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14 August 2016

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Fred

bks,

You might want to look up the cost of automation. "They can't" I've heard that one before. Will your flying car be self flying or is that option restricted for the self driving type?

Fred

Poul,

A variation was done before. It's not labor free just minimizes the staff:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat

Fred

Stephen,

I mention Soros because he's been backing Bill & Hilary for a long time. But if you insist just how did those two become multi-millionaires? Pay to play via a series of charities run by friends and family. Some of those payments coming while Hilary was Secretary of State. No conlficts of interest there.

Fifth Columnist

It's terrible. I've bought all these firearms and hoarded all this ammo and just keep waiting for the shit to hit the fan. All I need to do is pick a side.

But nope.. instead the shit stirrers and racial agitators just add another event to their long list of grievances and proceed to snipe at each other over social media with memes and statistics. What happened to us?

bks

3D printing is another over-hyped technology. How many badly done plastic models of Yoda do we need? Numerically controlled machines have been around for decades. They have their uses, but you cannot 3D print, e.g., a small electric motor (the killer technology of the early 20th century). You can't even 3D print a tea trolley.

bks

BTW, the McDonalds robot restaurant story is a hoax.
http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/robotmcdonalds.asp

Mark Kolmar

Regarding the civil unrest in Milwaukee (WI, U.S.), destructive actions of a few overwhelm the goodwill and best intentions of whole neighborhoods.

Sherman Park, the public park, has been a magnet for unruly crowds and so-called protest this summer. City of Milwaukee features quick, sharp contrasts in home size, build quality, age, and maintenance. Sherman Blvd. borders the west end of the enclave of black poverty on the city's north side. East and slightly north of the Sherman Park neighborhood is the worst of urban blight. There, a rusted-out industrial corridor runs north-south, where streets do not pass east-west for a mile.

The bulk of migrants to Milwaukee arrived later than they did into Chicago. You hear a different black dialect here than in Chicago, about 90 minutes south. Speech carries a pattern from the deep south primarily, in contrast with a quicker, urbanized tempo that is typical in Chicago.

Crime patterns in Milwaukee demonstrate less organized, less sophisticated activity than in Chicago. Gunshot wounds here, as in Chicago, connect webs of attackers and victims through personal grievances.

Rents really are not very much lower in Milwaukee's northwest, mid-town core than they are elsewhere, nearby. It's not clear to me how much of present-day racial segregation in local housing is a consequence of personal preferences within the broader landscape - in which African-Americans find refuge among other African-Americans, or seek a particular milieu in a population center - and how much is established outside and reinforced by old-style redline.

The actions of those who set fires Saturday night cannot be excused, even by the grotesque inequities and racist, anti-urban biases that feature heavily in southeast Wisconsin. I only mean to describe the immediate location and surroundings, to give context about where these incidents and destruction happened.

Poul

Ha, good one. Fooled me.

But the automation is real. It's just a question of time. Agriculture was the big employer 200 years ago. Now-a-days only countries lacking the money for modern farming methods have a sizeable part of the work force employed in that sector.

http://www.businessinsider.com/self-service-mcdonalds-in-switzerland-2015-5?r=US&IR=T&IR=T

http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/08/mcdonalds-replacing-cashiers-with-machines/

Stephen Calhoun

Yesterday at Target I noticed things in this large store that has been open for over a decade.

(1) Aggressive pricing--with one of Wal-Mart's biggest US stores a half mile away

(2) the displays were mostly a mess

(3) Guestimate the floor staff, the people there to help you buy stuff, has been cut over the past five years from 25-50 per floor to not more than 5-10 floor

(4) Target has installed telephones in each department so you can call for help, but the phone I picked up to use to ask a question didn't work

(5) It is very likely that Target's sales per employee looks good everywhere else except on the floor

Target came into the discount market originally aiming to compete with better customer service and crisp presentation. Both have been sacrificed, along with lots of jobs per store.

Stephen Calhoun

Yes: Soros, conflicts of interest, an opaque foundation; and yes, I'd like to see the speech transcripts.

There's high end grift and low end grift. The concrete particulars are better formed in Trump's low end case because he's been to court so many times and he's stiffed so many people over the decades.

Stephen Calhoun

Several reveals accrue to any release of Trump's tax returns from my layperson's POV.

(1) Tax shelters and tax avoidance tactics

(2) charges, deductions, sourcing, having to do with current entity financing and leverage

(3) charitable donations

(4) business deductions for expenses

(5) shells, partnerships, LLC's

(6) bottom line gross/net income

(7) all the others!

These elements are possible in any complex tax situation, including that of the Clintons.

different clue

Stephen Calhoun,

We still have a Sears store here in College Townville. I keep telling myself that I need to go to our Sears and buy something to keep Sears from being too lonely. I can't imagine Sears ever going out of existence, but the Canadians could never imagine Eaton's going out of business either, and then one day it wound down and stopped. ( I realize that is non-sequitorial, but it is the first thing that occurred to me).

