By which I mean here is what I wish I would have said, had I thought of it at the time. All thoughts are mine Here they are – in random order
- Political coalitions are not static things, and there is no reason to think that the composition of the D and R parties will look the same as it does now, with regard to education, race, gender, etc – they shift over time due to the nature of coalition politics (I’ve found the Norquist “Leave Us Alone” formulation useful)
- “Mechanical Americans” was the phrase of the day (thank you Lucas) – to refer to the theory that robots will one day kill us, but before they do, they will take our jobs (technological unemployment plus AIX Risk)
- I had the thought that Ricardian comparative advantage applies to robots too – to wit you will never have a situation where the robots will replace all of the humans as workers because the opportunity costs of trade are in effect there too.
Peter Thiel’s Zero to One thought that self standing robots are useless and expensive whereas machines as work amplifiers for humans are invaluable and a deal at any price – that is the proper way to frame the concept.
Essentially any particular output is the product of human plus machine labor (Ricardian Labor * Capital) – advances in technology do not change that. At it’s most extreme it would be like trade between the US and any foreign country – i.e. Americans can do any job better than Cambodians (due to our greater amount of all kinds of capital) but the US still trades with Cambodia due to comparative advantage in everything.
- The idea of a tax/fee for requiring a college degree for any job arose, which I found interesting – and good. Basically if you post a job then you must pay some nominal sum, say $50 if you mandate a college degree for applicants – that would be an excellent way to spur more efficient signaling.
- Conformity is a hidden reason, and I suppose benefit, of our modern education system (I think this was from me, I probably got it from David Friedman). In any corporate job you will find yourself doing something that is neither of any interest nor any immediate personal gain – but needs to be done anyway. Any particular job in a large corporation is very, very pointless until you zoom out very, very far.
- Lyndon LaRouche made it into the conversation, I’m not sure why. Looking him up on WikiPedia I found he only died in 2019!