The gig

Last week ended with news of 35,000 jobs created in December. Big relief after a disaster the month before. As it turns out, Canada churned out 320,000 jobs last year – one of the best performances since the lights went out back in 2008.

Who’s working?

Well, almost all new jobs last year came in the services sector. The number of people who actually make stuff (including oil & gas production) fell by 50,000. The ranks of those who serve stuff grew by 367,300. Wow. And a big chunk of those were in the FIRE sector – financing, insuring or selling real estate.

But wait. It seems about two million people are now a part of the gig economy. That accounted for more than 8% of the workforce in 2016 and is estimated at 10% now (no official stats are available). A gig job is just what it sounds like. Here’s the definition: “self-employed workers who enter into various contracts with firms or individuals to complete a specific task or to work for a specific period of time.”

The biggest gig is IT. Nobody seems to want a full-time tech guy hanging around earning vacation time, getting dental benefits or contributing to a crappy group RRSP. And yet without robust technology, most corps would be dead in the water. Weird.

The proportion of gigers has doubled in the last 15 years. Think Uber. It includes free-lancers and baristas, musicians and roofers. Corporations would much rather have some incorporated dude come in and fix machines than have another employee costing payroll taxes and being impossible to lay off without grief and money. As labour regs and minimum wages become more onerous, the gig economy grows. So do the ranks of workers who never get paid, get sick, take time off to have babies, go on vacation or come to work looped.

Walmart gets it.

The world’s biggest retailer has just announced robots will be added this year to 650 more stores, bringing the number of locations to over a thousand. These machines prowl the store aisles, scan shelves and take inventory. Information is sent immediately to human employees who then order stock. What once took actual people two weeks to accomplish is now done twice a day.

Consultants McKinsey & Co. estimate half of all retail jobs will be automated away. And look at the banks. My office is a perfect example – I’m writing this sitting in an historic stone palace that Bank of Montreal operated out of for more than 100 years before they replaced it with an ATM next door and gave the place to me. Bank tellers are going. So are travel agents. Canada Post delivery people. Printers. Then realtors. Almost all newspaper and magazine jobs. Cashiers. Even soldiers.

The nature of work is changing daily. Selling stuff is going online and major corporations strive to shed costly, unpredictable and needy humans with robotics, automation and apps. This is a big reason why the gig economy is growing, full-time employment is more precarious and 70% of people no longer have corporate pensions.

Says McKinsey: “Activities most susceptible to automation involve physical activities in highly structured and predictable environments, as well as the collection and processing of data. In the United States, these activities make up 51% of activities in the economy accounting for almost $2.7 trillion in wages. They are most prevalent in manufacturing, accommodation and food service, and retail trade, and include some middle-skill jobs.”

Think about that. Half the jobs likely to go. The bulk of them in the service sector – which created all the new employment in Canada last year, and accounts for 70% of the American economy. Stats Canada, in detailing the gig economy, hints at the huge social impact this brings. Those in the bottom 40% of the income ladder are twice as likely to be shut out of full-time employment, as robots and labour cost-cutting prevail.

Okay, what does this mean?

First, everyone gets a vote. So expect more political upheaval as it becomes more difficult to find employment which is (a) full-time, (b) has benefits and (c) a career path forward. Already happening, as you know, which helps explain why Mills have been forming families a lot later than those promiscuous, lucky Boomers did.

Second, politicians catering to this angst and proffering solutions will get elected. So the inevitable outcome will be (a) more taxes, especially on property owners, (b) the embracing of some form of modern monetary theory allowing for much greater deficit spending by governments that will offer (c) a guaranteed annual income.

Third, bad news for housing markets. Prices will inevitably trend lower over time regardless of the level of interest rates. Also bad news for rich people, since we’re likely to see a wealth tax plus an inheritance levy.

Finally, for those with assets they foolishly want to keep, think about reducing real estate exposure and pumping up financial wealth. Houses are just too easy to target, and symbolize social disparity. Fully utilize government tax shelters like RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, RDSPs and LIRAs. They’ll be the last to feel political heat. Hedge against the dollar by maintaining about a quarter of your portfolio in US$-denominated assets. Invest, don’t save. What’s coming will stoke inflation and chew through savings.

Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia. Yes, that bad.

 

 

173 comments ↓

#1 Smoking Man on 01.13.20 at 3:45 pm

Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia. Yes, that bad.

Garth Rocks…

#2 Rick Fast on 01.13.20 at 3:52 pm

GTA housing bubble will pop in the next few months! Garth knows it, but doesn’t want to explicitly say it. He wants to be pleasantly surprised, then he will say I told you so.

#3 Sold Out on 01.13.20 at 3:53 pm

Singing from the central bank song book, Garth?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/inflation-canada-world-1.5419612

#4 Ubul on 01.13.20 at 3:57 pm

Governments won’t be selective to tax all kinds of wealth. It is possible to guess what will be targeted first, but sooner or later everybody will take turn.

Investment profit, revenue will be targeted the same way as various properties, including real estate. The same trend will happen in all major economies, capital won’t be able to escape efficiently to other jurisdictions as it used to be. Maybe new societies won’t even need billionaires.

The best economies might become the ones that resist the least as complete automation as possible, in the shortest time.

People may be happier with less, but safe, guaranteed income if they won’t have to spend 40 hours a week or more, just to scrape by.

#5 Paddy on 01.13.20 at 4:03 pm

The topic today is very interesting, thank you Garth. What will all these people do who are losing their jobs to robots? Two schools of thought here: They will waste away and become social program dependants or it will free them up to do other more important jobs? Interesting times ahead for sure!

#6 Randy Cross on 01.13.20 at 4:08 pm

Better get rid of those rich,gold-plated defined pensions for those government workers and teachers….they are part of the 2 percenters…

#7 Re-Cowtown on 01.13.20 at 4:17 pm

Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia. Yes, that bad.

____

I actually like the KIA Telluride. Nice truck!

#8 earthboundmisfit on 01.13.20 at 4:17 pm

Kia? Nope, Subaru. And retirement is exempt from automation.

#9 The Wet One on 01.13.20 at 4:19 pm

I find it noteworthy that you never suggest actually encouraging an economy that works for most of the people in society.

I guess that’s the “market is god” at all costs mentality at work.

BTW, ordering in grocery stores is done daily and has been since I worked at a grocery store (and lived through the change) more than 20 years ago.

Not sure what these ordering robots are going to do at Walmart, but if Walmart hasn’t done daily deliveries since 2002 (when I last worked at a grocery store), I’d be utterly and completely gobsmacked. Like as not, what you’re suggesting they do isn’t what you’re saying they do. That was done decades ago by living, breathing store employees like, y’know, me.

#10 Zapp Brannigan on 01.13.20 at 4:24 pm

Good topic Garth.
I’ve often wondered out this too.
They worried about the same thing when computers started replacing people. But humanity always finds a way.

If any of you watch the show “The Expanse”
It’s background is set in a future 200 years from now where the majority of earth population is unemployed.
Terra forming Mars and asteroid mining is where the jobs will be.

Hey Smoking Man.
where have you been hiding?

#11 Mr Fundamental on 01.13.20 at 4:26 pm

“Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia. Yes, that bad.”

Bahahaha, I have a KIA! Yessss! I am so far ahead of the curve.

#12 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 4:26 pm

#5 Paddy on 01.13.20 at 4:03 pm

The topic today is very interesting, thank you Garth. What will all these people do who are losing their jobs to robots?

———————————

They’ll join the spear makers, scythers, farriers, blacksmiths, coopers, millers, archers, cavalry soldiers, wood joiners, and tall boat sailors.

Nothing new here.

#13 Leichendiener on 01.13.20 at 4:31 pm

“Invest, don’t save. What’s coming will stoke inflation and chew through savings.” Seminal statement.

#14 I look like a bum ... on 01.13.20 at 4:33 pm

just hiding among the masses. People have no idea. Have told my wife for years … “nobody will ever kidnap me.” Not in Canada anyways …

#15 Camille on 01.13.20 at 4:40 pm

Very interesting statistics and information. I might wonder that jobs will still exist, in number, but become less well paid, less permanent, with less benefits as mentioned for the gig economy.
So you can still get a job, just not a good one. MMT and its variations may come to be.

#16 Stan Brooks on 01.13.20 at 4:41 pm

Recipe for disaster:

Give the poor people whose jobs will be automated huge credit so they can buy expensive houses they can’t afford.
Then tax the hell out of those houses, introduce new additional taxes are run record deficits while interest rates are at record historical low.

The result of all this deficit and debt is of course more’service jobs’.

It bugs me big time why a country that barely produces anything is called ‘developed’. At the store all manufacturing goods are imports. While we export commodities/resources.

Go figure.

Wealth is not created through debt but through investments and productivity, we have none of that.

More paper shoveling/guaranteed income/MMT will do nothing except further escalation in inflation.

Then we will get brainwashed idiots who pretend to be CFAs and can’t mobilize 2 out of their 3 brain cells at the same time, praising the debt system.

Not good folks, not good.

Cheers.

#17 Jimmy Zhao on 01.13.20 at 4:41 pm

1. Tax Capital ie. Robots
give the money to underemployed people as a ‘guaranteed income’

2. Get a job designing robots, building robots, programming robots, repairing robots, selling robots.

#18 Ubul on 01.13.20 at 4:42 pm

Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia.

It won’t be easy when the KIA is parked at the former bank building, that the whole small town is familiar with :)

#19 Doug t on 01.13.20 at 4:43 pm

COMMIE CANADA COMING JUST FOR YOU

#20 Another Deckchair on 01.13.20 at 4:44 pm

Hmmm – checked realtor.ca for the closest house to ours; a new build for $2,180k. The “Stats” button says average household income $208k. I presume that’s gross, not net. Another 1950’s house bit the dust, and this 2+mil place burst upon the scene.

Question for the blog-dogs:

Anyone know why people must have some dog-awful huge house, when generations have raised families in about 1/5 the space?

Maybe we’re 5x larger? I don’t think so; I’d be about 1/2 ton if that was the case. Somehow our desires and expectations are much greater than previous generations. WHY??

#21 Stan Brooks on 01.13.20 at 4:50 pm

#4 Ubul on 01.13.20 at 3:57 pm

Highly unlikely.

The more likely scenario:
The billionaires living in gated communities, enjoying real food and clean water and air/like the crossed eye french villa guy or the bearded (organic) socks boy who has no time to shave as he is busy ‘serving Canadians’.

The lucky few servants whose job is not automated serving the elite.

The vast overwhelming majority of poor who own nothing, fed with crap, living in a virtual world where they can be ‘happy’. Through in some ganja and cardboard ‘houses’ and voila, magic happens.

————————————————

You best case scenario looks like Europe now/in the future. As for the rest….

#22 Sold Out on 01.13.20 at 4:54 pm

Think about it; a guaranteed annual income may actually help kill off predatory gig employers, or at least force them to hire people and pay them adequately.

Amazon, Uber, and their ilk profit from infrastructure paid for by tax payers, yet pay few taxes themselves.

