Author Topic: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.  (Read 626 times)

rcjordan

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Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« on: November 06, 2021, 02:14:47 PM »
...Actually it's automation, ai, robotics, and a forced march to more streamlined processes --physical & digital.

"As jobs have struggled to bounce back, and remain well below pre-pandemic levels, the economy overall, as measured by real GDP, surpassed its pre-pandemic record in Q2 2021. Consumer spending surpassed its pre-pandemic record in Q1 2021. Private investment in buildings, equipment, and the like started setting new records in Q4 last year. Retail spending, which is part of consumer spending but doesn’t include services, has been blowing out every record all year.

But the number of people actually working to accomplish these feats is down by 4.7 million. Let that sink in for a moment."

Jobs Data Shows Something Big Changed in this Monstrously Overstimulated Economy | naked capitalism
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/11/jobs-data-shows-something-big-changed-in-this-monstrously-overstimulated-economy.html

ergophobe

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Re: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2021, 06:44:07 PM »
Also, GDP is a terrible number.

Let's say I'm a single dad and I hire a woman to take care of the kids for $50,000. We turn out to like each other and we get married. She's now working harder, because she doesn't even get evenings and weekends off from childcare, but GDP just took a $50,000 hit.

Meanwhile, if instead of an actual car, I have created an amazing car for the Second Life or the Metaverse or Roblox or whatever. I sell $10,000,000 in virtual cars usable only inside a game environment. The GDP goes up not just by $10,000,000, but depending on the velocity of that money, 2x to 7x that much.

I'm not saying GDP is an entirely useless measure. I'm saying that a fundamental, underlying shift in the economy that changes the way the same money is spent can also change GDP. It might be automation. It might have to do with... making something up here... that the velocity of money spent on gasoline for commuting is really low. Most of it flows straight to shareholders in oil companies. The money spent on HSTDI* home improvement is highly local and might have a high velocity.

Maybe that's just farcical.  I don't know. Just throwing out ideas. I just find it curious that if there are shortages of everything and supply chains are disrupted, how is there a massive jump in retail spending? Is it just buying down stocks? Is it bidding up the price of the same goods (so there's more inflation than the numbers show?).

Again, I have no clue. The short version of the above would be, "I don't understand."

*HSTDI = Hire Someone To Do It (as opposed to DIY).

buckworks

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Re: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2021, 07:00:38 PM »
>>> GDP goes up

A child playing with matches could make the GDP go up a lot very quickly.

rcjordan

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Re: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2021, 01:26:45 AM »
"GDP comparison is especially apt for large changes which will cost a noticeable percentage of GDP."

How economists use gdp to think - Marginal Revolution
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/09/how-economists-use-gdp-to-think.html



ergophobe

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Re: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2021, 08:43:09 PM »
>>economists

That's interesting, because I partly had Tyler Cowen in mind when I made my comment. Specifically, comments about how GDP has become the one number that people focus on, while even the inventor(s?) of the GDP measure warned against that.

I see it similar to the way news shows love to report on the Dow, which is such a tiny measure.

[OT - when I was 19, I was sitting on the beach with a friend I hadn't seen in a year. I had gotten really into reading Buddhist literature and other related lit, like Taoism. We're catching up on the past year and he says, "I've gotten really interested in just trying to follow the Tao." I said, "Oh wow, me too, but I'm more interested in Zen." It took a while to mean that when he meant the Dow Jones Industrial Index and I meant the writings of Lao-Tze and Chuang-Tze]

rcjordan

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Re: Debbie says it's the robots, stupid.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2021, 03:08:30 PM »
America is hiring a record number of robots - CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/12/tech/robot-automation/index.html