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Old 2011-08-17, 11:14   Link #15861
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
I believe he meant credit card corporations. So if you don't have a job you can't apply for a credit card, which you might need to pay for your training cause since you aren't working you won't have the money just then to pay, but once you are trained and working you can pay it off.
No, actually I meant HIRING corporations. Its been running in the news over the last six months how a number of corporations have been caught specifying "unemployed need not apply". Some were embarrassed and claim to have stopped, others defended the practice. Currently there's a boycott in running against Monster.com for accepting such advertisements (though that seems kind of pointless... they're mostly trying to embarrass).

Yes, its insane.... and yes, its happening.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/econom...lication_N.htm
http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/16/news...pply/index.htm
Some states are trying to make "currently unemployed" illegal as a criteria for not hiring .... so it goes. The CNN article gets right down to the core of the problem and what mythologies and laziness motivates Human Resource departments of companies to do this.

Quote:
Since when have they been (almost unfairly) been using a person's credit rating and capacity as the basis for his capacity to work and pay for anything anyway? I just find to be a rather... imperfect and almost arbitrary system.
Since the credit agencies discovered they can make money offering the service to lazy-ass Human Resources looking for any way to cut down on the applicant pool (along with not hiring the unemployed as mentioned above). Some states have already made credit checks illegal but its tough to enforce against national/international companies. Sure death to point out a question is illegal in a job interview, eh? :P
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Last edited by Vexx; 2011-08-17 at 11:27.
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Old 2011-08-17, 12:19   Link #15862
DonQuigleone
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The problem of these discriminatory HR practices are only going to go away if the unemployment rate goes down. So long as every position advertised gets 100s of applications HR is going to continue to find "easy" ways to filter the numbers down to something more manageable. That's why the requirements for jobs have gotten so high in recent years, because they know they can. It's a buyer's market. It's impossible for us who are not optimal to get any kind of position. Once the pool of people who are "optimal" get depleted, only then will we see things change.
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Old 2011-08-17, 12:52   Link #15863
Endless Soul
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Unions are back at work.

Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating
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Old 2011-08-17, 13:56   Link #15864
cors8
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Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
I'll wait for more evidence before jumping to conclusions and blaming unions.

Let's not jump the gun like so many people did for the Norway massacre.
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Old 2011-08-17, 16:23   Link #15865
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
I'm sorry but I followed the links and it led NOWHERE that provided a shred of evidence that "unions" were involved... or even a disgruntled employee. The Red State article at the end of the trail spent 9 or 10 paragraphs on this guy before they even got to what few facts in the case were. Also.... the actions of a few dipwads do not make sweeping generalizations valid. There have been union thuggery and murder absolutely (Teamsters in bed with Mafia, cough) ... but lets recall this sort of action by business owners was basically normal until just recently in our history:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_busting

I have no illusions that such tactics won't become standard again in the right environment. The trick is that *both* sides need to be held accountable by an unpurchased rule-of-law.
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Old 2011-08-17, 18:07   Link #15866
DonQuigleone
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Equally, there have always been Unions that have operated as a cover for Mafia protection rackets. This could easily be one of those (My grandpa who owns a business once had a run-in with just such a racket, he was smart and just caved and moved on).

Also, just because one Union is rotten, doesn't mean all Unions are rotten.
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Old 2011-08-17, 18:45   Link #15867
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The problem of these discriminatory HR practices are only going to go away if the unemployment rate goes down. So long as every position advertised gets 100s of applications HR is going to continue to find "easy" ways to filter the numbers down to something more manageable. That's why the requirements for jobs have gotten so high in recent years, because they know they can. It's a buyer's market. It's impossible for us who are not optimal to get any kind of position. Once the pool of people who are "optimal" get depleted, only then will we see things change.
The problem is, that the resources become too expensive in the process... so this depletion will not really happen.

The problem is like this, with each technological advantage that helps us to produce more efficiently (robots, automation), we can create more product per person (employee). To produce something you need resources, raw materials.
If people become too efficient because of technology, the only limiting factor in production will be the (costs for the) resources and the demand for the final product in the market.