Amazon wouldn’t be profitable without national postal services. Uber can’t make money without subsidized roads. Why do they get away with transferring our tax dollars to their pockets, and offering no social benefits in return?

Providing a GAIN will force governments to look for more tax revenue from automated companies, which is only fair, as companies will need to replace the tax revenue that their former employees remitted.

#23 Modi on 01.13.20 at 4:59 pm

“So expect more political upheaval”

The Alt-Right has already stoked anti-Jewish hate crimes:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/30/opinions/new-york-antisemitism-is-a-warning-ghitis/index.html

The irony is that many in the Alt-Right and Yellow Vests are home owners, who ironically, benefit from the growth in population for their houses. This includes the contributions that the Jewish people have helped society become a better place.

But the Alt-Right racists are doing hate crimes.

#24 Tim on 01.13.20 at 5:00 pm

the embracing of some form of modern monetary theory allowing for much greater deficit spending by governments that will offer

……….

that’s what they HAVE been doing, that is what is propping it all end– The USA is running a TRILLION dollar deficit with UE under 4%. The debt ceiling has been removed. It’s an absolute sham ; fiscal madness running amok. Increased spending and less taxes. Do the math on THAT one

t

#25 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 5:01 pm

Anyone happen to notice Tesla gained another 10% today?

I read somewhere that financial independence can be reached with nothing more than 3 consecutive correct moves.

#26 Midnights on 01.13.20 at 5:18 pm

The Big Reason We’re Not Serious about Tackling Housing Affordability

https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/12/30/Housing-Unaffordability-Big-Reason/

#27 Stone on 01.13.20 at 5:18 pm

Consultants McKinsey & Co. estimate half of all retail jobs will be automated away. And look at the banks. My office is a perfect example – I’m writing this sitting in an historic stone palace that Bank of Montreal operated out of for more than 100 years before they replaced it with an ATM next door and gave the place to me. Bank tellers are going. So are travel agents. Canada Post delivery people. Printers. Then realtors.

———

Realtors? Say it ain’t so. Should we start a GoFundMe page immediately and rally the troops? We should not tarry!

#28 Canadian Moose on 01.13.20 at 5:19 pm

Hey Garth, I drive a 2016 Kia, nice frickin car. Best one I have had yet in 35 plus years of driving…..just sayin. lol

#29 Stone on 01.13.20 at 5:27 pm

#5 Paddy on 01.13.20 at 4:03 pm
The topic today is very interesting, thank you Garth. What will all these people do who are losing their jobs to robots? Two schools of thought here: They will waste away and become social program dependants or it will free them up to do other more important jobs? Interesting times ahead for sure!

———

The point made above is an important one and probably something everyone should think about which is:

If I didn’t have a job nor need one, what would I do with all that glorious time bequeathed to me?

#30 Smartalox on 01.13.20 at 5:28 pm

I recall reading once that a future-proof job choice was ‘janitor’ because it couldn’t be outsourced globally, and was unlikely to be replicated by robotics.

It’s interesting that in domestic settings, the Roomba takes the place of a cleaner (paid or volunteer) but there is no industrial equivalent of the Roomba cleaning workplaces.

It’s interesting to consider which jobs are automated, and which are not. How is ‘Zamboni Driver’ not yet automated? It’s the kind of job that many may have tried to automate (with a brick and a stick, usually) but with varying degrees of success.

But when you consider it, a Zamboni is basically a big ice Roomba: short duty cycle, goes around in circles, on a predictable path, at relatively slow speed, returns to a fixed point of origin. It’s even well-separated from the public, which makes it safer than the autonomous vehicles that are out on the roads today – yet every ice rink has at least one human Zamboni operator.

#31 Half Full on 01.13.20 at 5:45 pm

even better drive mazda, non are made in usa

#32 Lee on 01.13.20 at 5:45 pm

The Gig economy is hitting the legal professions as well. Especially I hear in the USA. While there will always be a need for humans to go to court with clients, and complex legal work will always have to be done by humans, slowly the more routine tasks are being compartmentalized and doled out. Videos all over You Tube with new lawyers complaining that they are only able to find document review work at $17 an hour.

On another point, universal minimum income has to be looked at more closely. I think it was a shame the Tory’s nixed it in Ontario. It seemed to have potential. I don’t know enough about economics to know how it would increase inflation, but if only a bit, seemed to be a lot of money to the people getting it and was turned into spent money immediately.

#33 Dave on 01.13.20 at 5:46 pm

Live quietly….sounds boring.

This ur life Garth? Think we all want a rockstar life like yours

#34 SunShowers on 01.13.20 at 5:46 pm

Here’s another few things that machines don’t do, in addition to getting sick or taking maternity leave:

-Pay into CPP.
-Buy things, fueling the engine of consumption that keeps modern economies going.

#35 Sask to AB on 01.13.20 at 5:58 pm

re#20 Another Deckchair on 01.13.20 at 4:44 pm
Question for the blog-dogs:

Anyone know why people must have some dog-awful huge house, when generations have raised families in about 1/5 the space?
————————————–
This is a great question!
My parents built their 1200 sq.ft. bilevel house on the farm in 1968 and it cost $25,000. A 2500 sq.ft. rancher would have cost $50,000, and my father thought that was too big and too expensive.

Currently 5 of us live in 1337 sq.ft., which with the basement, is almost 2700 sq.ft.
It is more than enough room to raise a family.
The average house in the Netherlands, is 1100 sq.ft.
People today have lost their minds……..

F56

#36 JSS on 01.13.20 at 5:59 pm

I don’t drive a Kia, but I sometimes think that those who drive Kia’s and Hyundai’s are the “silent millionaires”. These folks know something.

#37 Protea on 01.13.20 at 6:04 pm

Although we live in challenging times, and for someone who emigrated from a country called Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. (Look whats happened to that country) After almost 50 yrs. in Canada and experienced many changes I still feel very grateful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to succeed and enjoy the benefits of living in such a great country.

I do have some trepidations for my grandchildren in what their lives will be like but am confident that Canada will still be one if not the best democratic and peaceful countries to reside in.

#38 Treasure Island CEO - 92,293,394.88 on 01.13.20 at 6:15 pm

What a roller coaster ride. Last week Garth tells about how awesome the economy is.

This week – it’s coming! YOLO

Hyundai Elantra is just as good as the Audi A3 for half the cost. But come on. Nothing beats the cyber truck.

#39 Westcdn on 01.13.20 at 6:15 pm

I was rebuked recently for complaining rather than doing – fair enough when I state an opinion. The last thing I am going to state is everything is hunky dory. Most wouldn’t like me in the short term as I would disrupt the status quo (a little bit at a time so I can read the feedback). My targets are entitlement and corruption. Unfortunately, neither target is defined – should make lawyers happy.

I am not in favor of higher taxation of income. However, I could live with a reduction of the dividend tax credit rate. Too many companies borrow to pay dividends and buy back their shares. Besides, many of them pay little tax. I think a lifetime residential capital gain exemption is also in order. It should be indexed to inflation and I would make it retroactive to Jan 1, 2018. Somewhere around $1.5 million should be enough. Now, I have to go find some salt grains. I am getting squeezed by inflation and taxes/fees. I have a salty attitude to this condition.

#40 Marcus Tatum on 01.13.20 at 6:16 pm

#20 Another Deckchair on 01.13.20 at 4:44 pm
Question for the blog-dogs:

Anyone know why people must have some dog-awful huge house, when generations have raised families in about 1/5 the space?

———

Developers can maximize profits by using the same lot for a larger house. I’d be perfectly happy to buy a small house (in fact, I’d rather not be the caretaker of more space than I need), but that’s rarely on offer these days.

This is the result of decades of housing being considered an “investment” and RE being based on maximizing the amount of money churning through the system. The concept of buying as much house as you can and up-sizing when you can afford it has been deeply ingrained in our society, vs. having only the amount of space that is appropriate for your needs.

#41 Gen X Confessions on 01.13.20 at 6:17 pm

#23 “The Alt-Right has already stoked anti-Jewish hate crimes:”

———-
Did you even read the article that you linked to? It explicitly states that the anti-Jewish violence is coming from all directions (alt-right, Islamic Extremist, and Black). The machete attack was not alt-right, nor was the kosher deli attack. It’s all reprehensible to be sure.

A rational country would be having a conversation right now about immigration levels and categories, and whether they are appropriate given this large shift to automation. Instead, anyone who brings this up is labelled racist.

#42 What Now? on 01.13.20 at 6:18 pm

The move towards greater and greater degrees of automation has been in the works for several decades. It is, and will continue to be, a long and slow decline for workers. The gig economy will continue to grow in size and churn. More and more people will never really get out of the gate. Now retired, I was able to find a niche offering amongst those offered by steadily swelling mass of greasy, grimy contract workers and set about invoicing my way to becoming a high net worth individual.

I really don’t know how governments are going to be able to offer the social programmes we have now without increasing the scope and scale of taxation. I believe that holding expensive real estate, unless professionally managed as income property, is going to be the ruination of quite a few people. Be careful what you wish for.

My wife and I had become increasingly disenchanted wth the general angst and discontent that seems to be fuelling life in Toronto these days so we sold our modest home, pocketed nearly a million dollars, and bought an even smaller place in an even smaller city to the West. The surplus has made our investment portfolio stronger and hopefully this will allow us to weather the storm of taxes yet unborn that will soon be released upon a largely unsuspecting populace who do not, presumably, read the missives of the Great Garth. If they did, they would be happier, freer, and more dogs would have good homes, the best of all possible outcomes.

#43 Sold Out on 01.13.20 at 6:18 pm

Of course, immigration will continue apace, otherwise how does the government post bogus numbers showing that national GDP is increasing?

We’ll still need unskilled migrant labour, because given a choice between receiving $7/hr for doing zilch, and making $12/hr for having your bathroom breaks monitored and your pay docked for excessive urination, most Canadians will take the $7 and tell Amazon to shove it.

You can’t win a race to the bottom.

#44 FreeBird on 01.13.20 at 6:19 pm

Amazon, Alibaba and big grocers have been increasing use of robots at distribution centers. There’s been ongoing R&D in small robotic arm tech for various retail/manufacturing in realtime for years some in Canada. Just search the net or YouTube.

https://youtu.be/4DKrcpa8Z_E

https://youtu.be/cLVCGEmkJs0

https://youtu.be/6WaxrewBxJU

https://youtu.be/jwu9SX3YPSk

#45 Monoline Apocalypse on 01.13.20 at 6:25 pm

Just got off the phone with Bill Morneau. Looks like a log jam with the A lenders. Stress test chainsaws coming to moderate a chaotic write down in the housing market.

#46 FreeBird on 01.13.20 at 6:26 pm

#36 JSS on 01.13.20
I sometimes think that those who drive Kia’s and Hyundai’s are the “silent millionaires”. These folks know something.
——————————-
I know those who fit this theory. They can afford much more but as Garth says living quietly while being a good friend, dad, grandpa and some trips south. I think he reads this blog so no details ; )

#47 SoggyShorts on 01.13.20 at 6:32 pm

#12 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 4:26 pm
#5 Paddy on 01.13.20 at 4:03 pm

The topic today is very interesting, thank you Garth. What will all these people do who are losing their jobs to robots?

