Future of the Economy

  • I'd like to start a thread about some serious issues that the economy is going to face due to LENR and other revolutionary technologies.


    As a trained economist I understand the deflationary tendencies of revolutionary technology. In the near future we will likely face a combination of two economically earthshaking technologies. The first will be abundant and cheap energy, through LENR and Solar. The second will be the advent of Generalized Artificial Intelligence. Both of these technologies will undoubtedly create a recipe of strong deflationary tendencies within the economy of the world.


    As far as my noetic faculties can reach, this will lead to something fiat economies are most endangered by. Namely, deflation. Mind you, even a small percentage of deflation will cause the super-rich to lose their minds.


    Keynesian economics will most likely be on steroids due to this, and will be ineffective no matter how much money gets injected into the economy.


    Is there anyway to prepare for this eventuality? I don't mean to ferment fear or scare anyone, so I'm sorry if anyone feels uncomfortable due to this sentiment about the future of economics.

  • Mind you, even a small percentage of deflation will cause the super-rich to lose their minds.


    I do not understand why you think rich people dislike deflation. On the contrary, it makes their money worth more. In the 19th century they supported deflationary monetary policy.


    I also do not understand why you think a lower cost of energy might cause general deflation, or hurt the economy. It would certainly hurt the oil companies, because they would lose most of their business, other than chemical feedstocks. It would destroy the coal and wind-turbine industry. But it will take decades for all energy companies and electric power companies to go out of business. We will adjust. As people spend less on gasoline year by year, they will spend the money on something else.


    The coal industry used to be gigantic. In 1923 there were 863,000 coal miners in the U.S. Today there are 53,000. If they all lost their jobs in a normal year, it would hardly make a dent in the unemployment figures. Most U.S. coal companies are bankrupt or close to bankrupt, because less and less coal is used to generate electricity.


    Large industries have come and gone in the last 200 years. The railroads dominated the U.S. economy in 1900. By 1950 they were a much smaller part, mainly because of automobiles. Before that, agriculture went from being the dominant industry with a third of all workers, down to 5 to 8%.


    At present, the healthcare and insurance industry is gigantic. But this is unsustainable. This situation cannot go on. For one thing, if it does, the industry will eventually consume 100% of the money. We already spend more on healthcare than housing. I have no doubt that in 50 years, most of the expensive procedures done by doctors will be done by robots instead. Today, a doctor takes 10 minutes and charges you thousands of dollars (as happened to me not long ago). That is an invitation to be put out of business. It is like wearing a target on your back. When an industry gouges the public, the way railroads did in 1900, it is just a matter of time before someone invents a replacement. The money is lying on the table, ready to be picked up. Henry Ford picked up the railroad industry's obscene profits. A $2000 bill for 10 minutes of work is golden opportunity for someone to invent robots to replace doctors. There will be a hue and cry to prevent this. The AMA will say it violates laws -- which it will. But once the robots are invented, and put in use in hospitals and by doctors, for $2000 per ten minutes, people will see that these robots are no different than the ones at home. They will buy and use them without permission, without telling anyone, sort of the way people watch porn today, or use drugs to induce abortion, or use illegal drugs.

  • I do not understand why you think rich people dislike inflation. On the contrary, it makes their money worth more. In the 19th century they supported deflationary monetary policy.

    You might have misunderstood. I specifically mention "deflation," not "inflation".


    As to why they would dislike "deflation" is due to debit becoming more burdensome, along with the notion that purchasing power increases for all other rational agents operating in the economy.

  • Your interest in the future is commendable, but it seems that we have arrived at 'late stage' capitalism when the capitalists thought it has barely begun, and it's essential narcissism will be exposed more and more over the rest of this decade. I fear trouble ahead. Good research sources are vital, and without a way through paywalls it's often hard to access. You might find this an interesting project if looking for clues. Created in collaboration with the 'Center for the Study of Existential Risk'. (CSER) at Cambridge UK, it's an AI that looks for papers on various types of existential risk and serves them up. They website asks for an institutional log-in but I just used my company email and they let me join.


    https://www.x-risk.net/about/

  • You might have misunderstood. I specifically mention "deflation," not "inflation".


