Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works!

Katharina Nieswandt, Concordia University

Philosophers, economists and other academics have long discussed the idea of “basic income” – an unconditional monthly check from the government to every citizen, in an amount at least high enough to cover all basic necessities. Recently, this idea has gained more political traction: Even conservative parties consider it, and government-initiated trials are running or about to start in Finland, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand.

One reason this idea has caught politicians’ attention is the fear that large-scale automation will soon put many people out of work permanently, even as economic growth continues. (Truck and taxi drivers are currently the most discussed example.) Basic income is seen as a solution to the social problems that the predicted “technological unemployment” will bring.

Under capitalism, technological progress results in more products, not in more leisure. Factories that improve their efficiency don’t shut down and send workers home early – workers keep the same hours and crank out more goods.

Permanent unemployment is unlikely. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

True, technological progress can cause temporary unemployment. But a look at history will tell you that, unless we switch to another economic system, there is no reason to fear (or hope) that automation will put people out of work permanently. (Contrary to recent claims, artificial intelligence will not change that point.) The Automation Argument simply misunderstands how our economy works.  Continue reading the full original article here.

 

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition

IAC along with our Peer Group of companies (MartinCSI, Loman Control Systems, A&E Engineering, Viewpoint Systems, Apex Manufacturing Solutions, & Banks Integration) are industry partners of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), which was selected June 20 by President Obama to lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.”  Please check out the recent article:  http://www.energy.gov/articles/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-winner-new-smart-manufacturing-innovation-institute.

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Igniting Technology

Chuck Wambeke, President of Industrial Automation Consulting (IAC), was recently invited to speak at the SMART Worker presentation at Calit2, University of California, Irvine, CA. 

IAC President, Chuck Wambeke, discussed his experiences as an applications engineer, “working to empower the workforce in different environments” by automating manufacturing facilities in areas including industrial mineral processing, water production/distribution, power generation/distribution, and wastewater collection/treatment. 

“On the municipal side of our business most of the smaller communities we work with only have a couple people that are responsible for the city’s water/wastewater infrastructure.  They really needed a more economical means of implementing automation and providing “anywhere, anytime” access to their systems,” he said.  IAC has developed a new control system design that minimizes the capital costs of implementing automation.  This new design then empowers the workforce by providing access to the system anytime, anywhere.

A leader in the Internet of Things movement, Calit2, from the start, has developed and integrated technology into devices and applications for improving our daily lives.  When President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, Calit2 saw an opportunity to apply its IoT (Internet of Things) and people-centric approach, and launched a Sustainable Manufacturing Alliance for Research and Training (SMART).  SMART’s vision: to employ technology to empower skilled workers with greater autonomy and decision making responsibilities, resulting in more energy-efficient, productive and safer factories. 

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IAC is growing!

This fall, four new employees have joined the IAC Team:     

Jill Hamilton, our new Office Administrator, joins us with over 13 years of professional supervisory experience.  Jill is a native Montanan with a passion for her family’s cattle ranch.  Jill and her husband, Dave, live on the Jefferson River, where they love to landscape, garden and spoil their dog.  They have two adult children who text Jill frequently with all their news.

Heather Johnston joins us as our new IT Programmer.  Heather has a B.A. in Computer Science & will have obtained her M.S. Technology Leadership this November.  She joined our team in August and brings with her over 10 years of IT experience.  Heather grew up in Miles City and is the wife of Cody.  They have two children: Traci & Beau.  She enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with her family.

Darrin Strosnider is originally from central Ohio and has, for the past five years, found himself in Bozeman pursuing his PhD at MSU.  He now calls Montana his home.  He joins the team as a Senior Project Engineer and is delighted to be back in industry after spending several years in academia.  Darrin’s free time is spent volunteering for various community services, improving his outdoor photography skills, and restoring old Lionel trains.

Codi Hanson is our newest employee with a new job position here at IAC, Systems Analyst.  Codi has 15 years of operations and business management experience.  She is a third generation Montanan from the Manhattan/Three Forks area.  Codi and her husband John spend their time keeping up with five boys, raising and training German Shepherds and try to find time to hunt, hike and enjoy our beautiful state of Montana.    