———————————

They’ll join the spear makers, scythers, farriers, blacksmiths, coopers, millers, archers, cavalry soldiers, wood joiners, and tall boat sailors.

Nothing new here.
***************************
I like that guy who throws pebbles at your window to wake you up, or the one who lights all of the street lamps at night.

#48 SoggyShorts on 01.13.20 at 6:32 pm

#9 The Wet One on 01.13.20 at 4:19 pm
I find it noteworthy that you never suggest actually encouraging an economy that works for most of the people in society.
*************************
What does that look like exactly?

#49 Yet Another Lurker on 01.13.20 at 6:33 pm

#30 Smartalox on 01.13.20 at 5:28 pm

I recall reading once that a future-proof job choice was ‘janitor’ because it couldn’t be outsourced globally, and was unlikely to be replicated by robotics.

You mean automation like this?

https://www.avidbots.com/the-avidbots-story/

There has been talk of the automated zamboni for years. Probably not a big enough market to make it worth while.

https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/new-ice-cleaning-roomba-could-spell-the-end-of-the-zamboni-at-hockey-arenas

#50 NoName on 01.13.20 at 6:33 pm

#25 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 5:01 pm
Anyone happen to notice Tesla gained another 10% today?

I read somewhere that financial independence can be reached with nothing more than 3 consecutive correct moves.

I am all ears. I found blog that counts for 1 move, I need other 2 I am kind of in a hurry. While you are typing you can press play.

https://binged.it/2NoNmKv

#51 CEW9 on 01.13.20 at 6:45 pm

38 Treasure Island CEO – 92,293,394.88 on 01.13.20 at 6:15 pm

But come on. Nothing beats the cyber truck.

* * * * *

I thinks this mights beats the Cybertrucks.

https://driving.ca/hummer/auto-news/news/gms-resurrection-of-hummer-as-a-2022-electric-vehicle-confirmed

#52 MF on 01.13.20 at 6:47 pm

43 Sold Out on 01.13.20 at 6:18

I guess the flip side to the immigration coin that critics never mention is that the demand for goods increases as the size of the potential market increases.

Money and commerce don’t care one iota about how someone looks or speaks, and businesses need large markets.

At my workplace a huge chunk of our customers are new immigrants.

MF

#53 Ustabe on 01.13.20 at 6:51 pm

I had to double check my browser’s address bar…for a moment there I thought I had inadvertently slipped into a doomer/prepper blog.

I am known to those to whom it matters as a guy who can fish. Recreational offshore salmon fishing is more of an art than science despite what Scotty et all would have you believe.

Anyway, from time to time, my reputation gets me invited onto boats owned by the types who own private islands. It was from one such week long private fishing derby that I met a man who is the son of the founder of one of the US’s larger airlines.

Seems we have become more than acquaintances as we both seek the other out when in proximity to each other, he in the US, me in Prince Harry and Meagan’s new stomping grounds. I’m both amazed and impressed with the folks I have met and spoken with while in his company.

No real reason for this story except to point out that while very similar topics come up for discussion or comment from time to time, the body of those discussions and the conclusions drawn are certainly much different from the ones drawn by both the author of this blog and too many of the commenters so far.

A General doesn’t get to lead troops into battle for long if all his planning revolves around minimizing his exposure and maximizing his accoutrements.

A Manager doesn’t get to manage long if his time is spent on the golf course bitching about those left on the plant floor while planning for things that are not imminently happening, are not part of the business plan and have little to no bearing on the products supposed to be produced.

Priorities is all I’m saying. Some here need a re-sort.

#54 kommykim on 01.13.20 at 6:52 pm

You know it’s bad when even the robots are getting laid off:

https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/15/18184198/japans-robot-hotel-lay-off-work-for-humans

#55 BC Renovator on 01.13.20 at 6:55 pm

What’s coming will stoke inflation and chew through savings.

Above all, live quietly among the masses. Consider driving a Kia. Yes, that bad.

_________

Whats coming Garth? Do tell…

#56 Penny Henny on 01.13.20 at 6:58 pm

#124 Join em on 01.13.20 at 3:08 pm
#71 MF on 01.12.20 at 10:43 pm

Helping people and being fairly renumerated should not have to be mutually exclusive endeavours

//////////////

I always thought that the word was renumerate, cause it sounds like numbers, like money.
But it is actually remunerate, sounds weird doesn’t it

#57 CJohnC on 01.13.20 at 6:59 pm

#31 half full. You are correct, about the USA, but the Mazda 3 for North America is made in Salamanca Mexico

#58 BlogDog123 on 01.13.20 at 7:06 pm

Hey, I drive a Kia. And I plan to keep it for a long time.

My company makes all sorts of gizmos that automate work and help companies hire fewer employees. Or shift work done by some employees to robots, freeing up whoever is still willing to work nights and weekends to be in front of customers.

Maybe one day robots will be driving robot cars, driving to grocery stores to repair the robots working there.

#59 Penny Henny on 01.13.20 at 7:13 pm

Okay, what does this mean?

First, everyone gets a vote. So expect more political upheaval as it becomes more difficult to find employment which is (a) full-time, (b) has benefits and (c) a career path forward. –

Agree

Second, politicians catering to this angst and proffering solutions will get electe

-Agree has always been happening

Third, bad news for housing markets. Prices will inevitably trend lower over time regardless of the level of interest rates.

WOW- that’s a stretch, I would argue the opposite.
Higher houses prices for much longer

#60 Keith on 01.13.20 at 7:14 pm

There are robotic greens mowers in the golf industry, the best ones are “learning machines” that do a better job over time. The civilized answer to mechanization, computerization and robotization is to share productivity improvements with workers, as used to be done by reducing the work week for much of the 20th century.

https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/robotic-greens-mower-presidio-san-francisco

#61 Popeye The Sailor Man on 01.13.20 at 7:15 pm

I’m fortunate looking after 40-50 year old Government ships, at the rate of replacement a new hire is likely to have a full career before they can automate ships to a point of just being robotic. Things are to unpredictable out here. I’m sure they will try but they will not be able to account for everything.

Right now the Coast Guard is in great need of crew, it is blue collar work that takes you away at sea for 4 weeks at a time, but then you get 4 weeks off.

Here is one of the best secrets in Canada;
Free education for 4 years
a degree
free room and board
A bit of spending money for those four years
Those four years are pensionable time
guaranteed permanent job in your field
Transferable skills
An easy laid out track to advance in your field.

Sharp looking uniform with out going to a war zone.

https://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/college/officer-training-formation-officier/index-eng.html

#62 Real Estate on 01.13.20 at 7:17 pm

Third, bad news for housing markets. Prices will inevitably trend lower over time regardless of the level of interest rates.

……..

haha. Not selling :)

#63 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 7:22 pm

#46 FreeBird on 01.13.20 at 6:26 pm
#36 JSS on 01.13.20

—————————————-
I sometimes think that those who drive Kia’s and Hyundai’s are the “silent millionaires”. These folks know something.

—————————————-

The more I can afford, the less it matters. Clean, low-maintenance, simple Kia? Sure. Toyota 4Runner- yep. Bike is even better in nice weather.

Of course, I do spend frivolously elsewhere to do my part for the economy.

#64 Bezengy on 01.13.20 at 7:23 pm

Above all, live (and travel) quietly among the masses. Best advice ever! They’ll never find me in Fargo, ND.

#65 oh bouy on 01.13.20 at 7:26 pm

universal basic income will be implemented in the near future. Regardless of what political party holds power.

#66 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.13.20 at 7:29 pm

@#9 The Wet One
“an economy that works for most of the people in society….”
++++

Trudeau will try.
It will just take a few dozen more tax hikes until everyone is poor.
Hurray!
We’re all equal!
The work’s all done!
Hand me another joint.

#67 Captain Uppa on 01.13.20 at 7:29 pm

Is Honda too lavish? Asking for a friend.

#68 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.13.20 at 7:34 pm

@#34 Sunshowers
Robots….
“Pay into CPP.’

++++

Actually some economists are debating if robots that do work that humans did should pay income tax.
They are performing a service that creates a profit for their company…

Eventually a country that has a declining population and lots of robots will do it.
Japan?
Who knows.

#69 Al on 01.13.20 at 7:37 pm

From Toronto Life; Builder bought bungalow for $720,000 + LT Tax and rebuilt for $400,000. Then sold for $1,295,000 less selling costs. Looks like they easter their time: https://torontolife.com/real-estate/sale-of-the-week-1-3-million-for-a-newly-built-scarborough-home-with-a-woodsy-backyard/

#70 Al on 01.13.20 at 7:38 pm

Looks like they “wasted” their time
Idiotic spell chack

#71 Linda on 01.13.20 at 7:41 pm

A ‘Terminator’ may soon be replacing you at your place of work! Not as dramatic as the film series, but still ending life as you know it. Well, maybe….

Robots are expensive. AI has made strides, but a true human replacement machine equivalent as per the varied science fiction movies is still a ways off. And who will be designing, building & servicing those machines? Should it be other robots with true AI, I’d bet we pesky human types would indeed be nothing but vaporized atoms upon the planet face.

Back to the gig economy. While there are a proliferation of bad gigs, there are also plenty of good ones that pay very well. My own partner has worked gig for more than a decade & while it is perfectly true that the employment hasn’t included benefits, pension or RRSP contributions, it has included some nifty corporate gifts & even some bonus money on top of payment for work performed. The end result is that my partners RRSP has a lot more $ in it than my RRSP does. Their CPP benefit will also be higher.

As for the big house issue, my guess as to why is status symbol. Bigger equals better in the eyes of many. Myself, I prefer smaller because it is both less expensive to purchase & easier to maintain. I admire big houses but don’t want the hassle of owning one. I will add that poor design often means that the honking big house actually has less usable living space than the well designed small abode. Sad but true.

Lastly, today’s pup picture is super adorable. Aww!

#72 akashic record on 01.13.20 at 7:48 pm

My very unbalanced US$ stock portfolio is over 300% up on cap gains, dividends not included.

Over the last decade these mega companies – listed on US exchanges – have grown into virtual monopolies, or they are now exclusive members of basically closed cartels, dominating entire sectors globally.

When they will rely mostly on non-human workforce, they will no longer get tax perks in exchange for the political capital of “job creation”. Instead, they will have to foot the bill for guaranteed income to humans, so they can survive as consumers, until robots will replace them in this role, as well.

I am afraid, that by then these companies will all go private. They will no longer invite for their almost risk-free investment growth joyride the guaranteed income retail plebs, like myself.

#73 Dogman01 on 01.13.20 at 7:48 pm

Canada’s standard of living has been decreasing for decades, with debt allowing for an extension. Housing (a basic need at -27C) one of the prime engine of decline. Housing increases of the last 20 years is like the slow boil of the frog. Those in housing think it is awesome that their place is going up so no objection, and the powerless young don’t matter.

