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Issue #193: Robots Leaving Workers Jobless


Drachmaland
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The Issue:

#193: Robots Leaving Workers Jobless [The Ethics Union; ed:Sirocco]
The Issue
Amidst a growing level of unemployment, thousands of workers have been fired and then replaced by automatic systems. They have petitioned you to intervene.

The Debate
1. "It's just sickening! Do you know how long it took most of us to get a decent, 'stable' job?" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the @@NAME@@ Labour Alliance, before dramatically sweeping your personal belongings off your desk. "And now we're losing our livelihoods to robots so that while our families starve, the corporations get even richer! Don't let the capitalist pigs blind you! This practice must be banned!"

2. "Hey, I've got a job to keep up too, you know," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a factory manager. "If I don't think of new ways of keeping costs down, the investors will go elsewhere. It's my neck on the line as much as anyone else's, even if I do have much more money. Besides, it's business, and no-one ought to be able to say who - or what - I can hire."

3. "This could be resolved if instead of replacing workers with machines, we added machines to workers!" enthuses @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Mondas Ltd. "By replacing the body parts with stronger, better, metal prostheses, we can make the best industrial workers - literally - in the world! Imagine a shelver who can shift whole crates with just one arm! One finger! So let's hear no more of this deplorable 'replacing workers with machines' idea and look to the future!"

4. "You can't allow that!" gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, a manual labourer. "If that happens, only the people with cyber limbs will get jobs! And the corporations will contract you into having the surgery if you want to have one! No thank you! We should go back to the grass roots of industry when all the machines weren't computerised and workers were the salt of the earth! Then maybe we'd see a bit more appreciation! And cash!"

 

Points to pay attention to:

  • Option 1, “this practice must be banned”: Always be very watchful for this word, because it typically results in drops in freedoms.
  • Option 1, “dramatically sweeping your personal belongings off your desk”: An indication that Rudeness will increase this way.
  • Option 2, “even if I do have much more money”: A clear indication that Wealth Gaps will increase (and Income Equality will decrease) this way.
  • Option 3, “By replacing the body parts with stronger, better, metal prostheses”: The CEO's proposal is not to add, but to replace — resulting in a massive drop in Civil Rights.
  • Option 4, “go back [...] when all the machines weren't computerised”: A clear indication that most industries that depend on manufacturing technologies will severely suffer, and that Primitiveness will increase.

Actual results:

  • Option 2 surely increases Economic Freedom (and thus one can even have a nation shift government type) but it does not always increase Economy (strength); I once had a nation that had just gone to 97/100 Economy go with opt.2 at the very next update — and Economy went back to 96/100.
  • Option 2 was tested on an Anarchy with its Freedoms at 95/97/94, and the main effects were the following:
    • Employment, Environmental Beauty, Income Equality, Basket Weaving, Pacifism, Primitiveness, Safety: decreased
    • Ideological Radicality, Automobile Manufacturing, Book Publishing, Gambling, Information Technology, Tourism, Pro-Market, Obesity, Rudeness, Scientific Advancement, Toxicity, Wealth Gaps, Weaponization: increased
  • Option 2 was tested on a Civil Rights Lovefest with its Freedoms at 83/91/88, and the main effects were almost identical (the only differences being in Ideological Radicality and Taxation — but these might be due to rounding):
    • Employment, Environmental Beauty, Income Equality, Basket Weaving, Pacifism, Primitiveness, Safety, Taxation: decreased
    • Automobile Manufacturing, Book Publishing, Gambling, Information Technology, Tourism, Pro-Market, Obesity, Rudeness, Scientific Advancement, Toxicity, Wealth Gaps, Weaponization: increased
  • ​Option 2 was tested on a Civil Rights Lovefest with its Freedoms at 87/97/89, and the nation changed to Anarchy — the other main effects being:
    • Tax rate 27.1→23.6
    • Heart Disease & Murder increased, the other two death causes (Cancer & Old Age) decreased
    • Economy 97→98
    • Employment, Environmental Beauty, Income Equality, Pacifism, Primitiveness, Safety, Taxation: decreased
    • Ideological Radicality, Gambling, Information Technology, Tourism, Pro-Market, Obesity, Rudeness, Scientific Advancement, Toxicity, Wealth Gaps, Weaponization: increased

Suggestions:

  • If you are anti-capitalist/anti-free-market, and you don't care how well your Economy performs, then choose Option 1.
  • If you want to keep your Pro-Market rating low, but you don't want to hurt your Industries/Economy or your Civil Rights, then dismiss the issue.
  • If you are after a high Pro-Market rating, choose Option 2.
  • If you don't want to hurt your Civil Rights and you don't despise Anarchies, then choose Option 2.
  • If you want to be maximum oppressive, then choose Option 3.
  • If you pursue primitiveness or you're anti-industry, choose Option 4.
  • If in doubt, ask here — that's what this thread is for, anyhow. :)
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