When the resources and the demand become the limiting factor, you don't need that many employees. You only need so many that you can satisfy those two factors.

When you use highly efficient technology to produce stuff, you also need a certain amount of highly trained employees who keep the technology running (and improve it).

But even if everyone was a highly trained professional, the global economy could not utilize all this (wo)man power. This is because you can only improve/refine the raw materials into hi-tech until you reached the limit of what is technically possible. Unfortunately, the efficiency in production grows faster than the broadening of the technological limits of the products.

It comes basically down to this:

Someone has resources and wants to exchange these resources directly or indirectly for higher value goods made from these or other resources. Essentially the labor in the refinement process (production) is payed for with resources (or other labor -> service oriented).

The problem is, that most resources are hard limited (there is only a defined amount of it on earth), at the same time the efficiency in productivity is only technically limited. The technical limit can be changed however. At a certain point you could produce more than the market demands. When that point is reached you can do two things a) improve the product or b) make it cheaper.
If improving the product becomes so expensive (research & development cost) that the benefit of the improvement is outweight by the costs, you are left with the coice to make the product cheaper.
To make a product cheaper means to eliminate as much as possible of the production (labor) costs... ideally to a point where it is marginally above the price for the resources.

At some point the labor becomes a negligible part in the process and the resources become the all important factor.

The question that remains then... how can such a system work? There is a market with possible consumers but most of them are not employed (their labor is not worth a thing anymore). Or rather, their labor's net-worth is far lower than the actual costs of the resources.

Honestly, endlessly growing economies, who could really buy into that scam/theory? There is a limit or rather an equilibrium. When this is reached many people will stay on a certain level (or others who where above that level will be equalized with those who were previously below that level).
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Old 2011-08-17, 19:18   Link #15868
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
So they are the new Al Capone in town?

Whether Union or not, it seems that the owner probably offended someone along the lines of Hell Angels and got removed.
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Old 2011-08-17, 19:19   Link #15869
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@Jinto, this has been the argument since the industrial revolution, they predicted mass unemployment then from the massive increases in efficiency, but then, probably as now, they did not pan out.

However, I don't have the knowledge to refute your argument, only to say that if your argument held we'd already have mass unemployment. We seem to be able to find ways to employ all these "no longer needed" individuals.
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Old 2011-08-17, 22:55   Link #15870
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Special report: Pension scandal shakes up Venezuelan oil giant
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...77G2D220110817
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Retired workers from the oil behemoth have taken to the streets in protest. Their beef: nearly half a billion dollars of pension fund money was lost after it was invested in what turned out to be a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme run by a U.S. financial advisor who was closely linked to President Hugo Chavez's government.
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Old 2011-08-17, 23:24   Link #15871
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
However, I don't have the knowledge to refute your argument, only to say that if your argument held we'd already have mass unemployment. We seem to be able to find ways to employ all these "no longer needed" individuals.
Services, finance, culture and entertainment. The tertiary sector grows as technology improves.

Also known as the post-industrial economy. Life has never been richer.

Unfortunately, it also results in a global trend of increased wage disparity as the reliable "industrial" jobs decline (and with it the dominance of the Keynesian economic worldview) and the economy separates into a high-skilled, high-paid sector and a low-skilled "McJob" sector. Many first world states employ social welfare programs and relatively freely available educational resources to counter this trend as best they can; some with more success than others.

We Americans wisely pretend the trend doesn't exist and repetitively cry out the chant, "trickle down, trickle down, trickle trickle down."
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Old 2011-08-18, 00:30   Link #15872
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Services, finance, culture and entertainment. The tertiary sector grows as technology improves.

Also known as the post-industrial economy. Life has never been richer.

Unfortunately, it also results in a global trend of increased wage disparity as the reliable "industrial" jobs decline (and with it the dominance of the Keynesian economic worldview) and the economy separates into a high-skilled, high-paid sector and a low-skilled "McJob" sector. Many first world states employ social welfare programs and relatively freely available educational resources to counter this trend as best they can; some with more success than others.