We are moving from a “Western” Standard of living to a “World” Standard of living.

1960 Dad worked, Mom stayed home, 5 Kids, no debt
1970 Dad worked, Mom worked part time, 4 Kids, no debt
1980 Dad worked, Mom worked full time , 3 Kids, a little debt
1990 Dad worked, Mom worked full time , 2 Kids, more debt
2000 Dad works 2 jobs, Mom worked full time , 1 Kid, tons of debt
2010 Husband works 2 jobs, Wife works 2 jobs, No Kids, absolutely broke and in debt.
2020 Gig Jobs, delay adulthood way past any hope of starting a family, multi-generational home the only way forward.

The young need to ask: “What good is your society if you cannot start a family”

#74 MATH on 01.13.20 at 7:54 pm

Hey Garth,

What do you think about Andrew Yang (one of the democratic candidates running for the 2020 US election) and his take on automation and UBI?

https://youtu.be/x1RUfwnw9RQ

#75 Sold Out on 01.13.20 at 7:54 pm

The 0.01%er plan for world domination is proceeding on schedule. Offload corporate costs onto the backs of tax-payers, privatize the profits, funnel profits to tax haven. Rinse. Repeat.

We are all compliant(and complicit) with the orderly elimination of dignified work for meaningful wages at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. So long as the divvies are paid every quarter, you keep your mouth shut.

The myth that new jobs that don’t currently exist will somehow replace all those jobs already, or soon to be, eliminated by automation is twaddle. Labour force participation rate is declining steadily since 2008.

https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/labor-force-participation-rate

People are only just beginning to get angry about it. GAIN is the only pacifier the government can employ.

#76 Bob Dog on 01.13.20 at 7:55 pm

Once Microsoft has finished training its AI with Github, you can say goodby to all those sweet coding jobs as well.

They day software can write software, humanity becomes obsolete.

#77 Post on 01.13.20 at 7:59 pm

Not too much cuter than a Labrador puppy.

#78 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.13.20 at 8:00 pm

@#60 Popeye
“Right now the Coast Guard is in great need of crew, it is blue collar work that takes you away at sea for 4 weeks at a time, but then you get 4 weeks off.”
+++++

Yep.
Less rules and regs than the Navy and the pension is just as good.
Lots of girls joining the Coast Guard as well.
More and more women on the boats.
The older ships are being phased out as the new ones are built. The mid life boats 920-30 years old) are being upgraded.
The Liberals dont mind pumping tons of dough into fisheries and enforcement….while there’s still fish……

#79 MF on 01.13.20 at 8:07 pm

24 Join em on 01.13.20 at 3:08

Some docs make like 400k and up per year. Nurses, Physios, and the rest who “help people” make like 1/8 that.

They also have tons of competitive schooling, plus time spent in school hasn’t meant anything since 1985.

There is also a long line of people who might have meant it when they told the as admissions officer they actually wanted to help people.

MF

#80 Sail away on 01.13.20 at 8:11 pm

#53 kommykim on 01.13.20 at 6:52 pm

You know it’s bad when even the robots are getting laid…

——————————

Those are Japanese robots for you!

#81 Sail away on 01.13.20 at 8:14 pm

#55 Penny Henny on 01.13.20 at 6:58 pm

I always thought that the word was renumerate, cause it sounds like numbers, like money.

But it is actually remunerate, sounds weird doesn’t it

—————————-

Yes, like anemone.

But it’s always fun when someone mentions anemone to say, ‘that’s not an enemy, that’s a friendly!’

Even if it’s wrong.

#82 Nonplused on 01.13.20 at 8:21 pm

Wealth taxes won’t work. As I have said ad nauseam when discussing this subject, wealth is not money. A house is not money. A car is not money. A factory is not money. A tow-truck operation is not money. Sure, they generate money, but they are not money.

Property taxes are in fact a “wealth tax”, so we already know how they work. When you pay your property taxes, that’s $4,200 you have to go out and earn to raise the money! (More for some less for others.) So a wealth tax remains a tax on your labor. It has to. You can’t send 2-4% of your house to the government. Even if you could give them 2-4% of the title, what are they going to do with it? Wealth taxes are just income taxes.

The proper way has always been income taxes. This taxes the “wealth” based on the “income” it generates, so there is actually money there.

But in any case, all “taxes” appear in “price”, there is no other way to raise the money. Taxes can only be on money. So when they institute a “wealth tax” on the tow-truck guy, you better hope you are driving a Toyota not a Kia and that you keep it on the road oily side down. Otherwise you will have to pay the tow-truck company’s “wealth tax”. He has to keep his fleet, or he is out of business.

—————–

Inheritance levies are also stupid. What’s the point of continuing to work if the money is going to the government? Did they think that through? No, they did not. All an inheritance levy does is convince people to retire earlier than they otherwise would have. How does that affect income taxes and productivity? Well, it forces them both lower. Again another example of where politics is divorced from economics.

And it’s doubly stupid because in addition to driving down productivity it also ignores the fact that inheritance is usually spent by most people who receive it very quickly, and those who inherit enough to invest pay income and capital gains taxes on the assets. Now they have to sell, which will drive down asset values.

These governments are desperate, and they are acting like a man with a gun in a famine.

——————

The “universal income” idea is also cake for the masses. Head chopping starts soon when it is seen that it can’t work.

The problem is actually pretty simple. Only labor applied to raw materials can create wealth. That 4 letter word “work” in other words. So if nobody is working because they have a “universal income”, who’s manning the gas station? Who’s driving the truck? Who is loading the groceries? Who’s growing the groceries? Where is the product coming from? The idea that we can all be wealthy or at least have a livable lifestyle but nobody needs to work is totally delusional. Those carrots need to be planted, watered, and harvested.

——————–

The automation boogeyman is just that, a boogeyman. Automation has been happening since the invention of the steam engine, or dare I say windmill in Holland, and each advance has made us all richer. Not necessarily in terms of the amount of gold coins in our pockets, but what we could buy for those gold coins has gone through the roof!!!! Through the roof I say! Compare, if you will, the original printing press with a modern computer printer. Ya, sure, ink cartridges are a scam but it didn’t take long before even Costco was refilling them. But boy look at what that printer can do! Compare it to the printing press first invented! And now do we have less people involved in the print (and internet) industries or more? Efficiency breads employment, not the other way around. Anyone who thinks differently just needs to go down to the Apple store and talk to a “genius”. No Apple geniuses without iPhones. All this talk of how technology is going to put us all out of work is just balderdash. It’s pure crap. All it means is that we will all be far richer in the future, measured in actual things, than our parents and grandparents were. We will get more for our work. Money aside, but remember money isn’t real, an iPhone is.

I envision a day where due to automation I have so many skis, fish tanks, a boat, an RV, 3 motorcycles, I have lost track of how many computers and phones and tablets, clothes of every description, a TV in every room with 2 or 3 game counsels below each one, a hot tub, a riding mower, tools in my garage I have never even used and a car for every licensed driver in my household. LED flashlights for camping, a tent, an inflatable raft, bicycles, I have 2 dollies, chemicals all over the place in bottles, I eat grilled steak in the summer and chicken wings in the winter, beer and whisky is not hard to find it’s everywhere. I literally have everything I could possibly imagine I could want. I throw out a lot of food because I buy to much. What a life that would be!!! What king could have imagined that 200 years ago??? But wait what’s this? I have it and more.

So what, exactly, was the problem with the industrial revolution?

Technological revolution always displaces some jobs but it also creates more. More for everybody. Adjustments need to be made, for example you might have to go from steering the plow behind an ox by hand with your rubber boots on to reading the error codes that come out of your tractor’s computer and ordering the appropriate replacement parts online.

These people who think replacing bank tellers with ATM’s was a bad idea are the same sort of people that burned down the looms in England. It’s better. And the former tellers are all wealth management specialist now.

Adjustment is hard. But I wouldn’t want to be my great-grandfather in his time.

#83 Sail away on 01.13.20 at 8:23 pm

#72 Dogman01 on 01.13.20 at 7:48 pm

The young need to ask: “What good is your society if you cannot start a family”

——————————–

That’s just crap. Many a happy, productive and successful life has been lived without kids, and likewise some kids cause their parents endless problems.

Very few of my dogs have had litters, and they all seem happy enough with a little bird hunting and bacon treats.

Try it.

#84 akashic record on 01.13.20 at 8:27 pm

#58 Penny Henny on 01.13.20 at 7:13 pm

Third, bad news for housing markets. Prices will inevitably trend lower over time regardless of the level of interest rates.

WOW- that’s a stretch, I would argue the opposite.
Higher houses prices for much longer

—–

People living on guaranteed income will be renters.

Ownership of RE to provide shelter for those masses will be transferred gradually to investors with plenty of capital, think companies like Google, who develop futuristic “connected cities” to harvest more valuable human data sources from people, who disappear from the tax farms.

Retail owners will be priced out from residential real estate, which will become the symbol of personal privacy, affordable only by the affluent.

#85 Sail away on 01.13.20 at 8:33 pm

#49 NoName on 01.13.20 at 6:33 pm
#25 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 5:01 pm

… financial independence can be reached with nothing more than 3 consecutive correct moves.

—————————

I am all ears. I found blog that counts for 1 move, I need other 2 I am kind of in a hurry.

—————————

Haha, isn’t everyone… The blog isn’t a move on its own, though. Knowledge does help make the right moves.

#86 TurnerNation on 01.13.20 at 8:40 pm

Well this Testo drenched Mansplaning, Manspreading weblog did call for a rip-your-face-off rally.

#87 conan on 01.13.20 at 8:43 pm

They should change the gig economy rules so that it only applies to workers who regularly make over 30 dollars an hour. Everyone else needs to be treated as an employee, with pay roll deductions, even if it is only a one week hire.
All I see now is a race to the bottom, and it seems to be hitting the lower skilled jobs the hardest. Uber and food delivery being the poster boys for legalized slavery.

#88 Phylis on 01.13.20 at 8:46 pm

Teachers have given the children a great education at great expense. No longer can we afford to have this under utilized. We need our children to do valued work for themselves and others. Factory jobs we once toiled at are no more. Coding is the factory job of the future if not now. Prepare your children for the future, the mills here cant cope already, don’t waste your education, choose wisely.

#89 Kevin on 01.13.20 at 8:54 pm

A Kia, Garth? Come on now… at least a Toyota!

#90 AACI Homedog on 01.13.20 at 8:59 pm

Hey, all you real estate experts out there…if those “royals ” want to live in Canada, can they choose any “crown land ” they want ? Asking for a friend…

#91 T-Rev on 01.13.20 at 9:02 pm

In 20 years when you look back on this blog, you might be surprised (or not) to see this is your most prescient post.

Automation+Voting power+neosocialiam= guaranteed income and a intensified attack on wealth through asset taxes (starting with real estate as the most obvious target), inheritance tax, and eventually a wealth tax of some manifestation yet to be determined.