If I go there and buy something, I will look to see if staffing and service is still better at Sears than what you describe at Target. I wonder why Target would be decaying in these terms. Did its customer base get poorer and leave Target feeling it had to institute Walmart Reforms?

What you saw at your Target seems like a crude and clunky version of this automation. Did the de-jobbed get other jobs? If so, were they Walmart Jobs at Walmart Wages? "The Lowest Price" isn't low any more if you make "The Lowest Wage" to go along with it. And so . . . less money circulates at and around the earner-customer base of society, leaving fewer earners with less money to spend, thereby mediating less and less economic production and exchange activity, leading to more economic shrinkdown at the customer-earner base-levels of society. How long can this go on before my boss calls me in and says: " We like your work, Mr. Clue. But we had to fire your job. There just isn't the bussiness to support it any more." I hope the Mighty Fortress of Academic Medicine where I work is several long stops down the attrition-decay-cannibalization-shrinkdown pipeline.

Fred

Mark,

"The bulk of migrants to Milwaukee..." The people who rioted are not migrants.

" present-day racial segregation in local housing is a consequence of personal preferences ..."

It may be news to you but there are no laws preventing any of these people from moving. There are many, many laws at the local, state and federal level preventing racial discrimination in housing and employment.

" I only mean to describe the immediate location and surroundings, to give context about where these incidents and destruction happened."

Your description is "racist, biased, anti-urban". Those are opinions. So you think the black residents are racists? The white, Asian or Hispanic residents? You provide no details. Would those biased, anti-urban racist(s) include the black Sheriff of Milwaukee County or just the people who voted for him (he won the general election with over 70% of the votes)? He's been re-elected many times. I'm curious as to just how those demographics worked out since more than 60% of the county is white.

Does "grotesque inequity" mean that single parent families are grotesque or just the "traditional" two parent families? Does conduct matter? Did these people learn their standards of conduct from mom, dad or just the local public school system? If millions of people can figure out how to leave a foreign country to get to the US surely somebody who has graduated from the Wisconsin public school system can figure out how to get out of such a den of inequity (as you describe it) as the City of Milwaukee; or maybe they can just vote for someone other than a Democrat of Socialist. (The Republicans haven't won the mayor's race in a hundred years.)

Fred

DC,

"The Industrial Revolution is over."

No, it is still going on. I suggest that for many spending four additional years in an academic environment while going into debt is doing little more than providing four more years of employment to those who work in academia.

Keith Harbaugh

Colonel, I agree with most of your policy positions,
but feel you are making a grave error in your reluctance to put the blame where it belongs for why your "Borg" does and says what it does.
There is a reason for that.
George W. Bush didn't shun his father's most excellent advisors Baker and Scowcroft and the policy positions towards Israel, Iraq, and the extent of American meddling with other nation's affairs without a reason.
And I think the reason is clear:
He saw how much good GHWB's fine policies had dome him
when re-election time came around.

If you want some evidence for who is really calling the shots,
take a look at this article:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/06/02/boykin-bounced-fort-riley-cancels-delta-force-heros-prayer-breakfast-speech.html
E.g.,
"Mr. [Mikey] Weinstein makes a very comfortable living by bullying the military into eradicating public displays of the Christian faith within the Armed Forces."
And he and his allies are evidently is quite successful in those efforts.

Colonel, you really shouldn't pretend that there is no connection between
the anti-Christianism that has become rampant in our society
(c.f. WaPo's articles on the after-school "Satan Club"
and the failure of their editorial board to condemn it)
and the pro-Israel policies and the ignoring of the American national interest.
There is a common cause.

Stephen Calhoun

The Sears here on the east side of Cleveland remains open, has enough staff, but isn't very busy most of the time. However, in noting this, I understand all retail "units" are working a business model.

Our local Target is located in a failed vertical shopping mall. Yet, Target seems to do a lot of business.

The real estate and derivatives and rentier recession devastated the stand-alone and strip retail here. It has only come back a bit.

Meanwhile, Wal-mart is looking at Amazon's online pie.

different clue

Stephen Calhoun,

Did the Sears on Cleveland's east side used to be busier? If so, I find myself wondering whether some of that Sears's former customers have started going to Walmart or wherever in search of "Always the Lowest Price. Always." If enough former Sears customers keep soft-boycotting Sears long enough to keep it not very busy for long enough, they may eventually get it closed. Then where will the former staff go? And what level of pay will they get somewhere else, if any pay at all?

Too few people are thinking about how paying a higher price allows the higher priced bussiness to pay a higher wage or salary, which allows the higher waged-or-salaried staff to buy more from yet other places at a "higher price" which keeps yet other staffers employed at higher wages and/or salaries. Too few people regard part of the "higher price" as being a "privatax" to support higher wages and higher employment elsewhere in the production-for-consumption economy.

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