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Wealth is accruing to people with power and capital. The people who produce automations are laborers like the rest of society, just with a temporarily elevated standard of living. As writing software is deskilled and supplanted, it'll be increasingly apparent that we were just a midterm necessary evil to the people signing our paychecks.

To me, the central problem is wealth disparity as a proxy for power disparity: our democratic government is more than capable of addressing our ongoing needs and desires if not for the overwhelming, unjust, and unearned influence of the wealthy.

This is why I think Sanders has the correct prescription and Yang is naive: the solution isn't a policy or set of policies to fix specific problems, no matter how farsighted, it's restructuring our political system to be solely answerable to people who it feigns to represent.




> The people who produce automations are laborers like the rest of society, just with a temporarily elevated standard of living.

And the illusion that tech workers are not laborers is giving out under the weight of the high cost (hence lowered standard) of living in tech centers, and the growing realization that we're not temporarily embarrassed billionaires.


Right (and slightly orthogonal, back to the mode of production topic), I think we can treat it in 2 ways:

1- We recognize this Bonds villain plan, we stop it and go back to our happy pastural life and everyone lives happily ever after; or

2- We grant ourselves this new productivity as a reward that frees us from labor (but in the process have to answer the hard question of how to deal with going from solving the conflict between the 1% and the 99% to solving the conflict between the 0.0001% and the 99.9999%)


The thing is this beautiful new freedom from labour is also freeing us from subsistence. I see it all over London where I am - there’s now a permanent underclass with no chance of getting up in the social ladder because they are doing jobs such as cleaning, maintenance, baristas... stuff that requires no specialised skills but most importantly will never allow you to pay for your children’s way into higher education. Thus I fear we are permanently removing 30-40% and increasing numbers from the social ladder.

If we keep automating everything and capital gets to own the cloud processing power that allows for it, and we “rent everything” as some people are predicting, what the hell earning power will anyone have unless they work in AI or programming new things to automate?


First, I don't think the rich are cartoonishly evil, Machiavellian, or even particularly interesting. It doesn't take superhuman skill or sociopathy to live off other people's labor. They're just trapped in a game they can't help but win and are by definition incapable of walking away from.

Second, the idea that there is a 'we' encompassing the 1% and 99% or some future and even more fractional segmentation is unrealistic. There's already been millennia of slavery and serfdom: let's not repeat them by trusting that our seat at the table is somehow ordained and not the result of centuries of people fighting from chattel to power on our behalf.

If we can't achieve even the most basic, obvious reforms (a universal healthcare system, a livable wage, an end to global warming in our lifetimes) given the current power structure, then contributing to the further entrenchment of the wealthy isn't just counterproductive, it's suicidal.


How is Sander's solution different from Yang's? Asking, since I don't know?


Sanders is more focused on New-Deal style policies: expand Medicare to cover everyone, make public colleges tuition-free, and that sort of thing. His approach is more-or-less to shore up or expand the institutions we have and make sure everyone can get the education they need to compete.

Yang's approach is UBI: basically, give everyone monthly income with no strings attached and no means testing.

In both cases, the cost of the policies is offset by various forms of taxes.

Bernie's approach rests on the assumption that there are and will be enough jobs for everyone (if they have adequate access to the education, health care, and child care services they need), whereas Yang's is based on the assumption that there won't be.

In the long run, I figure that Yang is right (though we could also deal with the problem by transitioning to 30 or 20 hour work weeks), though Sanders' policy proposals better address the major problems we're dealing with right now.


Fundamentally, Yang suggests a technocratic approach: pass a certain policy (UBI) that would likely fix lots of things if passed, and then observe it work and adjust as necessary.

Sanders doesn't AFAIK support a UBI, but on top of a slew of left-wing policies, his perspective is that you need a mass movement of people to build institutions that can challenge corporate power.


I'm not saying he's right, but I think Yang's policy towards that is to give everyone $100 for them to donate to the politician/party they wish to "drown out corporate lobbying".

I'm not saying that'll work (or that it won't) but for the sake of it, that's his policy.

He also wishes to implement preferential voting.


I wonder if you could set it up such that all donations go into a pot/fund, and then have each person vote for the party they wish to receive the funds proportional to that vote.


Right. Using perhaps right-wing friendly terminologies, Yang is closer to the equality of opportunity end of the spectrum and Sanders is closer to the equality of outcome end.


Probably not a popular opinion on a board for entrepreneurially-inclined programmers, but this is the truth.




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