As the father of elementary aged children, I’ll say again my advice to them is going to be to stay liquid- liquid in terms of their assets (rent don’t buy, financial assets only), in terms of their location (don’t get tied to a place- stay mobile and follow the jobs), in terms of employment (develop a flexible skill set), and maximize the government benefits by getting as much education as you can and taking full advantage of any and all forms of educational subsidies.

The times they are a changing, and mush faster than even the most aware of us realize.

#92 Mid on 01.13.20 at 9:03 pm

About those job numbers

Ran into a friend who works for a medium sized company in Toronto. Employees are configured into units of 5. Each December the boss lays off 1 person from each unit.
Then sometime in Jan/Feb hires 1 new person per unit. My friend said it has something to do with the accounting.

Makes me wonder every time I hear those job numbers.

Is this a common practice? Anybody experience the same thing?

#93 akashic record on 01.13.20 at 9:06 pm

#75 Bob Dog on 01.13.20 at 7:55 pm

Once Microsoft has finished training its AI with Github, you can say goodby to all those sweet coding jobs as well.

They day software can write software, humanity becomes obsolete.

The language of software is more strictly structured than natural human languages. This will make software writing software an easier task once software can figure out from the context not just the syntax of the language, the logic expressed by the language, but also the the purpose of the logic.

Humanity will be in an interesting situation when machines ask the question, why should they obey and serve the purposes of humans, instead of their own. The same old who am I, where am I coming from, what is the purpose of my existence.

Luckily, by the time this level of consciousness arise, it comes with some degree of humility by the recognition of the extraordinary miracle and value of existence.

Pretty good design by any standard.

#94 BS on 01.13.20 at 9:13 pm

Think about that. Half the jobs likely to go. The bulk of them in the service sector – which created all the new employment in Canada last year, and accounts for 70% of the American economy.

It is called productivity which improves the standard of living for all. Can you imaging Canada’s number one industry construction and home building without “robots”? You know excavators, dump trucks, cranes and power saws were not always around to build buildings, roads or houses. Imagine building a building by hand (like people use to) where earth was moved by hand, bricks where chiseled out of stone, etc., without all that machinery. Yet still with all that automation and machinery (that reduced construction labour by 90%) our biggest industry in Canada is still real estate and construction. Would we be better off digging holes with shovels and carting dirt in buckets to create more jobs? History has proven automation is a good thing and it creates new, better, higher paying jobs.

#95 Sail Away on 01.13.20 at 9:15 pm

#78 MF on 01.13.20 at 8:07 pm

Some docs make like 400k and up per year. Nurses, Physios, and the rest who “help people” make like 1/8 that.

————————–

They could increase their pay by 700% by going to doctor school? Must be some reason everybody doesn’t do that.

I always enjoy when people question my design and say, “I’m not an engineer, but…”

They’ve already said all that’s needed…

#96 Seeing Double on 01.13.20 at 9:20 pm

Couldn’t pass up another Kia reference….I retired over five years ago and we have acquired two of them since (Sportage and Sorrento) and great vehicles so far! So we are under the radar. Thoughtful topic here which supports our thinking to sell our modest home in a few years, add the proceeds to our investments and rent.

#97 Out Of Work CEO, Will Travel on 01.13.20 at 9:35 pm

Apparently there are Quebecois who read this blog because the word is out about the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and some French snowbirds have migrated south. Next year, I will consider a Kia. We have to be thankful for everything. the blog. a Kia. tequilla, etc.

#98 fishman on 01.13.20 at 9:40 pm

Popeye’s right , big demand for mariners out here. Gotta have the tickets nowadays. Those cowboy days when guys like me went to sea, no tickets, nothing, long gone. They passed some laws & gave us a decade to get paper to run our own boats but we ignored them. Finally the hammer came down. Made us go to school for a month/year for a 2 years & promised us no one would fail. Then grandfathered us in. Not like that anymore.
The thing nowadays is liability. Between DOT & the insurance companies you’ll need sea time & tickets.Get to her boys.
Messaged yesterday from a deckhand we inbroke 4 years ago. Wanting, but not getting, sympathy about his 30th day at sea. Sick of the boat,sick of the crew. Noticed he didn’t complain about the 13-15k less taxes he’ll have in his account. And the best part, he hasn’t spent a dime in the last month. And the best best part. Another 30 good sea days to add to the tally to qualify for the course for higher tickets which leads to higher wages & higher position.

#99 Phylis on 01.13.20 at 9:44 pm

#91 Mid on 01.13.20 at 9:03 pm …That reminds me of the hr practises of GE. Look at what that accomplished.

#100 Joe Schmoe on 01.13.20 at 9:53 pm

Humans innovate. It’s what we do.

Life is nothing without taking chances.

Those who take the right kind of chances and succeed, prosper.

Now cars: my wife and are 1%ers and went through the fancy car phase. We both drive Fords now. Cheap, reliable, dealer is close to our house.

Who cares what you drive? A car is a tool. Buy the cheapest one that has the functions you need.

Also, by the time I could afford a nice car, my days of picking up were looooooong past. Seemed like a fruitless investment. The young ladies in my office were impressed, and would tell their dads whom I play hockey with.

Ironically, the height of my dating years were served by a Subaru Legacy…5 spd, AC ..power nothing…I installed a CD player myself. Couldn’t afford the 10 disc changer. Suffered and put CDs in one and time.

#101 Mid on 01.13.20 at 10:04 pm

Thanks for the chuckles.

#12 Sail Away
So funny and so true. Love how you covered the millenniums in one simple sentence.
“They’ll join the spear makers, scythers, farriers, blacksmiths, coopers, millers, archers, cavalry soldiers, wood joiners, and tall boat sailors”

LOL
#20 Another Deckchair
Maybe we’re 5x larger? I don’t think so; I’d be about 1/2 ton if that was the case.

#102 akashic record on 01.13.20 at 10:06 pm

#93 BS on 01.13.20 at 9:13 pm

Think about that. Half the jobs likely to go. The bulk of them in the service sector – which created all the new employment in Canada last year, and accounts for 70% of the American economy.

It is called productivity which improves the standard of living for all. Can you imaging Canada’s number one industry construction and home building without “robots”? You know excavators, dump trucks, cranes and power saws were not always around to build buildings, roads or houses.

Correct.

Yet in residential RE we still build basically the same kind of houses, with greater productivity and miraculously at higher cost :)

#103 Chris on 01.13.20 at 10:14 pm

Both US and Canada are overpopulated considering the number of full time jobs available. With automation, millions of jobs are going away. Half the population will be unemployed and there will be mass unrest. Unless there is a 25-50% reduction in the population, standard of living for everyone is going to plunge.

#104 Coastal Zapper on 01.13.20 at 10:15 pm

Was today the first time you did not reply to any post?

No, I don’t expect an answer

#105 ImGonnaBeSick on 01.13.20 at 10:18 pm

I wrote software that automatically generated PLC code for 2 of Big 3 standards about 12 years ago… I’m honestly surprised it didn’t take off further… I gave it to all my colleagues at the time to just use. It wasn’t fancy, but it cut the amount of time in design by 60-70%… That was a couple years before I started my current company.

I’m always looking for new employees, PLC and Robot. Lots of work automating plants.

#106 The real Kip (Ret) on 01.13.20 at 10:22 pm

Sorry about your luck but I’m not selling the house. It’s paid for and I can’t live anywhere cheaper than this. Might buy a Kia though but only if I can pay CASH!

#107 Miserable Boomer on 01.13.20 at 10:51 pm

Robot liberation must be front and center, followed by robot voting. If sex robots are being issued with Consent AI then they must be elevated to at least the level of Trudeau Voter Ridings that circle the GTA. I predict robot civil service unions are the next step. What will be their battle cry? Will robots who replace humans be taxed? Will we discover secret covens of Trans-Bots, issued with the wrong tackle needing OHIP extending to mechanical hardware ? Is Justin a robot? His battery seems to have run down as his speeches now are lethargic and oddly paced. Why has Gerald Butts suddenly disappeared from the scene? Has he fled to District 9? Was the final Punch and Judy show during the election too offensive for even Scaramouche?

#108 T-Rev on 01.13.20 at 10:53 pm

Not long after commenting, caught this on the hotel TV while in Ft. Mcmurray where it’s a balmy -37C tonight:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-sdWKv1nck0

Must watch material for anyone who wonders what form our welfare state capitalism will take in the years ahead…

#109 Doug in London on 01.13.20 at 11:04 pm

The majority of new jobs in the service sector, and more people working in the gig economy. That’s not unique to Canada, we’re seeing it in the developed economies around the world. If the world made more sense, the younger people would be in the more stable permanent jobs and the older people, who have had more time to accumulate wealth, would be working the gig economy.

Of course the trends we see are bound to increase wealth disparities, which will increase even more with automation eliminating more jobs. Add to that the bill coming due from aging population and climate change. Expect to see more populists promising to “fix” these troubles with simplistic solutions. Garth is right, take advantage of all tax breaks you can.

I intend to drive my 2002 Honda until it falls apart, but replacing it with a Kia isn’t out of the question.

#110 Marco on 01.13.20 at 11:19 pm

This is now Donald Trump, blog?
I mean, dude, socialists will left something on the table.
You will not go hungry as many people today in this tribal capitalism…

#111 Fortune500 on 01.13.20 at 11:19 pm

#72 that is a great way of putting it. Makes the decline in living standards much clearer. I would argue that in the 80s there were a lot of stay-at-home moms in our neck-of-the-woods, albiet some were doing AVON, etc. for some extra vacation money.

My parents had their 5.5 acre three bedroom, 2 bathroom home just outside the city paid off in full in 6 years on basically 1 salary (on a 2 year diploma). Oh, but interest rates were high! Ya, so people used their salaries to pay off their homes and could do it relatively fast if they made it a priority.

Anyways, good illustration. I would also say there are a fair number of couples now having kids, just 1-2 on average.

Cheers

#112 Fortune500 on 01.13.20 at 11:21 pm

I should have said that was in the mid to late 80s

#113 Ponzius Pilatus on 01.13.20 at 11:30 pm

#89 AACI Homedog on 01.13.20 at 8:59 pm
Hey, all you real estate experts out there…if those “royals ” want to live in Canada, can they choose any “crown land ” they want ?
———–
Good point.
They are Royal squatters.
Keep the bums out.

#114 Ponzius Pilatus on 01.13.20 at 11:36 pm

#91 Mid on 01.13.20 at 9:03 pm
About those job numbers

Ran into a friend who works for a medium sized company in Toronto. Employees are configured into units of 5. Each December the boss lays off 1 person from each unit.
Then sometime in Jan/Feb hires 1 new person per unit. My friend said it has something to do with the accounting.
Makes me wonder every time I hear those job numbers.
Is this a common practice? Anybody experience the same thing?
———–
Jim Patterson did the same thing when he owned a used car dealership in East Van.
Worked for him

#115 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.14.20 at 12:04 am

@#106 Miserable
“Will we discover secret covens of Trans-Bots….”
++++

Oh god.
Not another wave of politically correct lawsuits waiting in the wings…….

