards geopolitically & in terms of natural resources, but AGI has to address the issue of supply or the income is meaningless. More income with the same supply simply translates into inflation in the cost of goods and services, requiring ever increasing UBI values which won't ever catch up with cpi, ultimately resulting in runaway inflation. What is needed is a much larger supply of goods and services, keeping prices deflated and resulting in abundance. UBI without this is meaningless. AGI can't simply take over most jobs, it much create an over supply of the things we need, acquire the resources from different geographical locations and distribute them efficiently. Once we have such breadth of precise control over global economies, UBI could be rendered a little meaningless, as the cost of goods and services drives towards 0.

Just something to think about, since people often miss this supply point when discussing stimulus & UBI like measures.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62sjky wrote

Very good point! Will take that into consideration for my next blogs.

I am totally with you on that - do you thing we‘ll get to a point where this actually happens (agi driving cost of goods towards 0)?


Capitaclism t1_j63lm7w wrote

it depends on whether we use robotics to fully automate factories, countries decide to share resources more freely, make shipping costs far lower, and other such factors. There are a LOT of barriers to be overcome on a path to lower supply costs. Currently we're headed in an opposite direction over the mid-long term, with countries trying to actively deglobalize.


Hello_Hurricane t1_j61oyed wrote

Your take on how it would transform universities sounds incredible. I would be so much more motivated to learn if I got to discuss topics with similarly passionate people, as opposed to being forced to rewrite a seemingly endless stream of meaningless, mind-numbing essays. Though by 2035, I'll be almost 50 and well out of college, so it'll be moot for me at that point lol.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62s4qu wrote

Thank you :)! It’s my favorite part of the text. I really hope that universities become this discussion hub of intellectual discourse again. Currently they are just so under pressure to educate the next workers.

That’s as far as I’m concerned how it used to be (at least for the upper class and not slaves) in the early beginnings of the great Greek philosophy age.

They discussed those fundamental questions of human existence and even exercised with each other lol


Hello_Hurricane t1_j62sozh wrote

Perhaps we're on the cusp of the next great intellectual age! That or we're all about to be enslaved.


Financial_Donut_64 OP t1_j62ui29 wrote

The search for meaning could very well lead to a new intellectual age. I just hope that we don’t collectively fall into a depression as society and if yes we will need sth (be it philosophy, science, religion, …) to guide us through that time imo.


Hello_Hurricane t1_j62usaj wrote

I think, for a time, especially with any country that enacts UBI, a vast majority of the population will become enormously depressed as they try to find things in their life of actual meaning or value, instead of attributing those things to work. I imagine that will eventually pass, but I can see suicide rates skyrocketing during that time. I know far too many people whose only self-perceived value comes from the work they do. Hell, my own father thinks his purpose in life is to work and eventually die on the job. I hate to think what UBI would do to him.


SmoothPlastic9 t1_j63kep0 wrote

at first living without any actual value might cause people to freak out for a bit but I think we'll work it out


XPao t1_j62m4l9 wrote

The people dreaming about ubi will be the last ones to get it. Ubi takes work.


boybitschua t1_j6332vn wrote

Im curious where will our income come from given that workers earning is the reason where the demand comes from as they contribute to the economy.


TheDavidMichaels t1_j602p5u wrote

UBI will be you living a a pod hooked up as back memory to the ai. UBI is what the matrix is about


tooold4urcrap t1_j60f7my wrote

Jesus christ, y'all make up some weirdo shit.

Why yes, having your basic needs met is ThE MaTRiX guys.