As the GOP push through their tax bill, without any transparency, one of the big ticket items is corporate tax breaks.
My opinion is the government are really wasting their time, and our money giving tax breaks, especially to companies to repatriate their overseas earnings, in some kind of swap for jobs. No such thing will happen, sure there will be a few winners here and there, but nothing substantial and certainly nothing overtime.
If the government wanted to do this, they’d have been better creating an incentive program, which gave them tax deductions for each net new job they created, the longer their total employment numbers were up, net new, the lower the tax rate on repatriation would go.
I posted the following on twitter… but in a debate about it today, realized I’d left the link off for the NPR article. Here it is.
Full transparency, I really benefitted from share options during the last tax holiday for corps. Bringing money back.Over 10-year period ibm lost 100,000 US jobs. Anyone thinks it will be different this time, isnt thinking at all. #GOPTaxScam#GOPTaxPlanhttps://t.co/IH4qxvIH1M
And it wasn’t just ibm… And it won’t be this time. Most of the companies effected already have billions of dollars in the USA and could create jobs now. Share options are not evil, they do act as a great motivator, I know. However, 90% of the value goes to the top 1%
NPR reached out to seven tech giants – Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Oracle, Cisco – to ask, would they use repatriated money to create jobs in the U.S.? Not a single one would make a commitment on the record
And I know I played a big part in that, encouraging, promoting, cajoling and educating senior management and execs that there was a tidal wave of tech coming from India and China, and if they were not on it, they’d be drowned by it…
But that still doesn’t make it right to cut tax that is needed to supports schools medical and welfare, infrastructure and more, when there is already enough money slushing around. #GOPTaxScam#GOPTaxPlan
Automation is everywhere, but most of us don’t notice it. Every product we buy, every service we use has been touched by automation, some more than others. Think about the products you buy about the grocery store? Come in a package? Packed by machine!
I’ve had some interesting emails from regular followers/readers about automation. I don’t think people quite understand how invasive and creeping automation is.
Here is a perfectly simple example. I live on a new development in Colorado. Some 70 single family homes, and now they are moving into the multi-family condo and town homes. They’ve built two condo buildings, and a 3rd 12-plex is going up now, literally right across the street.
First, let’s be clear, this isn’t a pre-fabricated building. It’s a unique design to this location, that most would consider “traditional construction”. Only it isn’t, it’s massively labor free, and largely “skilled-labor” free.
The construction is typical timber frame, in the old days, there would have been an army of craftsmen working on site, the continuous sound of saws and hammers. While there are some professional craftsmen on site, the bulk of the construction is being done by “nail gun jockeys” using pre-cut, assembled panels and components. They just nailed them into place.
Of course, walking pass this, you’d never normally take a second look. Since it’s directly opposite my home office, everytime I look out the window I see it. What do I see?
Creeping factory assembly and automation. All the major parts arrive pre-cut to size; the joists and all the boards for the side that need holes for windows and door arrive pre-cut. The original boards come from Canada and Mexico. Anyone who has seen the home improvement shows knows that the boards are not cut by craftsmen and craftswomen, but simply cut by operator assisted laser cutting machines. What do all these things have in common? Automation.
It would be easy to simple, let’s at least bring back the board creation, prep and the component assembly to the USA. Indeed easy to say. That assumes we have the raw material, and that the factories exist that can manage the increased workload. If they can’t then let’s assume they can be built.
What happens then? Well, the businesses that do the manufacturing either produce the same goods at the same price as they are available overseas, which will be hard. The US no longer has the same wealth of natural resources. Those that we do have are harder to extract, or come with environmental, planning or development restrictions. Even if these were lifted, they would still come with a price tag.
Those costs, plus any for plant construction, or increased raw material cost would be passed onto us. Effectively doing a “Carrier” and raising prices to cover their increased costs.
Automation is everywhere, but most of us don’t notice it. Every product we buy, every service we use has been touched by automation, some more than others. Think about the products you buy about the grocery store? Come in a package? Packed by machine! Ready made meals, the whole production line from animal slaughter to food prep and cooking are all now largely automated. It’s invisible, invasive and all encompassing.
We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.
This from a man, who tweeted:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
I’ve no idea what to expect now from the Trump Presidency, but it’s an amazing coincidence that the original Blade Runner film was set in In Los Angeles in November 2019, just two years from now.
