This is a continuation of the previous article. My good friend was bemoaning [correctly] the current state of affairs, but in my humble opinion, had things misdiagnosed. We are up to his fifth assertion.
5. Modern auto plants use automation to such an extent that there are almost no people there. Clearly, they are not interested in people, or in giving them jobs.
1. For a free market to succeed, meaning make everyone wealthier, there is no need for anyone to be interested in people, or in giving them jobs. All you need is greedy people, and a check on these people commiting fraud or violence. Thus, the only way they can make money is by giving people what they want. If they are good at giving people what they want, they will find it profitable to hire workers to churn out what the people want. This is how jobs have always been created throughout history.
In fact, how else can someone have a job? If the worker is not making a profit for his employer, how can that job last? A clear instance of trying to create unprofitable jobs is the current US economy. The federal, state, and local govts “created” jobs that did not pay for themselves through profits, and drove themselves into bankruptcy. Exactly where we are now.
People are sorry to see all these govt jobs go, but the reality is they were all parasitic jobs and we are all [but for the parasites who held the jobs] better off without them.
2. On a moral level, it is certainly immoral to expect Mr A. to provide a job for Mr B. What right do we have to place such a burden on Mr A? Why do we not reverse things and say Mr B. has a responsibility to provide a job for Mr A?
3. The auto plants resorted to animation because the govt has made it unprofitable hire people. Ask any small businessman what his main concern is these days, and he will tell you that he wants to avoid hiring anyone if possible. This is particularly true in the auto industry, where unions have been allowed to run riot and leech money from the workers and the owners alike. [GM has admitted it is making its Volt at a cost that makes it unprofitable]. Add to that the minimum wage law, and is it any wonder that auto plants are automated?
4. Ever since the Luddites, some people have feared technology and automation. While those who will lose their jobs to automation may have some justification for this fear, the rest of the world only gains by automation. Because the automation was introduced to reduce the costs of production, meaning that the final product will be cheaper for us all.
As for the fear that machines will someday make everything and we will all be unemployed, are we really all that pathetic that we have no useful skills whatsoever? The idea is absurd.
Summing it all up, we are certainly in a mess now. Sadly, very few people have any clue what the mess we are in really is, how we got there, and how to get out of it. For example, some say the nature of our mess is “lack of aggregate demand” [Keynesians]. Others say it is not enough paper money in circulation [Monetarists and MMTers]. Still others say it’s some inherent flaw in the free market, which is predicated on exploitation of the worker [Marxists]. The latest nonsense asserts that we are all drowning in debt because money in the USA is “created” as debt [Whatever they are called]. Many think that the problem is Capitalism Gone Wild [Statists and fascists, but I repeat myself].
Well guys, become one of the enlightened. Smiling Dave has written almost a hundred articles for your enjoyment and education, all based on rock solid Austrian Economics. Read them, think on them, chuckle at their gentle sarcasm, ask questions.
And to you, my good friend who I hope is reading this, good to be chatting with you again through this medium. Just like old times.