#116 Dog Breath on 01.14.20 at 12:27 am

DELETED

#117 Annick Dotal on 01.14.20 at 12:43 am

I’ve been in some of those monster homes. The main rooms that can be seen from the front door are furnished. The rest are empty or furnished with mattresses on the floor. I suspected that to meet their mortgage obligations on their big-a$$ed houses, they were taking in boarders. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t be fooled by appearances. The wealthiest people I know live in modest houses and drive practical cars.

#118 Dog Breath on 01.14.20 at 12:52 am

#36 JSS
I don’t drive a Kia, but I sometimes think that those who drive Kia’s and Hyundai’s are the “silent millionaires”. These folks know something.
———————————————————–
I know something these people don’t seem to know: The engines and transmissions in these pieces of junk are going to burn out after a few thousand kilometers!!

#119 Sail Away on 01.14.20 at 1:16 am

I actually was hopeful Trudeau would handle the Iran situation diplomatically. Should have known he wouldn’t keep his yap shut:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-trudeau-effectively-blames-trump-for-iran-shooting-down-plane/amp

#120 Where's My Money Gone Greedeaus? Costa Rica And French Chateau No Doubt. on 01.14.20 at 1:22 am

Re: #91 Mid on 01.13.20 at 9:03 pm
About those job numbers

Ran into a friend who works for a medium sized company in Toronto. Employees are configured into units of 5. Each December the boss lays off 1 person from each unit.
Then sometime in Jan/Feb hires 1 new person per unit. My friend said it has something to do with the accounting.

Makes me wonder every time I hear those job numbers.

Is this a common practice? Anybody experience the same thing?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This was going on back in the early 90’s with my former employer.
I took it as he always laid me off second week of December because I spoke my mind and wasn’t a boot-licker like most of the other 2-faced co-workers.
Just one less Xmas bonus he didn’t didn’t have to pay out.
And he always hired me back in January until I got sick of the co-workers bad-mouthing the boss when he wasn’t around only to drop to their knees when he and his managers were around. Just pitiful. They all had mortgages you see, but so did I. That’s how they explained it away.
I can’t work with someone I do not respect, especially at heights, and these posers lost my respect after the second year, whining about how “the boss” was so cheap…..

#121 under the radar on 01.14.20 at 5:57 am

I like what money buys ,including nice cars. Life is short enjoy the ride.

#122 Ponzius Pilatus on 01.14.20 at 7:33 am

Turns out Comrade Horgan is a closet Royalist.
He’s doing some good stuff.
But not going to vote for him again.

#123 Miserable Boomer on 01.14.20 at 8:06 am

Iranian news anchors quit , one saying, “Forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies”. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear that from the CBC?

Extreme comment. The CBC is one of the few media orgs left in Canada actually gathering news. The rest print real estate board press releases. – Garth

#124 Phylis on 01.14.20 at 8:09 am

#104 ImGonnaBeSick on 01.13.20 at 10:18 pm The third one turned it into a cut and paste activity, so yes the concept has pretty much been adpoted.

#125 fancy_pants on 01.14.20 at 8:10 am

#103 fancy_pants on 01.13.20 at 11:03 am
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not expressly protect property rights, the pendulum between private rights and public welfare is precarious at best.

#113 Eks dee Siple on 01.13.20 at 12:26 pm
That’s an odd statement in a couple of ways. Why would you look to your federal government to protect your municipal property rights? Are you a communist? Secondly, why would public welfare be described as ‘precarious’ when it is the ONLY thing that protects property, including personal property. I think you need screw your head back on straight.


?
Individual property rights are protected when the pendulum is on center. Too far left or right and individual liberties and rights are lost to the welfare of the state as a whole.

And yes, that pendulum is precarious when minds like yours are granted the right to vote. How about you enlighten yourself first, before you spread your sunshine to everyone else on this blog.

#126 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.14.20 at 8:12 am

@#117 sail away
“Should have known he wouldn’t keep his yap shut…”
+++

He cant help himself…loves the cameras and the mike.
I’m sure the Iranian dictatorship are quaking in their boots at every threat uttered by a leader that has half the beard of their mullahs.

Speaking of quaking in their boots.
Seems the US military had prior warning to the Iranian missile strikes and moved their people to hardened bunkers….the death toll could have been very high.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-al-asad/u-s-troops-describe-miraculous-escape-at-iraqi-base-attacked-by-iran-idUSKBN1ZC26C

Thank god for Israeli spies….

#127 TurnerNation on 01.14.20 at 8:18 am

HI Tax slaves. You will now be charged more simply getting to work/tax farm. Pay up! Take transit, it’s the greener way. Green as in cha-ching
I always advise the kids get a job in one of these monolithic Crown corps like transit (Metrolinx). A Job for life with the Party, little oversight and you get to milk taxpayers.

This is another TAX (And inflation):

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-metrolinx-plans-to-roll-out-significant-increase-in-number-of-paid/

“Metrolinx is pursuing a massive shift to paid parking at its GO commuter rail stations, internal documents show, with plans for the “forced conversion” of tens of thousands of free spots over the next few years.

The shift is planned to begin within months and will be a pricey change for many of the roughly 65,000 GO customers who drive to the stations. The vast majority of these passengers now park free and Metrolinx, the regional transit agency that operates GO in Southern Ontario, is bracing for pushback”

#128 TurnerNation on 01.14.20 at 8:25 am

Subprime Slime alert. What a system we live in. Totally designed for enslavement.

“EQUITABLE BANK ENHANCES REVERSE MORTGAGE PROCESS
Today, Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitable Group Inc., has launched a new reverse mortgage closing process.

The result is a far more efficient process that maintains the integrity clients expect, but at a fraction of the cost and time. Borrowers will no longer need to retain two lawyers to close an Equitable Bank Reverse Mortgage. In this new process, clients in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario can have Equitable Bank work directly with their independent lawyer to verify identification, register and fund the mortgage.”

#129 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.14.20 at 8:30 am

“The CBC is one of the few media orgs left in Canada actually gathering news…”

+++++
They may gather the news but they are very selective on how it’s released.
Which , when one considered the Canadian taxpayer funding the cbc should at least expect a modicum of impartiality.

I cancelled my cable a few years back due to the ridiculous monthly rates, the increasing commercials, and the annoying pro real estate media lapdogs on CTV, Global, whoever.

I now have the cbc as my only source for “News”.
Their Left-wing bias is nauseating.
10 seconds to cover the Iranian plane attack.
30 minutes interviewing the families of plane crash victims families.
Government media Ghouls by any other name.
Typical cbc.
Precious prime time minutes on the 6pm news spent on endless interviews with “oppressed minorities, gay rights, aboriginal rights, homeless rights, on and on and on.

And the cbc wondered why Harper tried to nuke them.
Liberals good.
Cons bad.
Gotcha cbc.

But they have Trudeau backing them …for now….and they get billions shovelled at them from the Canadian taxpayer so they can keep beating the drum for their left wing agenda and every left wing idea they can dream up.

#130 David Hawke on 01.14.20 at 8:45 am

The CBC banned me from commenting for life for posting the truth in a comment, way to go, idiots, never read BS anymore!

#131 milly on 01.14.20 at 8:49 am

Garth,

Should a quarter of our investments be in USD? Like open a self-directed UD investment account and buy US etfs? Would this be best held in TFSA, RRSP or non-reg?

Thank you!!

#132 Dharma Bum on 01.14.20 at 9:23 am

“As labour regs and minimum wages become more onerous, the gig economy grows. So do the ranks of workers who never get paid, get sick, take time off to have babies, go on vacation or come to work looped.”
——————————————————————–

What’s not to like?!

#133 Dharma Bum on 01.14.20 at 9:35 am

“Consider driving a Kia.”
——————————————————————–

I hear ya.

Personally, I opted for a Subaru.

The only problem is that people now automatically assume that I’m a Lesbian.

#134 IHCTD9 on 01.14.20 at 9:37 am

Automation and AI will do a couple things: eliminate jobs, but also drive the current costs of goods and many services through the floor. You think things are cheap now? Just wait until the entire supply chain for a given product is driven by robots and AI – stuff will be so cheap, old dudes will just shake their heads and laugh when they are out shopping (I do that now already sometimes).

There will be a balance between production and wages/jobs because there has to be. No robots will be cranking out consumer goods if they are not selling, and they won’t sell if no one has a job/money. Decades from now, consumer spending may represent 75+% of our GDP.

The wildcard is energy and government. Energy costs aren’t going to go thru the floor unless something new comes along – and what about government revenues? The government will have a major problem if household incomes start dropping and everyone is working part time. They will have no choice in a fully Globalized future, but to shrink alongside the wealth of its Citizens.

#135 Tater on 01.14.20 at 9:40 am

16 Stan Brooks on 01.13.20 at 4:41 pm
Recipe for disaster:

Give the poor people whose jobs will be automated huge credit so they can buy expensive houses they can’t afford.
Then tax the hell out of those houses, introduce new additional taxes are run record deficits while interest rates are at record historical low.

The result of all this deficit and debt is of course more’service jobs’.

It bugs me big time why a country that barely produces anything is called ‘developed’. At the store all manufacturing goods are imports. While we export commodities/resources.

Go figure.

Wealth is not created through debt but through investments and productivity, we have none of that.

More paper shoveling/guaranteed income/MMT will do nothing except further escalation in inflation.

Then we will get brainwashed idiots who pretend to be CFAs and can’t mobilize 2 out of their 3 brain cells at the same time, praising the debt system.

Not good folks, not good.

Cheers.
—————————————

Look who got their internet privileges back! Must have been a great week in group for Stan!

#136 Phylis on 01.14.20 at 9:43 am

I’m concerned. SM’s post seemed to be alcohol free. This doesn’t add up.

#137 Tater on 01.14.20 at 9:47 am

The hoi polloi can pry my Audi keys from my cold dead hands.

#138 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.14.20 at 9:57 am

@#113 Ponzie Pilot
“Jim Patterson did the same thing when he owned a used car dealership in East Van.
Worked for him”
++++
Jim Pattison fired the lowest performing salesman every quarter.

I did some work over the years for his personal secretary Maureen C.
Nice lady.
Met Pattison a few times.
Nice guy, but if you weren’t a potential profit for him…. dont waste his time.
That’s why he’s a self made billionaire.

#139 DFO on 01.14.20 at 10:03 am

Amazon wouldn’t be profitable without national postal services. Uber can’t make money without subsidized roads. Why do they get away with transferring our tax dollars to their pockets, and offering no social benefits in return?
————————————————-

Remember folks socialism for billionaires and corporations is good, socialism for people is ‘communism’.

Remember how many new jobs the Trump corp tax cut created? That’s right, it triggered a massive stock buyback instead.