Hopefully Blade Runner isn’t a metaphor for a Trump Presidency; the weather and the blade runners, especially Gaff, do not foreshadow Trumps Immigration cops; and hopefully the Los Angeles in the film, nothing like the real LA in 2019; and the replicants not an extreme of the automation I wrote about yesterday.
What we don’t know is how Trump will do this. Just running up the deficit doesn’t seem likely given he’s from the GOP/Republican party. Taking much of what he’s said, closing tax loopholes, defunding Nato, closing overseas bases in place like Germany, Japan and more won’t likely save enough money. Your move President Trump.
Look, the jobs that are lost, are not coming back, get over it. When Trump claims he’ll bring back jobs, he either has no idea what he is talking about, or he envisions some dystopian future where Americans are more like slaves than they’ve been since, well, slaves.
I will bring our jobs back to the U.S., and keep our companies from leaving. Nobody else can do it. Our economy will “sing” again.
China and Mexico are not the problem, automation is. Even if Trump were able to force companies to bring manufacturing back to ‘Merica, through punitive tax and trade barriers, the manufacturing won’t be the same as it was, ever.
Listen to this recent extract from NPR’s All Things Considered. Bertram de Souza of The Vindicator talks about steel mills following a recent visit of Trump to Youngstown Ohio.
The next wave of automation is coming, it’s in driverless vehicles, it will have a dramatic impact on employment. Automated delivery trucks, automated taxi’s, autonomous vehicles will make a large dent in the current employment of some 3-million in America. While many cities are salivating over the ability of self-driving, autonomous vehicles to fix their broken road and transport infrastructure, that’s missing the point.
I’ve been horrified by the lack of actual policy discussion and examination of the context, detail and and lack of clarity even where there is policy. This is something we should have had a real debate about when, what and how we handle the future of automation.
It’s not as if the impact of automation is new. Depending on how you classify automation, it’s been going on since the invention of mills, but importantly since the computer became pervasive in business.
As far back as the late 1960’s it was a discussion topic. In the early and mid-1980’s automation had become a key issue for governments and businesses. This was a classic of it’s time.
A human teller can handle up to 200 transactions a day, works 30 hours a week, gets a salary anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 a year plus fringe benefits, gets coffee breaks, a vacation and sick time… In contrast, an automated teller can handle 2,000 transactions a day, works 168 hours a week, costs about $22,000 a year to run, and doesn’t take coffee breaks or vacations. – Bennett, 1983
Many of us were uncomfortable with what technology was capable of doing to our society, much more than our jobs. I’d seen it first hand and contributed to the loss of hundreds of jobs. When I first arrived at Chemical Bank in New York city in 1983, there were hundreds of people, mostly women, sat in large rooms, processing incoming credit card authorization phone calls. Within 3-years, they were all gone. Their positions had been eliminated. Replaced by simple automation of the repetitive tasks they did using search and a “database” lookup.
Some of the information and outlook from that IBM study found it’s way into this presentation I gave at meetings and conferences around the world at that time.
Automation was, and is unstoppable without a much bigger debate. Trump alone can’t fix it or stop it. Automation is a result of three, equally powerful trends.
One. The absolute fear and revulsion in America of Unions, their impact, power and influence. Sterns 1963 paper “Automation-End or a New Day in Unionism?” captured the potential impact of automation on Unions.
Two. Big corporations and the way the market values them, their ability to balance investment against revenue and more importantly profit. Investors and the market don’t care how business makes profit, and the tax authorities allow investments to be written off against profit. So removing expense, in the form of employees, and improving profits is always on the agenda.
Three. The continual consumer march towards ever more consumption and disposable, cheap goods. Perhaps more than the loss of jobs, if pernicious tax and trade barriers were implemented by any politician or President, we would see a revolt among the people, who more than anytime in history, want their stuff as a measure of their value.
So, we can’t stop automation, the jobs are not coming back. Where does that leave us?
I’m inclined to agree with Musk. The only way around the impact of automation is a universal basic income. That’s what we should have been debating this election cycle. Not fucking emails, walls, muslims and pussygate, let alone if somewhat left leaning Bernie Sanders proposals were socialism by the back door. Without serious discussion on these difficult topics, America will continue to into social conflict and fear.
Even if Trump gets elected today, those 5-million jobs we’ve already lost, and another 5-million are not coming back.