Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Another interesting juxtaposition for you


Two articles from different sources provide some interesting contrast in the context of economics. The first, from Salon.com, reviews a new study showing the precipitous rise in housing costs, and how difficult it will be for the rest of us to afford even renting. And the second, from Gizmag.com, announcing the successful development of a new, fully automated brick laying robot.

It is interesting for me, at least, as it further illustrates the contradiction of making human skill ever more unable to compete in the realm of compensatory occupation, while at the same time creating products that no one will have the job to be able to pay for.

Even as lots of new rental properties are being created, fewer and fewer people will have the income to stay in them, while also being able to buy other sh_t that makes this economy go. Some will certainly choose to do so and forgo who knows how much of the other, while others will have to move to cheaper housing environments; whereupon they will enter the Twilight Zone of financial descent, as cheaper usually equates to less desirable in a host of categories. And though sheltered to one degree or another, they will still be buying less of the other sh_t.

One can imagine that, at some point, the powers that be will deem it useful to let the robots start building the least expensive, highest density, cubby hole sleeping unit possible; something the Japanese have tried out before. Something a person could have merely by holding down a job. And of course one of the basics it will provide will be a high def screen and the free Internet I have already spoken of. And, as already mentioned, cameras will be integral to the construction materials, and so pervasively distributed as to make their destruction, let alone the slum hooliganism of past years, virtually impossible to undertake. Step out of line even a little in these environments and the surveillance drones of tomorrow will be on you like stink on poop. And trust me, you really don't want to be doing a lot of imagining of what automated incarceration will be like.

This is what I fear we will be heading for. At least if the whole mess doesn't collapse first, which it may well do. I don't see either being very desirable. Trying to figure out, and then implement, a new economic operating system isn't going to be all fun and games either, but I have to believe it would be better than these outcomes.

The American housing crisis threatening to put us all on the streets