We Americans wisely pretend the trend doesn't exist and repetitively cry out the chant, "trickle down, trickle down, trickle trickle down."
But the thing is that many countries don't realise that manufacturing sectors provide most of the job in economies.....they prefer to shift them overseas as the cost of living increases with the standard of living.

And businesses seem not to take notice.....even in biz school they seem to be so fixated on "profit margin" rather than "value-added production" and "innovation".
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2011-08-18, 00:33   Link #15873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
@Jinto, this has been the argument since the industrial revolution, they predicted mass unemployment then from the massive increases in efficiency, but then, probably as now, they did not pan out.

However, I don't have the knowledge to refute your argument, only to say that if your argument held we'd already have mass unemployment. We seem to be able to find ways to employ all these "no longer needed" individuals.
Actually the argument did pan out. We do have mass unemployment (and it isn't just this recession). The reason why it hasn't reached "crisis levels" to the mass public yet is because they don't really understand the concept and because the workforce has simply shifted jobs to the sectors that can absorb them. You can see the trends if you research just a little bit - as automation has creeped into our lives most of the jobs have moved to service related instead of manufacturing related. We produce more than we ever have, but with far less people. However even the service sector is being automated. Think about ATMs, automated customer service, online retail stores, even McJobs are increasingly automated.

The problem is logistics. Humans are growing in population as jobs slowly go the way of the machine. There simply are not enough jobs to go around anymore. Full employment is an unrealistic dream, but in the system we live in today, that's worked out fine; there's always been enough people to shuffle around in the poor and working class to keep those higher paying educated jobs limited and easier to fill.

Consider that of those who graduate high school (which many do not), fewer still go to college. Of those, even fewer graduate with a minimum degree (typically two year or technical). Of those, even fewer go on to a four year degree and it's even rarer to see people advance to even higher degrees. So because the population largely lacks "higher" education, guess what they depend on? Those manufacturing and service jobs that are dwindling regardless of economic hardship. However, even if everyone who graduated from high school went on to earn higher degrees, there wouldn't be enough jobs to go around. As it is many college graduates today are swimming in debt and living with their parents simply because those higher end jobs are drying up as well and competition is fierce for any openings.

The temporary solution is to accelerate the problem even further by creating yet another massive spending bubble. All it does is kick the can down the road, but in the short term you get people feeling good about having digits in the bank account and shiny roads to drive on. Meanwhile the already unsustainable infinite growth paradigm of Capitalism plunders more finite and difficult to replenish resources. Either way, austerity or stimulus, this system has served its purpose and is now just an old relic holding us back.

Governments can't fix the problem because they don't know how (and even if they did they fear the political consequences), and businesses don't really care because many of them are laughing all the way to the bank and making record amounts of money.

No matter how you size it up, human society is going to be forced to create a civilization that uses a completely different economy than what we currently have. People brush it off now because they either don't know or understand the issue, and the notion of such a change is scary - even scarier if you stand to lose a lot of power and/or money.
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Old 2011-08-18, 02:16   Link #15874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
But the thing is that many countries don't realise that manufacturing sectors provide most of the job in economies.....they prefer to shift them overseas as the cost of living increases with the standard of living.

And businesses seem not to take notice.....even in biz school they seem to be so fixated on "profit margin" rather than "value-added production" and "innovation".
What exactly can governments do to stop the manufacturing decline? Tariffs? That would only spark trade wars and more shenanigans for speculators and their ilk to wreak havoc.

The best they can do is encourage innovation and invest in fundamental research and hope that worthwhile new industries will emerge. Even that takes political will and resources which not all governments have.

As for business school, well they teach business. In the competition for making the most money for oneself nobody has time for such trifles as civic responsibility, global perspective, long term sustainability, and all the bleeding heart nonsense that don't count for much in the quarter report. Not even the workings of an economy is of concern, as the market is big enough for every fish to delude themselves that they will be get to be the big ones eating away at other fish.
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Old 2011-08-18, 03:04   Link #15875
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Russia shows off Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter

You know, it kinda looks similar to the F-22 Raptor.
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Old 2011-08-18, 03:15   Link #15876
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
@Jinto, this has been the argument since the industrial revolution, they predicted mass unemployment then from the massive increases in efficiency, but then, probably as now, they did not pan out.

