Last night I heard a group of smart pundits and wonks discuss Tyler Cowen’s new book Average Is Over. This book is a sequel to his last, The Great Stagnation, where he argued that wage inequality has greatly increased in rich nations over the last forty years, and especially in the last fifteen years. In this new book, Tyler says this trend will continue for the next twenty years, and offers practical advice on how to personally navigate this new world.
“If you instead assume that politics will fail to solve the problem, and analyze the consequences of that in more detail, not to scarepeople but to work out how to live in that scenario, you are seen as expressing disloyalty to the system and hostility toward those who will suffer from that failure.” This negative attitude toward you would best be rationalized by appeal to the EPH—the Efficient Politics Hypothesis, analogous to the Efficient Market Hypothesis. According to the EPH, if there is a political problem that can be solved, the system will work: it *will* be solved, incorporating all available information into the political process that generates the solution. (Additional assumption: virtually all political problems, at least those that are foreseen, can be solved.)
But of course the EPH, once formulated, looks ‘way toooptimistic.
Your first sentence I think is basically right.
But it seems good to note that there are singularity scenarios, which we have no reason to dismiss, where we survive. It's a coin toss. So it may make sense to split resources between coping for a "survive" toss and trying to prevent the toss, even if we can't change the coin's odds.
Not sure on that one. You could do an add-on if they report up to two dependents, and then child services if they have a bunch of kids they can't feed that are going hungry.
Give us a true safety net in the form of a guaranteed basic income that puts an individual at the point where they could live an austere lifestyle but not go homeless or starve off of it
What if someone has more offspring than they can feed on their guaranteed income? (One purpose of a safety net is to protect from one's own imprudence, particularly when it harms others like children.)
If the population grows faster than economic output does the guaranteed basic income per capita would have to go down. Besides, thinking that giving poor people money will lead to a population explosion is a 19th century idea that was decisively disproven by experience in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Turns out women don't really want 15 children and people like the idea of contraception, of course economists could have figured that out back in the 19th century if they had done actual empirical research and had considered women as people instead of cattle, but then economists would have been real scientists... But let's just say the 19th century idea was right, in that case the lowering of the guaranteed basic income would have led to less of an incentive to have more kids and eventually an equilibrium would have been established.
The world has a history: things that logically don't have to be still are because of historic outcomes. There is no logical connection between elephants and American conservatism, but the republican party did choose an elephant as their mascotte so in our world an elephant does signify American conservatism.
There is no coping: it's death/enslavement at the hand of the robots/ems, or prevention. You don't need to weigh a lot of pros and cons...
For global warming that sounds more plausible, but I'm not convinced it's true with a singularity, because the limiting factor there may be awareness and not desire. If that's true then individual action and political policy could actually be mutually reinforcing.
With only a small minority aware of a singularity, (edit: major) political action can't happen now, only individual planning.
That said, I don't really understand your reasons for saying politics can't prevent things even in the longer run. We might say there are three possible failure points for politics, namely forecasting, inclination, and trust. Since you are forecasting a singularity, it doesn't seem the first. Do you predict an outright lack of desire by individual governments, or just a lack of trust between nations leading to coordination failure? So with nuclear weapons we obviously have the latter, since nobody would develop those except for foreign threats. On the other hand, the internet (rightly) falls into the former category.
If so, then at what point do you prevent future overpopulation from exhausting local land and resources?You don't. If overpopulation really happens, there will be a point when the redistribution scheme becomes unsustainable because you can't tax people arbitrarily highly. Until then, you gain the temporary gains of political stability.
Why not? Just say that every citizen of the US gets a guaranteed basic income amount upon age 18 per year for the rest of your life.
We have mostly declining birth rates worldwide, and the few that aren't declining anymore are just bouncing back from birth rates below the replacement level. I'm not worried about that.
Should said individual's children also receive a guaranteed basic income? If not, why not? If so, then at what point do you prevent future overpopulation from exhausting local land and resources? Future abundance will still be scarce given exponential population growth.
As one economist once told me, "if there is no solution, there is no problem"
It's not clear to me how that makes it different. Adapting to robots winning, say, will also reduce the incentive to avoid robots winning.
Strictly, the way it's different is that it can't be explained by the logic of conflicting moral positions.
(It also assumes that the best coping method is prevention, rather than adaptation, which is hard to tell if you haven't seriously considered adaptation.)
Global warming is completely different (pace Robin).
In that issue, there are (perceived to be) actual doable things to slow it. Certainly, improving the ways people adapt to it will reduce the incentive to avoid it.