Re: Time, Productivity and Tax Rates

Subject: Re: Time, Productivity and Tax Rates
From: "Robert E. Allen" <re_allen -at- PNL -dot- GOV>
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 14:20:51 GMT

In article <9405201435 -dot- AA03450 -at- gw1 -dot- phibred -dot- com>,
"Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- phibred -dot- com> says:

>In the same vein, I also read an article about a company in Japan that went
>to a completely automated shop. It kept its employees - they worked shifts of
>about a day or two a month as security, maintenance, and other tasks that
>haven't been automated. It's an interesting idea, but I never saw a follow-up
>story - I've always been curious how it worked out.

>If you ever find out, let me know. That's sort of the realization of the great
>liberal vision of the 1930's -- that our machines would do more and more of the
>"grunt work" of day-to-day survival, leaving us with an ever-shrinking range of
>tasks the machines couldn't perform, and the rest of our time for productive
>leisure. As I think we're all acutely aware, that's not how it worked out, and
>I think it's worth figuring out why not.

I suspect the problem is that the factory owner bought the machines. The
owner, probably a capitalist, felt entitled to reap the benefits of those
When looking at bottom line profits and what competing factories are doing,
to obsolete workers equates to economic suicide. Nice thing about
pretty much brain-based and difficult to automate.


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