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Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Discussions about the economic and financial ramifications of PEAK OIL

Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 06 May 2018, 14:05:30

evilgenius wrote:
onlooker wrote:Evil, can I ask you what you believe will be the prime catalyst to initiate the next Great downturn in the Economy?

I think the prime catalyst will be interest rates. The move upward is a a move to halt inflation, which has been low. I know, you can always find somebody who has a lot to say about how they are paying more for everything. About a year or two ago I started to actually watch what was happening at the grocery store. I didn't write things down, but I deliberately kept a lookout, to see how much things were actually going up. Prices went up some, but not as much as the ranting.

It doesn't take a rocket science to see that the inflation rate claimed on shadowstats is nonsense, to cite an example of "sophisticated" ranting.

People tend to notice prices going up a lot, which bothers them. (College and medical care as two prime examples). But they forget or heavily discount that all electronics are tending to plunge in price (when functionality is considered) over time, for example.

Or cars. My 2017 Camry cost almost exactly what my 2003 Altima cost new -- including inflation. The Camry is much better equipped, although almost everything is standard, where stuff like ABS and the extra airbag package were expensive options in 2003. So I'd say for the midsized car buyer, considering functionality, prices after inflation have come down.

Not that I LIKE my medical insurance at just about triple where it was a decade ago, and being by far my biggest expense aside from taxes. But I do very much appreciate overall 2%ish inflation, remembering 1981 when, literally, I noticed grocery prices rising EVERY time I went to the store (inflation around 15% at the time) -- having just gotten my first post college job, THAT was scary.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 06 May 2018, 14:38:36

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/05/ ... tan-areas/
America’s Shrinking Middle Class: A Close Look at Changes Within Metropolitan Areas
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 23 May 2018, 11:58:37

Another example of how adaption is generally the more realistic result of change, vs. doom.

Mall operators looking more to filling resale space with what's in demand -- i.e. not retail.

With all the talk of higher home and rent prices, what could be more logical than apartments, for example?
US mall owners look to apartments and hotels to replace Sears and JC Penney

...

The divide was suggested even in the booths at RECon. TJ Maxx and Homegoods owner TJX, Dollar General, Five Below, CVS, had a prominent presence and there were more restaurant and hotel operators than there was in past years, attendees said.

Amid all the chatter about Bon-Ton and Toys R Us' recent and ongoing liquidations, the mood at RECon this year was much more upbeat than past years, when developers and retailers alike were still crawling their way back out from the damage done during the Great Recession, Greg Maloney, head of JLL's Americas Retail business, told CNBC.

"The sky is the limit for what you can do" with dark space at the mall or within shopping centers, he said. "You don't have to fill retail with retail anymore."

Apartment complexes and hotels were two of the new uses that some of the biggest retail landlords had top of mind this week.

With an aging population, I'm seeing things like medical buildings moving to where standard malls used to be. In areas with lots of older people and with cheaper real estate (i.e. abandoned mall space) -- seems eminently sensible to me.

Different? Of course?

Doom? Hardly.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Yonnipun » Fri 25 May 2018, 06:02:06

I think topsoil erosion is one of the biggest problems in the nearest future. We think that industrial agriculture is bad for the topsoil but even the agriculture without fossil fuels is not sustainable. At some point we are going to starve even if we have plenty of fossil fuels.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 25 May 2018, 06:47:13

Tanada and I were discussion soil depletion elsewhere with Tanada being decidedly more optimistic than I.

IIRC Tanada was still expecting a significant population reduction eventually.

Think I’ll start a thread

Environment section: Peak SOIL
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 25 May 2018, 07:12:31

Yes, I have read about the issue of top soil erosion and it is a grave one. Soil is life. I am not sure how you can grow anything when no top soil exists anymore. And barren landscapes and more clear cutting of forest is lending itself to ever more erosion from rain and wind. Read THE LAST EMPIRE by William Kotke
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 25 Jun 2018, 14:25:26

All sectors where technology can replace workers will continue to suffer inordinately and even some traditionally lucrative vocations
https://nypost.com/2018/06/23/why-the-m ... a-anymore/

Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 00:15:43

onlooker wrote:All sectors where technology can replace workers will continue to suffer inordinately and even some traditionally lucrative vocations
https://nypost.com/2018/06/23/why-the-m ... a-anymore/

Why the middle class can’t afford life in America anymore

Very stupid and inaccurate title though.

There have been a number of articles in credible sources about how it's getting tough for the middle class to afford housing in quite a few American cities, given current real estate prices.

San Jose, SF, NYC, etc. were mentioned.

OTOH, in rural areas (and small towns) in many red states, land and housing are, relatively speaking, dirt cheap. And thus, the cost of living is so low that while the $15 minimum wage might well make sense in very high cost of living cities, it's ludicrous in such low cost of living areas.

Despite an irresponsibly incorrect and misleading title, not time to panic for all of America yet -- not even close.

Examples of very expensive cities:

https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/cost-o ... ities.html

And notice that even in the top ten cost of living US cities, the cost of "living comfortably" drops by about a third, just in the top 10 priciest cities.

...

Now, looking at the other end of the scale for cities:

https://realestate.usnews.com/real-esta ... -in-the-us

So they're talking 22% to 26% of the median income for housing in these cheap cities to live in.


And these places are more expensive than the dirt cheap towns in places I know of personally within an hour drive of my area in central KY. However, the dirt cheap towns are pretty much bereft of decent jobs (i.e. with good salaries).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 06:05:31

However, the dirt cheap towns are pretty much bereft of decent jobs (i.e. with good salaries).

