Reply to post: Nonsense from the first line

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works


Nonsense from the first line

The key argument, repeated through the article, is that technological advancement through capitalism never reduces total working hours.

30 seconds of thought shows how nonsensical this is. For 200,000 years humans essentially spent 100% of waking hours at 'work' - acquiring food and shelter, subsistence farming, etc.

For the last 200 years the use of technology has only ever reduced those working hours. From agriculture meaning that survival took less than 100% of hours, through to factories and the labour movement changing 'standard hours' from 7 days to 6.5 days to 5 days to 40 hours to 39 hours.

Not only is that a clear trend, it overstates the comparison. 39 hours work in a developed economy usually provides for excess income and the ability to build capital. The number of hours needed for pure subsistence with no surplus is much less than that. To survive in an equivalent manner to a 18th century serf takes less than 20% of available hours. That's a massive reduction in working hours directly attributable to the deployment of technology.

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