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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity 516

Posted by samzenpus
from the man-with-the-plan dept.
dcblogs writes "Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan, in separate forums, offered outlooks and prescriptions for fixing jobs and income. Gates is concerned that graduates of U.S. secondary schools may not be able stay ahead of software automation. 'These things are coming fast,' said Gates, in an interview with the American Enterprise Institute 'Twenty years from now labor demand for a lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don't think people have that in their mental model.' Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan believes one way to attack income inequity is to raise the H-1B cap. If the program were expanded, income wouldn't necessarily go down much, but it would go down enough to make an impact. Income inequality is a relative concept, he argued. People who are absolutely at the top of the scale in 1925, for instance, would be getting food stamps today, said Greenspan. 'You don't have to necessarily bring up the bottom if you bring the top down.'"
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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

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  • Greenspan's right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coop (9778) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:09PM (#46502533)

    People in all societies get their ideas of what's necessary, and what's enough, and what to buy, by looking at the people around them and comparing it to their own situation. The don't use any kind of empirical or absolute measure, unless they're chronically hungry or in similar dire straits.

  • Fuck that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:16PM (#46502545)
    All Greenspan wants to do is further shaft the US worker and help Big Business cut its costs even further. He's nothing more than a shill at this point.
  • by russotto (537200) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:23PM (#46502575) Journal
    When he talks about eliminating inequality by bringing the top down, he doesn't mean bringing down the 1%ers like himself and Gates. He's talking about bringing down all the skilled workers in the top 5-10% down to the level of unskilled workers. This doesn't actually reduce income inequality (it actually makes it worse), so he's full of crap. This has long been Greenspan's desire; it annoys him to no end that people who do things can aspire to salaries as high as lower-level banksters.
  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:28PM (#46502595)

    What is this? "Read the headline and comment" day? Greenspan is saying that the US education system is broken, and needs to be fixed.

    "We cannot manage our very complex, highly sophisticated capital structure with what's coming out of our high schools," said Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve."

    He talks about having to expand the H-1B system if we don't actually address the problems in our education system here in America. Read the fucking article, people.

  • by overshoot (39700) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:44PM (#46502669)

    Greenspan is right that taking the lid off of immigration will drive the top of the wage scale down, greatly reducing wage inequality.

    Gates is right that there's one "job" that won't be automated: ownership.

    I confess that I am assuming that Greenspan (who was never a dummy) is talking about wage, rather than income inequality. Otherwise I'm not sure how he expects a rise in immigration to do anything but accelerate the shift of income from wages to rents.

  • How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @11:47PM (#46502693)
    I'm pretty local. I'm stuck here because a) I only know one language and it's a bit late to learn (what with being an adult of only sightly above average intelligence) and b) not having tons of money.

    I keep getting told that if I don't like being poor I should just stop being poor. Gee, that'd be nice, but I don't see anyone lining up to give me capital.... I've got ideas and I'm willing to work (I am in fact :P, taking a break from a large code project to troll /. :) ). I made a lot of mistakes in life, but I also had a lot of things just fall apart around me through no fault of my own. I watched as 90 % of the IT industry was shipped overseas and nobody noticed or cared. Just like with the car industry. Now I'm watching what's left get automated away

    I haven't once heard anything constructive come out of the "Don't be Poor" crowd. If you have real solutions I'd like to hear them. What are we going to do in 20 years when robots drive cars, make food, deliver packages and pick our fruit? What are we going to do with all these people we just don't _need_? If you're OK with letting them starve to death on Resevations (like America did with the Natives) and brutally oppressing them when they get out of line then fine, say it and be done. But stop pretending you have an answer that doesn't end with the entire planet looking like North Korea.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday March 17, 2014 @01:51AM (#46503129) Homepage Journal

    Soon, the only "skilled job" left that robots won't easily be able to replace (or will they?) will be as a prostitute.

    I can pretty much guarantee you this will be one of the areas where robots could do an excellent job, far better than any human could. As to whether they will, that remains to be seen, but I must point out that the sex industry is already trying the idea on for size with RealDolls and so forth.

    Let's say that we get to excellent automatons and high quality body manufacturing. Not even AI. Given that, we can have a robot sex worker that can focus on you, and only you, and really, really mean it. It can do it for an hour and go on to someone else, or it can do it for your entire lifespan without ever straying -- whatever you like, or can afford. It doesn't care about your other relationships and will treat you as #1 no matter how you stray or experiment. It won't be jealous unless you want it to, and it will participate if that's what you want. It can remain disease-free and safe. It's not going to have a period, be distracted, moody, greedy, angry, or have any kind of a problem if you get a phone call. It won't demand that you recognize its power, or fill your ear with talk of equality or fairness. It will have a repertoire of skills that will dwarf any human's. It isn't going to inevitably age or get ugly, although it could definitely change in any way you want it to -- hair, skin, body type, sex organs, lips, eyes, etc. such that it could be someone (thing) different every day of your life, and it's going to enthusiastically go along with your wildest kinks, only difference being that it will be better at them than you are, all to your benefit. It won't require gifts, child support, get pregnant, or stray. It won't get tired of you, it won't be duplicitous, it won't ever call a lawyer or a friend and violate your trust, it won't require a pre-nup, nag you about marriage, or threaten you with multi thousand dollar wedding dresses and even more expensive weddings. There will be no in-laws, and you will never come home to find a pocket dog with a face like satan, a yip pitched such that it could shatter glass, and a body like a wharf rat on your couch, complete with a brand new puddle of urine on your oriental rug.

