Do you agree with Stephen Hawking on Capitalism? The article is really short, so I hope you all read it.
Yes and no. If he's referring to corporatist environments then definitely he has a very sound point, but capitalism generally will not lead to "muh bourgeois scum" just because they have technological advancements over some people.
He failed to mention how greedy capitalists built his wheelchair and computer that allows him to say whatever he wants, and without them he would be silent.
Lol he's not hating on them. He's saying that automation of production will reduce the number of workers necessary to the extent that resource will have to be distributed in a different manner than today. I'm not sure how you read a rebuke of engineers, and those whom invested in their work for profit, into that.
Ro, the phrase is, "hate them," not, "hate ON them." The latter is a ridiculous if often used.
He is addressing a problem that should be seriously considered though.
The simple and effective way to slow down and ameliorate the problem he is addressing is to break the stranglehold rich people have by buying the reins of political power. The way to do that is to reduce the political power they use.
So a more free capitalism, a true free market, is the answer for those with the intellectual means and ambition to compete.
Not so much for the schlubs.
And we'll always have those with us, but it is in the greater productivity and lower costs that the schlubs will have to depend on, and a reform to private charity to take care of those who truly can't compete.
Capitalism is the root of the American dream.
Well, Stephen didn't mention capitalism in his actual quote (only the middle box section). But regardless, I disagree with forced redistribution of wealth, aka socialism. Taking money from the rich to give to the poor is stealing, whether the government does it through taxes or it's done by a bloke with an arrow. The stealing part makes it immoral to me.
But it is okay for the rich to essentially steal from everyone else? That is what a lot of companies are doing by paying their employee inadequate wages, and relying on social programs make make up the difference. Meanwhile the CEOs and top executives have lie money than they know what to do with.
How are they stealing from employees when the employees agreed to those wages?
Customers are complaining about being ripped off because they agree to the prices. It works the same way with employment.
Tech24073 - you say the rich are stealing by paying inadequate wages. But define inadequate. Also nobody is forcing the employees to take those jobs. If they don't like the jobs they can find other jobs or start their own companies. I think all you're really complaining about is inequality in wealth which just boils down to good old fashioned envy greed and jealously. He has more so I want it.
What I am complaining about is companies that pay those employees a wage that is not a living wage, but then count on American tax payers to fund the difference through social programs. Look at Walmart and the lay their employees receive and how much of our social program tax dollars go to offset tj costs for some of the wealthiest people in America.
It is easy to say "get another job" but it is not always easily done.
There is no definition of, "living wage." Go ahead, give us one.
Common sense should be able to derive that a living wage would allow a person to work full time and not fall below the income level that allows access to welfare and other social support. This is not a hard concept.
Common sense should tell you that if I have a job I'd like to hire someone to do, and someone agrees to do it for a mutually agreed upon price, then it's none of your business what that price is.
So you are okay with your tax dollars being used to offset costs for the extremely wealthy? Or okay with the idea that we need unskilled labor, but not willing to pay enough for them to eat and pay rent?
I'm okay with my above response.
Tech, when you hire people to do things for you, do you offer to pay them more than they're worth? Do you hire contractors based on your needs or theirs? Thinking about those two answers, would you be okay with the government forcing you to pay all contractors you hire for jobs around your house based on their needs rather than the jobs you hire them for, even if that means over paying them for the work that they do?
I own 2 businesses, both pay higher than minimum for all jobs, non of my employees need govt assistance to meet basic needs. They may not life a life of luxury, and may not have all I have, but they do eat and have a place to live.
You didn't answer the questions asked. Are you okay with the government forcing you to overpay people, to pay people more than what they are worth, to pay people based on their own needs rather than the value of the work they do for you?
Since you own your own businesses, we can apply it to that. Let's say a law is being enacted forcing you to pay your employees double their current wages, which of course is double their worth if you're currently paying them what they're worth. So, how do you feel about paying them double their worth because someone else out there thinks that double what you pay them is what they "deserve" or a "living wage."
Tech- If Walmart simply didn't hire those people then 100% of them would be on welfare without any jobs at all. You cannot assume that Walmart would still employ those people at a "living wage." Also Walmart doesn't expect the government to pay welfare. Whatever the government does is the governments business. All Walmart is concerned with is controlling costs in order to make a profit.
Yes, I am okay with it. I think it is sad that has to be the case. We have an obligation to the good of the whole though.
Seriously? You're okay with over paying people? That's awfully illogical. Most business owners aren't okay with that. But, maybe you're just that wealthy and can afford to be wasteful. Most small business owners aren't so lucky. But, the wealthy ones often don't recognize how much other business owners struggle. Many out there can't afford what you're trying to do to them. They're getting by by the skin of their teeth. If they have to start overpaying people, they'll either sink or cut jobs, neither of which helps anyone.
Sea is right on both Walmart and the government, of course.