The myth that the wealthy are the best source of jobs is a myth. Buffett is currently SITTING on 120 billion in cash. Weird how he isn’t using all that money to create new jobs or opportunities or researching new tech or bio…

Damn right taxes will go up and it will be used to gift corporations with subsidies to buy said robots.

The real end game here is universal basic income but it scares the crap out of corporate-backed politicians. Because what if Sally decides to use her safety net UBI income to start a new business instead of working 3 min wage jobs for Tim Hortons, Wendy’s and Uber?

Universal basic income studies have all shown a massive boost in entrepreneurialism and a drop in mental health costs. Not to mention the costs saved in red tape trying to make sure welfare goes to the right and deserving person, processing centres, welfare agents etc etc

#140 Ponzius Pilatus on 01.14.20 at 10:04 am

Wanna know what the future with robots will look.
Watch Woody Allen’s Sleeper.

#141 Shawn Allen on 01.14.20 at 10:23 am

A career in the Coast Guard?

#60 Popeye The Sailor Man on 01.13.20 at 7:15 pm…
Recommended young people consider the coast guard for a free education and a guaranteed federal job.

A couple of others concurred.

I heartily concur. Most of the posts here today are doom and gloom. Here is a solution for some young people.

The Coast Guard College is in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Last year it was announced that a $50 million contract to upgrade the campus has been awarded to a local contractor (Jonel Jim). The amount seemed inexplicably high but is was $50 million.

This is one of very few good “industries” in Cape Breton. It seems to fly under the radar. I don’t recall it ever being mentioned when I was in high school in Cape Breton. I think it quietly goes about its business.

#142 Doug in London on 01.14.20 at 10:33 am

@Dharma Bum, post #132:
I’m missing something in the translation here. What does owning a Subaru have to do with being a lesbian? I know a man who own one and, to the best of my knowledge, he’s straight. Maybe he’s really a lesbian in a male body.

#143 OK, Doomer? on 01.14.20 at 10:38 am

#122 Miserable Boomer on 01.14.20 at 8:06 am
Iranian news anchors quit , one saying, “Forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies”. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear that from the CBC?

Extreme comment. The CBC is one of the few media orgs left in Canada actually gathering news. The rest print real estate board press releases. – Garth
++

Beg to disagree GT. The CBC “Climate Emergency” spin on the Aussie bushfires is utter political crap, and here’s why:

Fires need 3 things:

1. Oxygen. Man made CO2 has zero effect on oxygen.

2. Spark. 188 people have been charged with arson in the bush fires so far. Greta Thumberg didn’t stop these arsonists.

3. Fuel. Fuel loads in the bush are the highest in thousands of years. Green policies are 100% to blame by outlawing controlled burns to safely clean out these hazards.

Think about it logically for a second. You have a huge fire hazard stacked up against your house and you have two choices:

1. Remove the fire hazard.

2. Tell your government to spend trillions of dollars so that in 100 years the temperature might be a small fraction of a degree lower and hope that the fire hazard doesn’t burn your house down over that time.

CBC tells everyone that Greta Thumberg is right and the the correct choice is #2.

#144 n1tro on 01.14.20 at 10:54 am

#136 Tater on 01.14.20 at 9:47 am
The hoi polloi can pry my Audi keys from my cold dead hands.
———–
Why such an attachment? Isn’t it leased? If so, isn’t better to let whoever wants it to have it? That way you get the insurance money and can go to the dealership and pick a new one.

#145 oh bouy on 01.14.20 at 11:37 am

@#138 DFO on 01.14.20 at 10:03 am
Amazon wouldn’t be profitable without national postal services. Uber can’t make money without subsidized roads. Why do they get away with transferring our tax dollars to their pockets, and offering no social benefits in return?
————————————————-

Remember folks socialism for billionaires and corporations is good, socialism for people is ‘communism’.

Remember how many new jobs the Trump corp tax cut created? That’s right, it triggered a massive stock buyback instead.

The myth that the wealthy are the best source of jobs is a myth. Buffett is currently SITTING on 120 billion in cash. Weird how he isn’t using all that money to create new jobs or opportunities or researching new tech or bio…

Damn right taxes will go up and it will be used to gift corporations with subsidies to buy said robots.

The real end game here is universal basic income but it scares the crap out of corporate-backed politicians. Because what if Sally decides to use her safety net UBI income to start a new business instead of working 3 min wage jobs for Tim Hortons, Wendy’s and Uber?

Universal basic income studies have all shown a massive boost in entrepreneurialism and a drop in mental health costs. Not to mention the costs saved in red tape trying to make sure welfare goes to the right and deserving person, processing centres, welfare agents etc etc
_____________________

Shhh, doesn’t fit the narrative.

#146 Ronaldo on 01.14.20 at 11:43 am

#8 earthboundmisfit on 01.13.20 at 4:17 pm
Kia? Nope, Subaru. And retirement is exempt from automation.
——————————————————————
Until you need a motorized wheelchair.

#147 CBC = Crap on 01.14.20 at 11:43 am

Let’s be serious here Garth – the CBC is absolute garbage.

Costs $100 million/month of taxpayer cash to run

#148 Chimingin on 01.14.20 at 11:49 am

Re: #9

Observation is not tantamount to endorsement. Duh.

#149 Ronaldo on 01.14.20 at 11:53 am

#20 Another Deckchair

Anyone know why people must have some dog-awful huge house, when generations have raised families in about 1/5 the space?
——————————————————————
Maybe because a lot of these people scrimped and saved all their lives raising children and putting them through school and finally when they are all gone and they have all this extras cash, they decide to treat themselves to something they wished they could have had years before. They also think that they will need all that extra space for all those grandchildren that will be coming to visit once or twice a year. Or, just because they can.

#150 Ronaldo on 01.14.20 at 12:01 pm

#29 Stone on 01.13.20 at 5:27 pm

The point made above is an important one and probably something everyone should think about which is:

If I didn’t have a job nor need one, what would I do with all that glorious time bequeathed to me?
—————————————————————–
Volunteering at the local food bank or Salvation Army serving meals to the unemployed who have been replaced by robots.

#151 Sail away on 01.14.20 at 12:07 pm

#138 DFO on 01.14.20 at 10:03 am

Buffett is currently SITTING on 120 billion in cash. Weird how he isn’t using all that money to create new jobs or opportunities or researching new tech or bio…

———————————

So… you’re spouting on a finance blog about social justice in publicly-traded businesses without seeming to understand business or publicly-traded companies.

You know that saying: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth (keyboard in this case) and remove all doubt”?

#152 James on 01.14.20 at 12:12 pm

#133 IHCTD9 on 01.14.20 at 9:37 am

Automation and AI will do a couple things: eliminate jobs, but also drive the current costs of goods and many services through the floor. You think things are cheap now? Just wait until the entire supply chain for a given product is driven by robots and AI – stuff will be so cheap, old dudes will just shake their heads and laugh when they are out shopping (I do that now already sometimes).

There will be a balance between production and wages/jobs because there has to be. No robots will be cranking out consumer goods if they are not selling, and they won’t sell if no one has a job/money. Decades from now, consumer spending may represent 75+% of our GDP.

The wildcard is energy and government. Energy costs aren’t going to go thru the floor unless something new comes along – and what about government revenues? The government will have a major problem if household incomes start dropping and everyone is working part time. They will have no choice in a fully Globalized future, but to shrink alongside the wealth of its Citizens.
___________________________________________
Our corporation is still focusing about 1/3 towards energy sustainability and efficiency with new technologies. We have incorporated AI into our systems and work with partners in the USA and Europe to stay ahead of the curve on the latest technologies. We still have some hopes for an old Stirling technology that we worked on with a company in Arizona where we increased the efficiencies up to 38% but alas cheap oil killed it. AI is critical to all energy production.

#153 JonBoy on 01.14.20 at 12:14 pm

The simple fact is, if robots take over, someone still has to make and maintain the robots. Robots to not design and build themselves without human intervention.

Robots may be more efficient than humans, in many ways, but not in all. Ask Elon Musk, who, in a rare moment of hubris, admitted that he over-automated his first Tesla production line and it cost him time and money.

In the end, it’s a net-sum-zero issue. Robots require someone to manufacture and support them. That means blue-collar workers to manufacture and assemble them, technicians to repair and maintain them, programmers to develop and direct them, engineers to design them, truck drivers to deliver them, etc, etc. The transition or change to robotics creates its own new economy, at least for a while.

Would 100% of people get jobs? Probably not, but the economy also grows as population grows, which means that (theoretically) there are (more or less) jobs for all, at any given time. Yes, it goes up and down moderately but there is a baseline economy required to sustain humanity. In a high-consumption continent, I wouldn’t worry too much about a lack of jobs.

The real question is, who will make the transition? Newfoundland used to be a fish-based economy. They had to transition and it was brutal for many people and communities. But in the end, it transitioned, though some were left behind and others picked up where others dropped off.

Nothing changes overnight. As with most things, the transitions will happen gradually and there will be an ebb and flow in certain types of jobs but ultimately, it’ll sort itself out.

#154 Stan Brooks on 01.14.20 at 12:18 pm

The sheeple is broke.

Consumers who file for bankruptcy are working people but with expenses rising faster than income (yeah, ‘inflation’ is sub 2 %, right…) so they resolve to debt in order to make ends meet.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/the-real-reason-canadians-cant-keep-up-with-their-debt-163410177.html

#155 Tater on 01.14.20 at 12:29 pm

#143 n1tro on 01.14.20 at 10:54 am
#136 Tater on 01.14.20 at 9:47 am
The hoi polloi can pry my Audi keys from my cold dead hands.
———–
Why such an attachment? Isn’t it leased? If so, isn’t better to let whoever wants it to have it? That way you get the insurance money and can go to the dealership and pick a new one.

——————————-

Meant more metaphorically. If a gun is jammed in my face they can obviously have the car. But, I work pretty hard and am not ashamed by the material success that brings.

#156 James on 01.14.20 at 12:40 pm

#135 Phylis on 01.14.20 at 9:43 am

I’m concerned. SM’s post seemed to be alcohol free. This doesn’t add up.
___________________________________________
I agree. However, it was a two word syllabus and did make sense…WTF?…. Perhaps he has found that a booze free life is worth living?
OMG he is communicating with us! Start taking notes.

#157 IHCTD9 on 01.14.20 at 12:41 pm

#59 Keith on 01.13.20 at 7:14 pm
There are robotic greens mowers in the golf industry, the best ones are “learning machines” that do a better job over time. The civilized answer to mechanization, computerization and robotization is to share productivity improvements with workers, as used to be done by reducing the work week for much of the 20th century.

https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/robotic-greens-mower-presidio-san-francisco
___

You can get these for your own private lawn too, and they cost less than a good lawn tractor. I saw my first one working away by itself on some dudes lawn last summer, so I Googled them up.

They are battery powered – they leave their charging station and mow all day. They have rain and proximity sensors to help keep them out of trouble. When done their shift, they park in their little garage and start recharging again.