    The question most here aren't asking is, what does society look like when there simply aren't jobs to do? It doesn't have to be a bad thing. The narrative that "one must work to have dignity and/or happiness" is nonsense pushed into the psyche of the ignorant from above. The no-work situation is coming, no doubt about it: what it will look ilke will depend entirely on what the population can be made to put up with.

  • CEOs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Monday March 17, 2014 @01:55AM (#46503149)

    ... said Greenspan. 'You don't have to necessarily bring up the bottom if you bring the top down.'

    Sounds like Greenspan is arguing for a CEO salary cap. I'd say 25 times the lowest paid contractor or worker in the CEO's organization cap on CEO pay would go a lot more toward lessening this income inequality.

  • Re:Greenspan's right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:07AM (#46503179) Homepage

    Excellent! Let's replace the over-priced CEOs with more reasonably priced foreign ones. That should REALLY help the inequality situation.

  • Re:How? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:09AM (#46503185) Homepage Journal

    If you have real solutions I'd like to hear them.

    The keys are twofold: First, don't borrow money. Ever. Not from the bank, not with a credit card, not for a house and not for a vehicle. Buy the very least expensive thing that will do the job you *require*, and no more. If you find opportunity to do so, loan money out at interest and see to it you get paid. If you can, continue to live with your parents, otherwise, share expenses as much as possible, and be a *great* person to room with, temperment-wise. Second, disengage from racing with the Joneses. Learn to cook and be efficient in your use of materials and ingredients. Learn about reuse. Garage sales, etc. You don't need to drink, to party, to have cable or satellite or streaming or CDs or DVDs or Blurays, to smoke, new clothes, jewelry, to go out to eat, to have books (libraries are still around, and there's the net), to have a spouse or to have children. Exercise. Take those two ideas and exist in their embrace for a decade or two, and you *wlll* have money unless your health significantly fails. In that case, at least in this society, you're screwed.

    Then invest your money in the performance of the upper tier, and it will grow. Don't spend your capital. That's it, in a nutshell. Either you do it that way, or you find a job- or trustfund-based way to accrue money faster than you can spend it -- but most people have no access to that kind of income, and the lottery, well, participation in the lottery is simply an indicator you can't do math.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:14AM (#46503215)

    Greenspan thinks anyone making 'earning income' should get a smaller share of the pie. The higher paid workers, engineers, doctors, etc in Greenspan's world all of them are overpaid. Its not just Greenspan it's the whole culture in the management suite.

    For instance, an anecdote. A friend works as an executive accountant. She remarked grumbling that the execs, at the place she was working spent a about 30 minutes going back and forth over whether a manager at a store deserved a 25 cent or 35 cent an hour raise. Meaning they wasted more of the their time convincing themselves that 25 cents was the right amount than the extra ten cents would have cost. And it was all motivated by a desire not to pay more than the person 'deserved'

  • Re:Fuck that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DamnOregonian (963763) on Monday March 17, 2014 @04:45AM (#46503633)
    As someone who lives in Redmond, Washington, and works as an engineer in the IT field; a place where very large portions are Little Mumbai, filled to the brim with imported IT workers, I can tell you, right now, that you do not represent the "we" you think you do.

    Now, that aside- I'm totally pro-immigration.
    The part that sucks is the H1-B part.
    I don't like being forced to compete with indentured servants. Play by the corporate rules or be deported- that's fantastic. Enjoy your highly theoretical rights regarding switching employers or obtaining green-cards or permanent resident status. Bring your family on over, no really- they'll let you.
    I want companies to be forced to sponsor full immigrate visas for foreign workers they think they need. None of this non-immigrant worker horse-shit.

    I also don't believe you, AC.
  • by locopuyo (1433631) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:03PM (#46508401) Homepage
    That number includes people that stay in homeless shelters, which any homeless person can do unless they get kicked out for violence or drugs. Even homeless people that are not staying in homeless shelters are obviously finding some sort of shelter. Otherwise they would be dying like crazy. Even so, the point is any homeless person can find a homeless shelter or some other place to stay for free.

    My original point in my response to the OP was that homeless people have all the basic needs they need to live even if they don't work or benefit society in any way. You could call them greedy for wanting more for doing nothing to benefit society. How much do they deserve for doing nothing?
    Those greedy capitalists provide some sort of benefit to someone to get more money. If those damn greedy capitalists didn't improve society so far with all their damn inventions and improvements to make life easier nearly everyone would be impoverished by today's definition. Several hundred years in the future the standard of the current a middle class American will be considered poverty level again because those damn greedy capitalists will figure out ways to improve life for money.

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

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