I am not that rich, both businesses are very small, but I rather pay people a little more than pay the government to offset my cost of business. Choices have been made and we, as a company, have mad sacrifices to make this work. You may be amazed at the loyalty and quality of employee you get by treating them with respect.
You seem to be looking at this through the scope of only your own lens, not how it might effect other business owners who are not in your obviously fortunate position.
Also, not overpaying someone is not disrespectful. Paying someone what their work is worth is very respectful. I've never felt an employer was disrespecting me by paying me my based on my worth.
I thi am that is where you and I may be different. No ether of my businesses would work if not for my employees. My situation is fortunate because of choices and priories I have set and lessons I have learned from older family values.
I simply can not see how it makes sense for me to make a killing and my employees struggle to survive. Many people in business, thought not all, make the choice to live above average while employees struggle.
By the way, as my business grow, I have a separate full time job, and take minimal from my business. But if we keep growing the way we are, I will leave my job and devote my work time to my business. I could do that now, and draw a good paycheck, but I want some more cash reserve before I do.
No. Everyone is really good at something.
He should stick to physics.
I think he might be right. The owners of the robots would definitely become super wealthy. But why would that be bad? Wouldn't it help society? Imagine if the price of everything dropped by 90%. The poor would benefit greatly, even if the wealth distribution might increase.
*unequal wealth distribution might increase
In that case, what prevents monopolies and trusts?
The same thing that prevents monopolies right now, anti trust laws.
And when was the last time one of this was enforced?
I have no idea. I think Boeing couldn't merge with another company a few years back? And office max and staples are under scrutiny right now?
Capitalism is the ONLY economic structure that has withstood the test of time. Regardless of how much money there is, capitalism is the only system that works.
Just because it's the current system in fashion doesn't mean it's the best. In the grand scheme of things, it's pretty new.
Wrong wrong wrong. Trade has always been the way of structuring an economy. Are you telling me that capitalism didn't exist until Wall Street existed? Son, get those liberal fairy tales outta your head. You're in the real world now
Of course trading existed before Capitalism, but Capitalism didn't really exist until the industrial revolution in England.
Ok but wealth distribution only happens based upon the agency of the wealthy. You really trust the government to redistribute without taking their fair share? I think not. Look at what they do with taxes. Explain to me why Presidents get 400,000 a year for life regardless of what kind of contribution they make. Such a salary is not a result of capitalism. It is a result of an aristocratic government. Yes capitalism has its flaws, but let's point the finger where it needs to be pointed.
I don't necessarily think the government can or should redistribute wealth. I think we should achieve social means of production before achieving equal distribution (ideally non).
In other words socialism... It works in theory and on paper, but good luck promoting individualism in a system that relies solely on a population's commitment to a singular ideal or principle.
Well, the description next to my name :)
It makes me fear for humanity
That's how I feel about capitalism, particularly the unreformed kind.
Well at least you are honest about it and can discuss your views without being hostile. For that much, I thank you! I like having discussions with people like you!However I still disagree with your views entirely. When diamonds and gold are as abundant as wheat and grain, maybe communism will work because there will be no scarcity. Until then, things naturally have different values and capitalism, though it may have flaws, is predicated on this principle.
Well, all job positions are beneficial to society. Without one of them, there will be a hole. Every position is valuable for that reason. I also find communism promotes technological advancement more than capitalism, since capitalism can only work if there are jobs.
Thank you as well, I wish you a good evening.
Communism promotes technological advancement more than capitalism? What advancement around you was achieved as a result of Communism?
Capitalism is to commerce what voting is to democracy. It's just the economic version of liberty and freedom. Choosing how to spend and trade without government interference is an essential component to what it means to be free.
Let Gov regulation be for preventing, detection of, and prosecution of fraud. It has no further place in commerce beyond this.
He's dead on.
We will all look like those fat blobs from Wall-E, but unemployed and living on food stamps.
You can lay all this rightly on "free trade," not capitalism. That's where the blame properly belongs.
It capital investments that help build robots.
"We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings." -Ursula Le Guin
Read the full speech here:
It's an amazing speech to authors.
The funny thing is the guy is worth 20 million as a result of capitalism
Closer to altruism. He's fame has its roots in academia. Who would pay for his ideas in an open market? How would he even gotten his start?
You remember academia? That's the one that the Right is always calling a socialist bastion.
The biggest fallacy to point is the "capital grows faster than inflation" meme that was thrown in there.
That's the whole point of investing; to get a return greater than inflation, and value in companies grows faster than inflation primarily because it is measured cumulatively while inflation is not.
As for his position, I do not agree because he advocated theft simply because he wants what other people have.
This shows that even the smartest people aren't immune from political ideological influence.
For the most part, he's correct. The technocratic state will create castes and gross inequality. The bottom line will be the capitalization of power and control. If I have the means to wipe you out regardless your worth, I win.
