Tag: losses

Losing Jobs to Robots: A Misconstrued Non-Issue

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

“Technological Unemployment” was a term coined by economist John Maynard Keynes. It references jobs for people that machines replace, and is a type of structural unemployment. He was not the first to discuss the concept of lost labor due to machines, but he made it more popular by the 1930s. We see this continued sentiment with the progress of technology today. People in Neo-Luddite fashion scream, “Robots are taking our jobs,” or, “With more robots taking our jobs, what are we supposed to do?” At face value, it can be very scary the idea of being unemployed or a lost career that took years with plenty of personal investing.

Are people really going to lose their jobs? In short, yes. Yes, people will lose jobs and careers, with no return in certain fields. With software and technological advancements, there will be careers such as accountants, construction workers, stockers, and more that will have to find alternative fields of employment. This does not mean that other fields will not become available for these individuals.

In fact, with technological advancements, there have been a plethora of jobs and fields that have come into existence only because of these precise advancements. For example, the internet has led to the demise of many traditional advertising companies, but has opened serious career opportunities for social media and online advertisers. When the car was invented, it caused the fall of the horse and carriage industry, but allowed new careers in vehicle manufacturing, advertising, sales, mechanics, accessories, fuels, etc. Only a wistful dreamer would argue that in order to provide more jobs we should ride on horses as a means of transportation again.

Politicians are typically characterized as declaring, “We need more jobs!” Suffice to say, it is not their place to do so. It is also not a healthy economical role for governments to employ many people. Nevertheless, it appears as an easy way of winning votes when a politician tells citizens they will get them “free” things at the expense of others, or more jobs. The only real jobs created would be by government loosening its claws off the neck of a free market that it is crippling with regulations.

Perhaps, in order to simply “create more jobs,” the politician can propose policies that prevent technological advancements, and get rid of more than half of the machines currently used, such as bulldozers. That way, they can give everyone spoons, instead of machines and shovels, and create an entire network of frantic ditch diggers who only use spoons all for the sake of “creating jobs!”

When people protest that they have “a right to work,” this means they believe they have “the right to other people’s property.” A company is owned by an individual or group of individuals. They fronted the risks of creating the company, and they rightly redeem the rewards, losses, and other consequences of having their company. Just because they have a contractual agreement with certain people as the company being employers, this contract does not provide employees with ownership of the company or its property. This also entails the job itself, as it can be terminated by either party at any time, under most contracts. Some areas have created laws to attempt to say otherwise, yet this does not justify their thieving actions.

If the property belongs to the company, it is to the company’s discretion as to whether they would prefer people working for them or robots and software. As people demand more and more for their employment, such as wages, health, retirement, investments, vacation, etc., companies are irrefutably incentivized to go with lowest cost labor that provides the least amount of problems, i.e. robots, machines, and software.

This inevitable change is artificially influenced by increased costs and taxes, and as people require more this process is expedited. A prosperous outcome, for most, would be a laissez faire solution which allows these changes to occur naturally within the marketplace, expanding trade rather than filtering it. This free market would also allow employees to better compete against one another in order to get the job they so desired. It still would not change the fact that many people will lose jobs or careers to robots and software.

Some are calling on “taxing robots,” “Universal Basic Income,” or, “Basic Income,” but at a cost to whom? This cost is, again, to the creators and companies, who then pass the cost on to the market who pay more for the same products. It would also entail higher taxes for everyone, including the poor.

This, of course, should be a motivation to better market one’s self by learning more and expanding their own horizons as opposed to accepting mindless jobs that a robot could do in the near future. More complex jobs, like calculating as an accountant, will still be inevitably lost to software. Yet, there are other fields and companies that will choose to stay with people for a while, and the same goes with more menial jobs. This can be seen clearly with banks providing ATMs while maintaining in-house bankers. Many people prefer dealing with other people rather than with machines, especially as some software is still getting the bugs worked out.

In the long-term, the benefits of robots, machines, and software far outweigh the losses incurred. We have better healthcare, transportation, lower costs, better materials, a greater access to knowledge, and easier forms of communication. This list of benefits can go on continuously and yet we see more jobs available today than a thousand years ago. There are more jobs not because of governments, and not because of stifling regulations, but because of the technological advancements that humankind has created to best benefit us and the world, while also trading. People will continue losing jobs as the world progresses. People will, surely, find more jobs and opportunities as we progress!

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THE BITCOIN FOMO SELLOFF IS HERE?