    I meant to write "deflation." I don't see why rich people dislike deflation.


    They shouldn't like it because the interest made from lending money to the rest of us peons decreases in overall value.


    Rich people borrow money too. To invest, or start companies with, for example. Trump borrowed tons of money.

  • it seems that we have arrived at 'late stage' capitalism when the capitalists thought it has barely begun, and it's essential narcissism will be exposed more and more over the rest of this decade. I fear trouble ahead.

    Glad I'm not the only one. It took me a while to foresee this type of scenario.


    What I expect, in the best case scenario, is going to sound quite Utopian; but, since the onerous issue of economic scarcity will be dealt with in the most efficient manner by some Generalized Artificial Intelligence entity, then we will have crime, medicine, and, yes, even the problem of death dealt with.


    Some people might sense some undertones of some kind of communist or socialist affinity hereabouts; but, either way the poor will benefit the most from deflation arising due to the above issue. And, besides, it will take many generations still to level the playing field around the world.


    It's perplexing.

  • The question is whether much cheaper energy will lead to significant deflation.

    Most of my energy bills revenues go to government taxes.

    Governments wiil very likely invent new tax categories to compensate for the reduced income from taxes on current energy types.


    In addition to the cost reduction of many things due to new technologies also another economical effect should be taken into account:

    The staggering increase of cost of medical health care due to increased life expectation and the rapidly changing ratio of productive people versus non-productive people.

  • Promethium


    Can you comment on this article?


    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0…coronavirus-stimulus.html


    Fractional lending on steroids? Seems that they're taking this idea to extreme, due to today's unmentioned 2.3 Trillion in loans .


    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/09…-states-cities/index.html


    It's really reckless and dumb and will create a huge bubble after the pandemic is over. However, this is the only way to prop up a fiat system. Money essentially has to continue being created to lessen the debit load. Imagine the greenback not being the world currency after this version of Quantitative Easing (which doesn't work that well). Banks can't be forced to lend money, so there will be humongous reserves, that even the FED, with it's monetary policy of inflation targeting wouldn't want to allow...


    Just read this part:

    ------

    It is worth noting that this setup will not necessarily pump $3.5 trillion of monopoly money into the economy permanently.



    When it makes a loan, the Fed temporarily sends fresh dollars out into the financial system. But that loan must be paid back with interest, sucking the funds back out. When the Fed buys bonds using its emergency powers, it takes an asset out of the system in exchange for central bank cash.

    “When it comes due, cash essentially has to be taken out of the private banking system and given back to the Fed,” said Matthew Luzzetti, chief United States economist at Deutsche Bank.

    -----

  • The question is whether much cheaper energy will lead to significant deflation.

    Most of my energy bills revenues go to government taxes.

    This is a problem economically that green energy faces, and limits the amount of tax and municipal incentives for renewable energy.


    It's an inverted tragedy of the commons problem for the government, as long as revenue and profit is some categorical imperative.

  • Fiat currencies and an economy that heavily hinges on debt, increasing inequality and constant inflation is the problem. If I had to choose between a cheap energy source with raw materials accessible on all land masses independantly, hundreds to thousands of times denser than fossil fuels or putting more bandaides on the status quo... I'd say let it go through the metamorphosis.


    I am by no means a communist but I believe raised quality of life, living standards, access to basic life needs could be available to a larger base. Not for free but ground shatteringly cheap and with quality value. The deck of cards is about to be shuffled. The question is how does the current state of affairs benifit us to the point where we should worry about what's coming out?