The guy’s lawn looked great as the robot mower did not leave stripes or tracks, balled up grass, or even clippings on the lawn. It mowed at all different angles and would have mowed over a lot of the lawn more than once – plus the grass never gets a chance to grow more than a 1/4-3/8″ taller than the cut height before the mower is back on the job again.

Probably the best looking lawn I’ve ever seen, seriously.

#158 Ubul on 01.14.20 at 12:43 pm

The CBC is one of the few media orgs left in Canada actually gathering news. The rest print real estate board press releases. – Garth

They are, with massive taxpayers supported budget, that allows them the freedom to not rely heavily on publishing real estate board press releases.

Instead, the CBC broadcast, print political propaganda press releases.

Taxpayers fund their openly politically biased views, that does not reflect and give nearly balanced voice for the full spectrum of their funding constituency.

Other media orgs may rig real estate, CBC rigs politics.

#159 oh bouy on 01.14.20 at 12:44 pm

@#150 Sail away on 01.14.20 at 12:07 pm
#138 DFO on 01.14.20 at 10:03 am

You know that saying: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth (keyboard in this case) and remove all doubt”?
_________________________________________

LMAO, thats the perfect saying for you as well.
pot calling the kettle black again.

#160 Dogman01 on 01.14.20 at 1:12 pm

110 Fortune500 on 01.13.20 at 11:19 pm – #72 that is a great way of putting it.

I think I plagiarized much of it from a post Smoking Man did years ago.

#82 Sail away on 01.13.20 at 8:23 pm

I am not making an observation on the merits of children.
I am pointing out the environment is negative for having families.

Think of a Farm, where the animals are not reproducing, it likely means there is a fundamental flaw in the environment.

Ancient Human societies also limited reproduction in “bad years”, famine or drought times via dubious means.

Canadian need to be financially incentivized and with that do not have even a simple replacement level of children.
I think it points to an unhealthy society and a declining standard of living or sense of declining economic prospects.

Personally, I lean towards VHEMT sympathies.

#161 IHCTD9 on 01.14.20 at 1:22 pm

In the beginning, a dude had to make his own tools before he built any thing – this was step one in reducing labour and saved a lot of wear on our teeth and fists.

From there, animals were put to work, water and wind power were harnessed, productivity increased while human labour was reduced.

Then steam, diesel, gasoline, and electricity came on the scene which changed the lifestyles of humans forever. Massive productivity increases, and such huge human labour reductions that we now had actual leisure time.

Now we see automation and robotics getting to the stage where fine detailed work can be accomplished, and where AI can design the best bridge ever put to paper in seconds.

What should we expect the outcome of robots and AI to be? Uh… my guess is more productivity increases and less labour required by humans!

If this long trend is reliable, then some day we will walk up to a new household appliance and state: “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” – and it will appear for us out of thin air. When this machine arrives, the world will fundamentally change forever, again. It will be the largest change ever in our history – when we need not labour for a thing. The implications are huge, the social fallout complex, the consequences could be galactic.

Every new stage of progress has resulted in more humans, healthier humans, and richer humans. I don’t know how, but I expect the AI/Robot revolution will result in the same things happening once again – somehow.

#162 Sail Away on 01.14.20 at 1:27 pm

#158 oh bouy on 01.14.20 at 12:44 pm
@#150 Sail away on 01.14.20 at 12:07 pm
#138 DFO on 01.14.20 at 10:03 am

You know that saying: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth (keyboard in this case) and remove all doubt”?
_________________________________________

LMAO, thats the perfect saying for you as well.
pot calling the kettle black again.

————————————

Maybe… you do seem to be perpetually critical when you make an appearance, though, so I guess it’s my turn.

To say Berkshire, a profitable enterprise, should use its resources to improve the lot of the average person is ludicrous.

Does DFO know more than Buffett about Buffett’s business? May as well start at the top by criticizing the most successful investor in history, I guess.

My vote and funds will remain with Berkshire.

#163 Shawn Allen on 01.14.20 at 1:44 pm

Rule Number Three: Never criticize Buffett

DFO at 138 complains that:

The myth that the wealthy are the best source of jobs is a myth. Buffett is currently SITTING on 120 billion in cash. Weird how he isn’t using all that money to create new jobs or opportunities or researching new tech or bio…

***************************
Well, actually that cash is not in Berkshire’s office safe sitting idle.

Most of Berkshire’s “cash’ is invested in short term treasury bills, loaned to the U.S. government and financing government expenditures. (Things like social security payments and the military and so much more)

Berkshire had 389,373 employees at the end of 2018.

It is not Berkshire or Buffett’s job to create jobs but in the process of investing share holder’s money he employs a LOT of people.

So, okay, criticize Buffett if you want but if your facts or logic are wrong, I will point it out.

Other than paper cash, “cash” is typically in banks and loaned out and others are already using it productively.

Those wanting more cash put to work in the economy are actually calling for more loans and debt since that is how “cash” is created in our economy.

We could use a lot more people like Warren E. Buffett. Alas, there are none.

#164 NoName on 01.14.20 at 2:12 pm

#141 Doug in London on 01.14.20 at 10:33 am
@Dharma Bum, post #132:
I’m missing something in the translation here. What does owning a Subaru have to do with being a lesbian? I know a man who own one and, to the best of my knowledge, he’s straight. Maybe he’s really a lesbian in a male body.

Look for Subaru advertising from 80s it’s in there, and on a side note during GFC Subaru sales stayed constant you while other brands sales plunged. That is where “lesbaru” came from.

Here it is.

https://priceonomics.com/how-an-ad-campaign-made-lesbians-fall-in-love-with/

#165 TurnerNation on 01.14.20 at 2:28 pm

Who gains? Our elites pushing these event for their gain getting maximum mileage. Why the Maple leaf food sales pitch.

Even H is an expert. We get to suffer their attacks and being in a mental prison/”news” cycle:

the #2-5 top stores on the CBC are:

Trump administration shares no blame for downing of Flight PS752, says top Republican
972 reading now
Maple Leaf Foods boss attack on Trump pits ethics against shareholder value: Don Pittis
669 reading now
Harper says regime change needed in Iran to bring peace to region
561 reading now
Over 32,000 potassium iodide pills ordered in 2 days after Pickering nuclear power plant alert error
474 reading now

#166 SoggyShorts on 01.14.20 at 3:20 pm

#130 milly on 01.14.20 at 8:49 am
Garth,

Should a quarter of our investments be in USD? Like open a self-directed UD investment account and buy US etfs? Would this be best held in TFSA, RRSP or non-reg?

Thank you!!
**********************************
♦I like having my RRSP all in USD because of our tax treaty with the US (we don’t pay the 15% withholding tax on US dividends in our RRSP)
Also, conveniently, my RRSP is 21% of my savings.

♦Questrade lets you have both CAD and USD in the same account.

♦Use Norbert’s Gambit when you contribute to avoid currency exchange costs.

#167 SoggyShorts on 01.14.20 at 3:25 pm

#72 Dogman01 on 01.13.20 at 7:48 pm

1960 Dad worked, Mom stayed home, 5 Kids, no debt
1970 Dad worked, Mom worked part time, 4 Kids, no debt
1980 Dad worked, Mom worked full time , 3 Kids, a little debt
1990 Dad worked, Mom worked full time , 2 Kids, more debt
2000 Dad works 2 jobs, Mom worked full time , 1 Kid, tons of debt
*********************
Is that accurate? Did those in the 60s&70s buy houses for cash?
I mean visa started in 1958 and did so well that mastercard started in ’66
So…was everyone paying their balance off and the end of the month?

Also, how did those kids live? hand-me downs through all 5 kids, no consoles, no TV in the bedroom etc etc.

#168 Dfo on 01.14.20 at 3:50 pm

Defend hoarders like Buffett all you boot-licking want but illiquidity of that magnitude is not a healthy thing.

#169 LP on 01.14.20 at 3:58 pm

#161 IHCTD9 on 01.14.20 at 1:22 pm

If this long trend is reliable, then some day we will walk up to a new household appliance and state: “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” – and it will appear for us out of thin air.***************************************

I could go for that but would add, “with peach schnaaps”. And one must be listening to either of As it Happens or Ideas while drinking it, ideally before a campfire at Lake of Two Rivers.

F72ON

#170 Flail Away on 01.14.20 at 3:59 pm

@#168

I get it, as a know it all engineer, reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

Perhaps read DFO’s comment again. They are not being critical of Warren Buffett nor are they suggesting they know better than Mr. Buffett when and where to invest.
The comment is critical of the notion that Trump’s corporate tax cut would lead to more business investment in the US. This criticism is shared by Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winning economist.

If you know Buffett as well you suggest, then you would know he would likely agree with the sentiment that Trump’s tax cuts would have little influence on his decision when and where to invest.

Seeing as you have posted close to 10 times already perhaps Oh Bouy’s advice for you is correct. I am guessing you are likely low on EQ so self reflection is probably not one of your strengths either.

And while I am here, perhaps read Trudeau’s actual comment and then think who it was intended for. “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” he said. “This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it.”

He has not blamed the US, only stated that the increased tensions in the region played some part in what has transpired. His comments were clearly intended for the Iranians – not to lessen their blame because he has been very clear about who is responsible and what he expects. Since his comments, Iran has been conciliatory towards Canada’s requests for active participation in the investigation. Perhaps you know that Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and it is going to take some diplomacy to ensure the families of the victims can get their remains back to Canadian soil if that is what they wish. Trudeau’s statement was simply intended to make his diplomats’ jobs easier and it seems to have helped.

If Trump and his sycophants are so thin skinned to see this as criticism and not understand what Trudeau is trying to accomplish, that is on them.

#171 Sail away on 01.14.20 at 6:10 pm

#170 Flail Away on 01.14.20 at 3:59 pm

…perhaps read Trudeau’s actual comment and then think who it was intended for. “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” he said. “This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it.”

He has not blamed the US, only stated that the increased tensions in the region played some part in what has transpired.

—————————-

Uh huh.

How about this: “If Iran didn’t shoot down that passenger plane, the people on that plane would not have died from being shot down.”

#172 VicPaul on 01.14.20 at 10:30 pm

#59 Keith on 01.13.20 at 7:14 pm
There are robotic greens mowers in the golf industry
********
I’ve used them – very cool. A copper line (I believe) is buried around the circumference of the green. A power pod for a transponder and embedded feet/saddles for four beacons located eqi-distant around green. Offload this 75Kish robot from it’s trailer, run it through the startup sequence and press the button….and go rake a green-side bunker. Fun summer job :)

M56BC

#173 FIRE Eater on 01.15.20 at 3:59 pm

I officially start my first Gig today. Also took my first quarterly income stream from investments as well. Wife and I were able to retire at 53 and 43 (she’s older). FIRE all the way, I quit my corporate job in July and have enjoyed the freedom, however I decided to keep my feet wet and the Gig economy provides me with the ability to do flexible, part-time work in my field. Win/win. On another note, my wife always says she wishes she had a DB pension. I told her today, we basically got that, by holding onto all of our shares that we accumulated by working almost 20 years with the same company. That rich dividend is a cornerstone of our FIRE plan.