Read Zbigniew Brzezinski's "Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era." This book was written in the 70s with Kissinger and had been a road map for all things we're witnessing today.
"If I have the means to wipe you out, I will." Why?
People like that lack humanity or conscience. The Universe revolves around them. It's a state of mind extremely few achieve, thank God.
Well governments run by capitalists already have a monopoly on control.
His rhetoric is not new. These predictions failed in the past. Plus, his assumptions on consumption are illogical for a true capitalist economy.
For example, the industrial revolution, especially in the textile industry, had similar employment prediction. The technology advancement created new classes of jobs and produced textiles at a much lower cost to the consumers. The poor could afford to buy pre-made clothing instead of making it themselves. This contributed to greater amounts of leisure for the poor.
His assumption about consumption would never happen in a true capitalist economy. No capitalist would invest to produce a product with no consumers. The capitalist would not retain or horde all.
If society is fully automated, only people who own robots would get income. If they want consumers, they would either have to hire people rather than robots, which is no longer full automation, or give society and citizens money to spend.
Full automation means that we as humans could enjoy living for the sake of living, rather than working all the time. We wouldn't want to give that up. Giving citizens money to spend wouldn't work because that would still cause divide, since it would likely be given to citizens by the owners. They could choose whomever, however. That's not fair either. Maybe the government? Nope. They would get literally all of their campaign money from those with the money up top. Grass roots campaigns wouldn't work. The government would be an oligarchy.
The best solution to this dilemma is socialism.
Your logic stream is missing on the point of what creates the consumer. The producer really can not create their own consumers unless an control is placed by a superior power, government. Crony capitalism and socialism share this flaw as the government is the superior power. Repeatedly, socialist leaders have chosen the wrong economic and production choices. They have never had greater success than a true free market. Socialist governance has the same flaw and has the added negative of creating an environment susceptible to dictatorships (either fascist or communist types).
I would respectfully disagree that socialism could be a solution.
I feel like you are arguing that capitalists won't want to achieve total automation because then the capitalists would not have consumers. Is that correct?
Capitalist would not invest in a market or industry with no consumer. If technology eliminated the means for people to consume, the value of the means of production would be zero.
Socialism and Crony Capitalism is replete with examples of government choosing producers for markets which do not exists. Wool subsidies; Solendra; tax benefits to Tesla motors. Even now, government officials want to create a market for $15/hour unskilled labor. This market does not exist.
I agree that the government is inefficient at producing. But it sounds like you agree that if society became fully automated (despite that the capitalists wouldn't want to), it would be bad under capitalism.
Correct. The event would not occur under a true capitalist environment, especially as Hawkins described. His logic stream has errors and his assumption are wrong. He needs to stick to Astro-Physics.
He's pretty good at Astro-physics.
lol. No doubt.
Yes. Mechanisation will end capitalism. Think about it, if we get to a situation where machines do everything and completely replace human workers at everything, how will we earn money to pay for food, water, consumer goods etc?
Today the species is in a very problematic situation, where they have a need to create jobs but where automation in its current context eliminates them
You and have a pretty good solution.
A lot of the basic ideas I heard from this video youtu.be/dmQ-BZ3eWxM
Hmmm... We could head toward a fully automated luxury post scarcity society where each can innovate as they please or a plutocratic system that would likely consume itself into oblivion.
Hawking lost all credibility when he joined the crusade against Israel. This is nothing but leftist fear-mongering. Machines arent going to create a super wealth gap since people are needed to make machines. And under capitalism there would be less monopolies.
If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
It wasn't really working for me so I couldn't read it all, but I half agree. I think robots taking over jobs is very dangerous. However I don't think capitalism is inherently evil and will bring about our destruction. Over involved government will be the reason for it. They're too involved.
Yes. I think for a fully automated society to be just and fair, it cannot be capitalist. It should be communalist which is communism without the ideological overhead. If there's enough for everyone, at least the basics should be available for all.
This is one of the arguments I find very convincing from an economic point of view for communism.
One person working extremely hard and yielding 100% return on work should get just as much as another person who doesn't work at all? That's fair?
Your concept of fair is off
But that's the point. In a fully automated society, no one is working.
Not in the "dream society" said above
I never said that hardworking entrepreneurs cannot make higher profits, but there should be a communally paid for basic living standard for everyone. If you want more, work for it.
What's included in that?
A furnished room, food stamp cards, clothes, free basic emergency medical service, that's about it.
Idk, I don't necessarily believe everyone is entitled to that. I think we should probably give it to those who can't get it for themselves, but we have way too many people that are willingly dependent on the government.
If there are no jobs, so they have no income, they absolutely should get this at the bare minimum!
There are usually available jobs. People just don't want to work them. People are also a lot lazier than you think. Why get a job when everything is provided?
The thing is, in a fully automated society, there would be no jobs.
Too many big words. And that whole logic thing is overrated.