    Secondly AI, this technological development will not replace humans out right. It isn't the all inclusive solution to every problem while being the persistant nightmare fuel some make it to be. If you are not into computer science or able to visualise the orders of magnitude of complication advantages any mammals brain has against the best AI you will hold on to propaganda. AI will not kill us (economically and professionally) in the future unless we allow it to and give it the tools to period. When I think of near to far future AIs pre-sophont animal brain level intelligence and autonomy seem more likely to symbiotically assist the human which will remain the seat of initiative. And we are are barely in that level at the current cutting edge. That said if you have an AI as computationally complex as a dogs brain you don't want to give it full control over a weapons platform or critical government functions without proper precautions. I am not afraid of AI, If we allow it wisely to do what we program it to do it will allow us to birth many things. It is statistically highly unlikely we intentionally creat something genuinely as complex as or more complex than ourselves. That said economic and social affects cannot be ignored.

  • I've just started reading this - an find it very engrossing. But it doesn't mention LENR that I have seen yet - but a lot on AI.


    https://www.amazon.com/Precipi…re-Humanity/dp/0316484911


    If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Our species could survive for billions of years - enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and to flourish in ways unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, where we face existential catastrophes - those from which we could never come back. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pathogens and artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it will soon be too late.
    Drawing on over a decade of research, The Precipice explores the cutting-edge science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity: showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies that can safeguard humanity.
    An Oxford philosopher committed to putting ideas into action, Toby Ord has advised the US National Intelligence Council, the UK Prime Minister's Office, and the World Bank on the biggest questions facing humanity. In The Precipice, he offers a startling reassessment of human history, the future we are failing to protect, and the steps we must take to ensure that our generation is not the last.

  • I've just started reading this - an find it very engrossing. But it doesn't mention LENR that I have seen yet - but a lot on AI.


    https://www.amazon.com/Precipi…re-Humanity/dp/0316484911


    If all goes well, human history is just beginning. Our species could survive for billions of years - enough time to end disease, poverty, and injustice, and to flourish in ways unimaginable today. But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity entered a new age, where we face existential catastrophes - those from which we could never come back. Since then, these dangers have only multiplied, from climate change to engineered pathogens and artificial intelligence. If we do not act fast to reach a place of safety, it will soon be too late.
    Drawing on over a decade of research, The Precipice explores the cutting-edge science behind the risks we face. It puts them in the context of the greater story of humanity: showing how ending these risks is among the most pressing moral issues of our time. And it points the way forward, to the actions and strategies that can safeguard humanity.
    An Oxford philosopher committed to putting ideas into action, Toby Ord has advised the US National Intelligence Council, the UK Prime Minister's Office, and the World Bank on the biggest questions facing humanity. In The Precipice, he offers a startling reassessment of human history, the future we are failing to protect, and the steps we must take to ensure that our generation is not the last.

    Sounds like an interesting read.

  • Fiat currencies and an economy that heavily hinges on debt, increasing inequality and constant inflation is the problem. If I had to choose between a cheap energy source with raw materials accessible on all land masses independantly, hundreds to thousands of times denser than fossil fuels or putting more bandaides on the status quo... I'd say let it go through the metamorphosis.

    Yet, the outcome is undesirable. So, as per prudent common sense the technology (as it seems to be) should be transitioned towards instead of a revolution. Every nation realizes this, I suppose.

  • Yet, the outcome is undesirable. So, as per prudent common sense the technology (as it seems to be) should be transitioned towards instead of a revolution. Every nation realizes this, I suppose.

    Accept for those who have few cards to play in the current system. Most countries have tonnes of nickel, iron and hydrogen isotopes at their disposal literally under their feet and at their water front. I am not advocating for any sort of violent or unnessasarily tumultuous revolution... accelerated or catalysed transition probably is sounder wording. Really we should ear more on the side of cautious catalyzation than artificial limitation of expansion. Looking at history, mammalian reproduction and even Biblical parables a mess is welcomed to birth something new. As long as the mess doesn't include lost life, blood and tears. Death is undesirable yet we all die before 130 years old in recent history. All I'm saying if your rational is avoid change cause it will cause discomfort, I wont jump on that bandwagon. I would prefer slight discomfort to the greater discomfort of "safe" slavery, stagnation or death. Watching all move forward and seeing new possibilities in power production emerge shining is to heartwarming for all mankind to hold it up.