2015 August 29 Saturday
68% Of Californians Favor Incentive For Faster Robot Development

While a Washington state court rules in favor of faster robot deployment at SeaTac a much more impactful way to speed up robot development is taking shape in California. This is great because Californians have a ballot initiative system that gives them a very effective way to act on their preference:

Sixty-eight percent of California voters said they support the idea of a $15 minimum wage, according to a Field Poll released Thursday.

That's great news for robot start-ups. Venture capitalists hear the call! You can fund companies that can supply the big coming increase in demand for robots as food prep workers, janitors, security guards, and as workers in many other occupations.

The resulting mass unemployment (especially among the least skilled and least bright) will drive migration that will fall heavily on Republican states governed by cuckservatives who refuse to raise the minimum wage. Those states won't stay Republican of course.

On the bright side, quality of food at fast food places will improve because the robots will be able to do more complex and precise food prep. Also, the influx of low skilled immigrants will stop, at least in the states with $15 per hour minimum wage. The big drop in demand for low skilled workers will see to that.

The 21st century is going to be a very different place than the 20th century. Celebrate the upsides of what's in store.

Update: The national Democratic Party has come out for the biggest incentive for robotics development so far: $15 national minimum wage as a plank in their platform. Wow, that'd be great news for robot developers and software developers in general. Way more money would flow into autonomous vehicles, warehouse automation, fast food restaurant complete automation, security robots, retail store automation, automated delivery UAVs, automated hair cutters, automated nail polishers. What am I leaving out? Much better automated vacuums and floor cleaners. Automated home cooking machines. Autonomous lawn mowers and hedge clippers. What else?

We live in exciting times. The Democrats are bold in their efforts to speed up technological development and cut low skilled immigration. The Republicans (with the exception of Donald Trump) are total wimps in comparison.

Update: The National Labor Relations Board is also adding incentives for robot development by making franchise operators treat their employees like employees of the companies which grant the franchises. There is an obliviousness to their decision-making, much like the obliviousness of the movement to raise minimum wage to a high level in a country which has let tens of millions of low skilled illegal aliens to enter the country. All the happy talk about the potential of high minimum wage is built on false assumptions about the economy and technology. The advocates for higher labor prices are assuming there will be jobs for all the low skilled no matter what costs are placed on employers. But that's not in the cards in an era when computer technology is becoming advanced enough to take over many of the most menial physical tasks.

We are approaching a rude awakening about assorted ignored truths about human nature and about the potential for technology to replace the least mentally able workers. My guess is the awakening will be in full bloom by 2025 and perhaps then the Overton Window will start to move in a rational direction.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 August 29 09:39 AM 

Black Death said at August 30, 2015 2:09 PM:

"The resulting mass unemployment (especially among the least skilled and least bright) will drive migration that will fall heavily on Republican states governed by cuckservatives who refuse to raise the minimum wage. Those states won't stay Republican of course."


Maybe not. California welfare payments averaged $17.87 in 2014. Does it really seem likely that people on the left side of the bell curve who are made more or less permanently unemployed by a big jump in the minimum wage are going to travel to some other part of the country to work for $8-10 per hour? Why not just stay home and ride the government gravy train, which, at least in California, exceeds what they would get paid even at $15 per hour? And, of course, they will be voting for politicians who promise them even more welfare payouts. Plus, if they need some ready cash, they can always peddle drugs or engage in some other criminal venture. What's to lose?

Raising the minimum wage will certainly spur automation, but not without considerable downsides. In my part of the country, the Upper Midwest, the fields are full of Hispanic migrant laborers who are almost entirely paid "off the books." Minimum wage enforcement? Don't make me laugh - there isn't any, and the (mostly Republican around here) farmers like it that way. Donald Trump Notwithstanding, we can expect their numbers to increase substantially if the minimum wage increases.

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