However, I don't have the knowledge to refute your argument, only to say that if your argument held we'd already have mass unemployment. We seem to be able to find ways to employ all these "no longer needed" individuals.
Technically you can employ them in virtual markets, that do not really create hard products, like in financial markets. You can also raise the level of bureaucracy to have people employed.

The Luddites in England were not excatly wrong with their idea that technological advancement in production devalues the labor of the single worker. Albeit their conclusion was wrong, that technological advancement in production technologies is evil.
Also the Luddites did not know about globalization then, and how you can keep an economy running while you grow an ever bigger deficit.

But let me explain what I can observe today. Where I live we reached a point where you can no longer use all the labor of untrained workers. Most of those people will remain on social welfare for the rest of their lifes.

Because, the type of work they can do doesn't pay well at all, so they can work as hard as they want... they will never get enough money to make for a decent living.

My hairdresser hardly earns enough with her work to pay for the rent of her appartment, so she moved in with two other girls forming an apartment-sharing community. At the end of the month she is effectively only 250€ (my estimation) better off than someone who lives on social welfare. This is because social welfare recipients can apply for appartments that are paid by the local community.

If my hairdresser retires at the age of 65 her pension will be below the limit for social welfare. So when she retires, she must apply for social welfare to get a minimum pension. This is a continueing trend as far as I can see.
And no magic financial product from the financial markets will ever sustainably cure that problem.

In the old days of the Luddites you cold find ways to better exploit the world around you (the 3rd world) to maintain your industrialized economy. Now more of these former 3rd world parts in the world actually compete in global labor market. So exploiting 3rd world resources (including huan resources) becomes an ever "harder" task. Essentially balancing the usage of resources and the worth of labor on a global level (just imagine a scenario where everyone in China was owning and driving cars like in Europe or Noth America - where should the resources come from to make this happen? The technology exists to produce that many cars).

Last edited by Jinto; 2011-08-18 at 03:29.
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Old 2011-08-18, 03:54   Link #15877
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
No matter how you size it up, human society is going to be forced to create a civilization that uses a completely different economy than what we currently have. People brush it off now because they either don't know or understand the issue, and the notion of such a change is scary - even scarier if you stand to lose a lot of power and/or money.
At the minimum, I figure I'm going to need a much bigger garden.

(thinks about another meltdown when *most* of the people of the US are unable to make mortgage payments.... does the bank kick them all out and sit on empty decaying houses? Where's the tipping point ... when the police decide they aren't going to evict people any more?)

Its not a new system (mathematic region of stability) that scares me... its the transition period of instability/chaos/madness/pain.
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Old 2011-08-18, 04:15   Link #15878
synaesthetic
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This is why I say we need to start heavily moving forward into space development and research, not just "some companies" but the whole country, as a nation! Government, business, engineer, scientist, student--we need the kind of fire lit under our asses we had during the Cold War.

Let's forget about arguments about capitalism vs. socialism vs. any other -ism and let's focus on the bigger issue--our nation is aimless. America has no purpose, unless you consider knocking around Third World nations as a "purpose" (I don't).

We, all of us, as a nation, as a whole, need something to focus on, a goal to achieve, something to do. A massive, government-led space development initiative, with R&D farmed out to all of our wonderful aerospace firms would be economic gold. Get the ships built, get some gear up there and start bringing people up there!

It'd create new industries and job markets overnight, and come on. Nearly everyone would fall all over themselves to be a menial laborer on a low-orbit station or space colony... if it meant we got to go to space!

Forget "drill, baby, drill" and go with "build, build, build"... IN SPACE!
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Old 2011-08-18, 04:26   Link #15879
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This is why I say we need to start heavily moving forward into space development and research, not just "some companies" but the whole country, as a nation! Government, business, engineer, scientist, student--we need the kind of fire lit under our asses we had during the Cold War.

Let's forget about arguments about capitalism vs. socialism vs. any other -ism and let's focus on the bigger issue--our nation is aimless. America has no purpose, unless you consider knocking around Third World nations as a "purpose" (I don't).