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Welcome David Jones!

IAC is pleased to welcome David Jones, Controls Engineer.  David is a 2014 graduate of Montana State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.  He joined our team in May and jumped right in on project work including drafting/updating drawings and helping on project startups.  David is originally from Cut Bank, MT but is now calling Three Forks his home.  He enjoys motorcycling, working out, video games and watching/playing sports.  He has been active in volunteering with the FIRSTLEGO League® which is designed to get children excited about science and technology – learning programming in robotics.

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Invest in Success

Chuck Wambeke just returned from the “Invest in Success” business conference last week, hosted by the Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, and the Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc.  This is an annual small business conference taking place in different cities across Montana.  The 2-day conference includes local business tours, a networking reception and multiple breakout sessions included a renowned keynote speakers.  This year’s keynote speakers were from Redd Ox, Great Harvest Bread and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.  This is a great networking conference to meet with other small companies and share ideas and learn what else our neighbors right here in Montana create!

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The Heartbleed bug…

Called one of the biggest security threats the internet has ever seen, this bug has affected so many sites: from social networking to companies like Google and Amazon, and almost two-thirds of the world.

The best advice is to change your passwords (a good habit to do anyway more often than most of us actually do).   Security guidelines have long recommended to change your password every 30-90 days.

General rules of thumb:
-Don’t use only letters or numbers
-Don’t use personal names
-Don’t use phone numbers, birthdates or social security numbers
-Don’t make your password “password” or even “pa$$word”

Recommendations:
-At least 8 characters, used in combination of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and characters
-A favorite quote such as, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” could become Bf2p,urftp

Find out more here with a complete list of sites affected, how they have addressed the Heartbleed bug and recommendations on whether or not you need to change your password: http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/

Editor’s note: When I first became aware of this bug I changed my Google, Facebook, and Hotmail passwords.  But really think about it – how many sites do you have logins for…and stored credit card information within them?  Since last week I’ve also changed my login and password credentials to Amazon, Twitter, Shutterfly, QuickBooks, Instagram, credit cards and banking institutions (even though they aren’t on the “hit list”).  I just suggest every time you’re logging into some account with your old credentials, to change it – and you’ll continue to think of more each day.

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IAC introduces Doug Pickering

IAC would like to introduce you to our newest employee.  Doug Pickering joined us this past fall as Project Manager.  Doug has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M and bring with him over 35 years of project management experience from the construction and manufacturing industries.

Doug grew up in southern Wyoming and moved to Montana in 1991.  He and his wife Linda has been married for 33 years and have two children: Melissa and Wade.

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Upcoming Events – January & February 2014

IAC will be attending the upcoming Montana Grain Elevator’s Association (MGEA) conference in Great Falls.  This event is held at the Heritage Inn.  As stated on the MABA/MGEA website, the presentations and information are specifically designed to allow agricultural businesses and grain elevators to provide better service to their grower customers.  (January 29-31, 2014)

IAC will also attend the Montana Rural Water Systems (MRWS) Annual Conference, also at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls.   Operators obtain continuing education credits and certificates, Board Members learn from other member’s projects (both successful ones as well as failures)…it’s an opportunity for all involved in the water system to learn and grow.

We are happy to attend events like these because it keeps us in communication with our customers – what is working for them, what isn’t?  What could IAC implement to make your job easier?  Come check out our booth and see our new SCADA system monitor for your tablet or phone!

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Industrial Society of Automation – August 2013

Eric Stromsodt and Kyle Gudmunsen, both Controls Engineers for Industrial Automation Consulting, recently attended the annual training conference held in Billings for the Industrial Society of Automation (ISA).  ISA is a non-profit organization which sets the standard for automation by helping worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems.  ISA also helps automation employees enhance their leadership and personal career capabilities.  The Montana Chapter’s primary activity is education.  Eric graduated from South Dakota State University with a B.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology and is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Dakota.  Kyle also graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology.

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