Thursday, March 30, 2017


The impact of "robots" and automation on employment is a hot topic now that burger ordering and flipping is about to be impacted.  The prevailing argument is that economics must take a back-seat to social concerns.  I think that perspective merits examination.

If full employment is more important than economics, then we could easily achieve that goal by eliminating industrial, electric motors and powering equipment by humans on stationary bike sets.

Approximately 1.8% of the electrical power consumed in the United States is consumed by industrial motors.  That is about about 80 billion kW-hrs of power per year.

It would take 400,000,000 workers to generate the same amount of mechanical work per year.  That assumes that each worker can produce the amount of work that would be the equivalent of walking 16 miles every working day.
From Oasis Design, Principles of Ecological Design

Of course, the business would only be able to pay the worker $0.12 a day but I am sure the government would be more than willing to pick up the slack.  After all, social concerns like full employment are more important than economics.

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