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Employment Obligation?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Commodore, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Since companies very rarely go bankrupt, though, the actual value of the unlimited liability would be small enough that the company would have to be already a market leader in its own right. It would also be a tremendous risk for the people setting it up and investing in it, since they're risking all of their property if it goes wrong.
     
  2. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    that sort of misses the point that limited liability, only matters when a company goes broke, otherwise, they are obviously paying their debts...
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    That's exactly my point. Since the overwhelming majority of companies people deal with do not go broke, for the overwhelming majority of the time it doesn't make a difference whether they're limited or unlimited liability, so clever investors wouldn't set too much in store by it, especially if they intended to sell their shares later on anyway.
     
  4. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    well thats my point too :D cept that, clever investors know that when things go wrong, which they do all the time(how many UK citzens made money from lehman brothers, or indeed any of the failed companies from the GFC) they have to assume no responsiblity for it, they are shielded from making bad investments... yet took all the profits in the good years.
     
  5. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Plenty of economists are leftists, since many of them care about the people who produce things. I don't think you know very many. You must hang out with the finance types, judging from your repellent views.

    Machines only existed since the 1950s and 1960s? Those were boom times, as you said yourself. Of course times were better and getting laid off was comparatively less harmful than in leaner times. Isn't that obvious? I can't believe you're trying to put this argument forward like it's the best ever :lol:

    Also, ironically, the 1950s and 1960s were also times when your average worker held probably more sway in the Western world than ever. It's considerably harder to have as little education or specialist skills today and have that much bargaining power. And if you go back further in history - or just check out any period that is less prosperous, really - you start getting a different picture of labour obsolescence, with widespread decline in living standards and social unrest like the weavers' revolts.

    Can't believe someone is trying to argue that getting laid off and having one's skills made obsolete makes people more prosperous. Either out of touch or plain disingenuous :lol:
     
  6. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Such contracts would not shield them from tort liability and even with state protection today, if you lack bargaining power, you still may have to contractually give up limited liability.

    My point was if a company wants lesser regulation, they should have to bargain for limited liability rather than it be provided as the default.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Can just anybody set up a limited liability company?
     
  8. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Sure - just takes $300 in my neck of the woods.
     
  9. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Mainstream leftists, sure. I regularly read plenty of them. Types like Krugman, DeLong, Shiller. I don't agree with them on everything, but we share the same conceptual framework. All reputed leftist economists, like the ones mentioned above, consider your economic views to be stupid and lunatic (which they are). In fact IIRC DeLong had a very entertaining piece mocking "Marxian economics" a few years ago, I'll try to find it.

    Oh wow, talk about poor reading skills.

    Machines have been replacing labor since the first industrial revolution, but never at the pace of the 1950's and 1960's. The period saw the rapidest pace of automation registered up to that point, and it wasn't matched ever since. A huge part of the reason why that was a boom time is precisely because of the unprecedented increase in productivity of those decades - that is, automation. The increase in productivity lead to higher purchasing power for everyone, through cheaper goods and rising wages, and thus the workers who were rendered obsolete by mechanization could quickly find new positions. According to your "theory", the period with the greatest pace of automation should be the period with the highest unemployment, and the precise opposite is true.

    The less prosperous periods are usually those of smaller growth in productivity.

    Of course automation leads to cases of personal distress, and some individuals may never find jobs again. But what has been proven again and again for the last 250 years is that the overall level of prosperity rises, and with that demand for workers also rises, and so automation has never lead to long term increase in unemployment. This is what all the data shows.
     
  10. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Increased automation is nevertheless problematic, despite permanent unemployment by machinary isn't as big as people make it look like. It is part of a cult of bigness: Sustainable only in settings of large scale industralisation. It has herded people into cities and created unhealthy economic ecosystems in which collapse of demand can immediately cause short-term though nevertheless disastrous unemployment. It is a vehicle for centralisation.
     
  11. Willem

    Willem Deity

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  12. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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  13. Pegasus_77

    Pegasus_77 Prince of the Wealth

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    simply put, once the technology has been updated, it can not be undone. So even if it causes the unemployment, we still have to exploit the new technology in the hope of increasing the overall productivity, making the unemployment a short-term thing.
     