We, all of us, as a nation, as a whole, need something to focus on, a goal to achieve, something to do. A massive, government-led space development initiative, with R&D farmed out to all of our wonderful aerospace firms would be economic gold. Get the ships built, get some gear up there and start bringing people up there!

It'd create new industries and job markets overnight, and come on. Nearly everyone would fall all over themselves to be a menial laborer on a low-orbit station or space colony... if it meant we got to go to space!

Forget "drill, baby, drill" and go with "build, build, build"... IN SPACE!
With that, China would find an excuse to sell iron pellets and materials for heatproof ceramic at high prices to US.

Though I am sure the older members of this forum missed the space race....it is probably the only good thing that came out of the Cold War.
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Old 2011-08-18, 05:34   Link #15880
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Actually the argument did pan out. We do have mass unemployment (and it isn't just this recession). The reason why it hasn't reached "crisis levels" to the mass public yet is because they don't really understand the concept and because the workforce has simply shifted jobs to the sectors that can absorb them. You can see the trends if you research just a little bit - as automation has creeped into our lives most of the jobs have moved to service related instead of manufacturing related. We produce more than we ever have, but with far less people. However even the service sector is being automated. Think about ATMs, automated customer service, online retail stores, even McJobs are increasingly automated.
No, we don't have mass unemployment. Unemployment rates have floated in and around the 5-10% range for the last 100 years. Even now the US still only has unemployment of 9%. The top unemployment rate I know of was actually back in the 30s, when unemployment rates hit 20-30%. Now that was mass unemployment. We don't yet have that. There hasn't been any kind of historical growth in unemployment over the last 200 years, it's gone down as much as up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
The Luddites in England were not excatly wrong with their idea that technological advancement in production devalues the labor of the single worker. Albeit their conclusion was wrong, that technological advancement in production technologies is evil.
Actually, the Luddites were not against technology per se, they were against the fact that the factory owners who used such machines had no regard for the safety and living standards of those they employed, and the fact that they were destroying the lives of the skilled tradesmen they replaced. They were proto socialists. They didn't think technology was evil, they were just trying to fight for their economic wellbeing in the face of capitalist classes who didn't give a damn about them and replaced with unskilled labourers.

Quote:
But let me explain what I can observe today. Where I live we reached a point where you can no longer use all the labor of untrained workers. Most of those people will remain on social welfare for the rest of their lifes.

Because, the type of work they can do doesn't pay well at all, so they can work as hard as they want... they will never get enough money to make for a decent living.
We're simply returning to the status quo of pre-industrial days. Historically, all but the lowest labour (that performed by slaves) was skilled. I see nothing wrong with the twilight of the unskilled worker. Most of these industrial unskilled workers were never treated particularly well anyway, except by the efforts of a few unions like the UAW.

Quote:
In the old days of the Luddites you cold find ways to better exploit the world around you (the 3rd world) to maintain your industrialized economy. Now more of these former 3rd world parts in the world actually compete in global labor market. So exploiting 3rd world resources (including huan resources) becomes an ever "harder" task. Essentially balancing the usage of resources and the worth of labor on a global level (just imagine a scenario where everyone in China was owning and driving cars like in Europe or Noth America - where should the resources come from to make this happen? The technology exists to produce that many cars).
Not really, the economy was much more localized back then, and globalization of industry had not yet really taken place, barring the importation of certain goods from the new world. The big industrial relationship whereby european economies would import raw materials from the colonies and export finished goods would not start until long after the napoleonic wars (when the Luddites were in full swing). It was more of a mid 19th century thing.

If you can imagine what happened to the print trade in more recent times, when electronic printers were first introduced, you have a good idea of the dillemma the Luddites faced. The Luddites decided to take direction action, the Printers did not. It would be a bit like if those printers had bombed factories manufacturing electronic printers. In the end, both the highly paid trades of the Luddites (textile artisan) and of the printers faded into obscurity.

In fact, what we're discussing is, quite appropriately, the Luddite fallacy, though I think it gave little comfort to the Luddites who saw their incomes slashed as they were replaced with unskilled labourers.
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