By Jesse Stretch | USA

Newcomer Bitcoin hotshots are panicking on Reddit, crypto forums, everywhere. We read these quotes and sigh:

“Why is it crashing? Help!”

“Soon it will be worthless. SELL OUT NOW.”

“Bitcoin is dying! Agh!”

According to an article in Newsweek, the international suicide hotline is/was advertising on the Cryptocurrency Reddit forums.

The “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO sell-off attitude in the crypto space prompts criticism from a wide host of onlookers and participators alike, and yet as it occurs, those same writers preaching “hold hold” have their Binance accounts open dumping everything they can back into Coinbase on the prayer of cashing out ahead or at a slight loss.

But alas how some of us forget that this was and is the point.

Volatility. Lots of movement. Big Charts. Big gains, big losses.

Without volatility, cryptocurrency is boring. After all, what small or medium-sized investor wakes up and checks the price of Ford stock every single day—virtually none. Glance at the Ford Stock Reddit and see that in the top four topics is this heading, Why does Ford price fluctuate so little day to day?… Enough said. The stock market is basically a bore to this caliber investor, and rightfully so.

Young crypto-minded investors don’t want to wait. The tech culture doesn’t have time to wait. We need lunch delivered to the office, we need fast electric cars, we need Prime for toilet paper, leggings, and custom bearding kits. We don’t have a decade to gain 40% on Ford stock like Grandpa did. In a decade, many of the Bitcoin investors will be in their late twenties or early thirties—nearly dead and/or retired! There’s simply no time to wait for the NYSE.

Bitcoin is a rollercoaster, and roller coasters are a short, wild ride; but, the ride starts again at some point or another when new people get on. Sometimes, if you know the ride operator like we did when we worked at the theme park growing up, you get to ride over and over again as many times as you like. When you’re done, you have nothing to show for it, but it was a wild ride. Such is the same with Bitcoin—but maybe not if you hold.

In his seminal guide, the Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham espouses the idea that in the instance of a very large short-period investment gain of over 100%, the investor should consider selling half of the investment to safeguard the principal and capture some gain on the initial capital. This is an easy theory to read and comprehend, but it’s a bit harder to practice. One might argue that with prices moving from $10k to $20k and back to $10k, all essentially inside of one rolling month’s time, this is exactly what has happened—profit grabbing, a correction, a harvest of income. It is one of the most common occurrences in high-risk investing.

My point here is that the FOMO selloff on Tuesday and Wednesday the 17th and 18th of January of 2018 were expected, was predicted, is expected to continue for an indefinite time, and is likely not the “end” of crypto-currency. People harvest profits, and harvesting profits lower the market cap and price of the stock or commodity. This is normal. What we are seeing here is just another exaggeration of what would usually take much longer to happen in your grandad’s brokerage account.

In crypto, the equivalent of weeks on the NYSE happens in mere minutes, sometimes moments. Percentage gains and losses are exacerbated by an eager, new, and often timid investor who is likely not as flush or seasoned as the rich boys on Wall Street. For this reason, there is a great hunger for a rapid gain and a great fear of a rapid loss. Were it Gold these crypto investors were trading in, we’d see the movements occur much slower, but this isn’t gold—it isn’t, arguably, anything.

The FOMO selloff may be just so, or rather it may also be a high-volume version of the traditional marketplace profit grab. Tomorrow, Bitcoin may be worth $2. Tomorrow, Bitcoin may be worth $25,000. Neither would surprise anyone with a history in this market space. The fear (and the hope) is real.

But as bulls, let’s be optimistic: Any high-volume selloff will ultimately increase the strength of the crypto market, should it sustain itself, because it will trim out the weak-stomached investor. When this investor returns, he/she will return with a confidence in the market, which will make FOMO selloffs less likely to occur in the future. Should the crypto market continue to grow over the coming years, this is how its legacy and stability will be forged. The new investor must experience both gain and loss, and then a recovery from loss, in order to develop a trust and a respect for the market, and through time this trust will stabilize the currency and lessen its fluctuation as an investment vehicle and/or pseudo-commodity.

And so as you distractedly read this article, I will continue clicking my mouse to see if Coinbase will finally process the lagging sale all of my holdings and transfer them safely back to my FDIC insured big-brother bank account—all for a hefty but reasonable fee.

Relax… I’m kidding…


Author’s Note: The author currently holds positions in numerous cryptocurrencies and is not engaged in a volume-oriented selloff of these positions—but he knows you are.