  14. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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  15. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One. And many.

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    Apparently the Japs would rather buy expensive and inadequate robots rather than open their borders for immigrants.
     
  16. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I don't think you have any idea what my economic views are, but it seems you think you can write a dissertation on it. I wonder if this is supposed to increase the credibility of your own opinions.

    In the 1950s and 60s, the workers replaced by machines were absorbed by the burgeoning service industries. It was that time. Now, let's just look at the situation in the past decade. Let's see how the service (and manufacturing) industries are doing now.



    Source

    Oh, wow. That really fills me with hope.

    The Luddite fallacy, like most economic laws, is not immutable. The funny thing about right-wing economic thinking is how it tends to assume that every trend that occurred in a particular period in history will be endlessly perpetuated and reproduced in the future. It's the kind of magical thinking that led to the 2008 financial crisis. They think the free market will magically solve climate change, resource depletion, poverty, the lingering economic hardship precipitated by the 2008 crash that they didn't see coming (how is that working out?).

    Faith that the invisible hand will always solve everything, that increasing productivity via mechanization will never lead to an increase in unemployment and a decline in living standards, that other parts of the economy can always absorb the surplus labour is a sort of fundamentalism. Far better, I think, to advocate what Mise is advocating, which acknowledges that things are not quite so watertight, that even if the numbers don't look too bad, there are still unfortunate victims when sunset industries collapse. But guess who will vociferously oppose a measure like guaranteed basic income? Free market fundamentalists like luiz, who oppose almost any significant intervention as socialism and literally the precursor to fascism. I guess the abuse of the notion of fascism is a tradition of its own in right wing circles.
     
  17. galdre

    galdre Emperor

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    I don't think proponents of the "free market" think it will fix anything. They want concentration of wealth, and don't care about problems like climate change, resource deepletion, etc.
     
  18. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    one thing about technological advances, it has always increased the productivity of workers, untill recently, now robotic arms replace workers they do not increase worker productivity, so unemployment no longer follows the old rules, increasing productivity leads to more jobs, it now leads to more robots
    companies become more productive by replacing jobs...

    so any comparision with the past is comparing apples and oranges, as they say
     
  19. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    You have self-described as Marxist, or at least that was my long-held impression. Being a Marxist necessarily means holding fringe (and discredited and stupid) economic view. If those are not your views, state so and I won't make the mistake again.

    Again. Far more menial jobs were lost in the 50's and 60's due to automation than today. Why was the service industry "burgeoning" back then but it can't do so again right now? Are we not coming up with new services (and industries) that didn't exist in the 60's, made possible by technological and economic progress? Are not hundreds of millions of people worldwide working in industries / services that simply didn't exist a few decades ago?

    If we don't have as strong job creating right now as we had in the 50's and 60's it's because we don't have as much economic growth, plain and simple. And that's for a number of reasons, including a lower pace of productivity growth (the late 1990's, with strong productivity growth, saw very low unemployment even as manufacturing jobs were lost by the millions).

    There's nothing "technical" about current unemployment, that is, it's nothing that won't be solved when the economy gains momentum (and it already is being solved, albeit slower than we would hope). So the Luddite fallacy remains as fallacious as ever; slowing the pace of automation would only decrease economic growth and lead to more unemployment. It's a pretty stupid fallacy.

    As for The Road to Serfdom... I already clarified I don't follow Austrian economics, if you want to call me a "free market fundamentalist" than that's the term you use for standard mainstream economics, which I broadly adhere to. Several of Hayek's conclusions in that book were wrong, even if they made sense when he wrote it in 1940. While he was very much correct in arguing that fascism and socialism shared a common anti-liberal root, and that a planned economy will necessarily lead to authoritarianism (because in the absence of market mechanisms to incentivize people to work well and hard you're only left with coercion), he was wrong in arguing that economic interventionism in general constitutes a step in that road. See, people who don't belong to cults have no problem pointing out mistakes and failed predictions even in the authors they like (and I do like Hayek, even if I don't follow his economic school).
     
  20. Pegasus_77

    Pegasus_77 Prince of the Wealth

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    but this is the trend which can not be reversed.
     

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