Glad you conceded the conundrum. A function of supply and demand. In big cities, many more people with good salaries bid for RE thus hiking up the price for the available housing inventory. Conversely, prices must stay low in rural areas to balance supply/demand.

But professionals need to be where the jobs are. I will concede that technology may be helping certain professions by allowing these workers to work from home, thus live practicality anywhere
But if the cited author is right this " as “roughly 30 percent of the tasks within 60 percent of our current American occupations could soon be turned over to robots.”" Do you OUTCAST and others think her estimate is right or close to it?
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Cog » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 06:35:57

If judgement comes into play on a task, the robots won't be superior to humans in doing it.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 06:44:28

From what I experience not many humans handle judgement well.

This move towards more and more autonomous machines is idiotic. It just puts more people out of work. That not only wrecks their personal economy but puts pressure in for government support, things like a guaranteed minimum wage for all. But even if that can be figured out the people will suffer from depression for lack of meaningful employment. Health goes down, suicide up, gangs replace local government. Not good.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Cog » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 07:21:16

Even changing a light bulb or removing a rusty bolt involves judgement. Ever had a light bulb base break off in the fixture? A robot not programmed to deal with would be frozen into immobility in how to proceed. I simply went to my toolbox and got a pair of pliers, spread the jaws, and twisted it out. That is the type of judgement that humans do everyday.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 07:29:30

Yeah I get that. How about the judgement on the deck of our destroyers?

You don’t make a cohesive society out of changing light bulbs. And also the vast majority of people can’t or won’t do what you describe, they call the super.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Cog » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 07:46:45

Even humans have to receive some training or education in performing a task. The failure of the bridge crew goes back to lack of training and enforcement of standards on a watch. But within a specialty, judgment comes into play. My roofer is not the same guy as my HVAC contractor. They specialize to get very good at what the do and can deal with situations they have never seen before based on that experience.

A robot can handle repetitive tasks, within a certain range of motion, and do it the same way every time unless the conditions change. Humans do make mistakes in all our endeavors but we learn from them hopefully.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 12:41:41

A computer beat a world chess champion, so I am not so sure computer cannot make "judgments" as part of making an enormous amount of calculations ie choosing the best option out of many, in a short period of time
Plus, you do NOT have to pay robots/computers
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby marmico » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 12:50:43

BEA price parities by state.

https://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/r ... elease.htm

The cost of living is 37% (118/86) higher in Hawaii (#1) than in Mississippi (#50). The blue state/red state divide is 18% (114/97) higher in California than in Texas.

https://bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/r ... art_01.png

Price parity is mostly housing.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 12:54:44

Computers do not have minds, don't reason, and are not creative or intuitive or even bright. It absolutely infuriates me to be forced to interact with one on a telephone. But if a job can be successfully automated, paying a human is not justified.

There are more synapses in a single human mind than there are stars in the heavens, which is a statistic from Carl Sagan on NOVA. I do not fear the Singularity, I fear only the actions of foolish humans who fear the Singularity with zero justification.

I look forward to networked human minds. These already exist, BTW. The networks use voice and texting and video today. They may become direct mind-to-mind connections in the future, and they may not. But we are already so dependant upon our network that a huge portion of living humans would die without it.

These are the opinions of a man who spent 34 years designing new computers, in a product line so successful that it occupies 100% of the niche it is in.
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby onlooker » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 13:06:09

Well it does seem like farming as a family business is being hit hard as this article hints at
American farmers face increasing epidemic of suicides
http://www.wric.com/news/national/ameri ... 1264958051
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 13:44:26

onlooker wrote:Well it does seem like farming as a family business is being hit hard as this article hints at
American farmers face increasing epidemic of suicides
http://www.wric.com/news/national/ameri ... 1264958051

Yes, that is true. It has been true since the days after WW2. Farming is a major corporate business for the most part. Even though there is a back-to-the-land movement and Permaculture and hobby farms, the MidWest including Wisconsin is full of abandonned family farm buildingss, decaying after the Corporations sucked up the land. The suicides happen as a farmer ages in place with no kids who are even interested in living on the farm. He becomes unable to farm single-handed, the bank starts to foreclose, his few acres are bought by the corporation, he gets an eviction notice, he puts a shotgun in his mouth.

Then somebody without a clue says "We gotta have more gun controls!"
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Re: Which sector of economy will be hit first ??

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Tue 26 Jun 2018, 15:01:20

onlooker wrote:But if the cited author is right this " as “roughly 30 percent of the tasks within 60 percent of our current American occupations could soon be turned over to robots.”" Do you OUTCAST and others think her estimate is right or close to it?

What does "soon" mean? "Could" certainly doesn't sound like "definitely will". Opinions differ all over the place (I've read various books and articles on the subject).

I've seen articles that talk about that happening in a few decades. Is that "soon"?

I expect that overall, it will be more spread out and gradual than the alarmists are saying. For example, the idea that fully self driving cars will be taking over many driving jobs "real soon now" or within a handful of years, looks more and more like a pipe dream. So that's a LOT of jobs right there. (Let's remember that for true full autonomous cars, they must handle ALL situations in ANY weather, safely enough to be government certified. They must be good enough to do away with the pedals and the steering wheel and thus all these half-assed measures of expecting a distracted human to dive in and take over and handle all situations.)

Let's also remember that this fear of technology and human obsolescence isn't new by any means.

Given where we are re full employment in the US, and the demand for low skilled labor threatening to become inflationary (thus far, it's editorials about employers whining they can't FIND low skilled workers, but paying them more isn't something most are willing to consider) -- jobs might well be more available than the experts are predicting. (Who would have guessed that many low skilled jobs are going begging in the US just 5 years ago?)
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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