Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

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Herman Toh – What about Robots? lWeek 4@The CIS

Herman Toh

13 February 2017

I flew back to Perth on the weekend to attend the wedding of Justin Cobby and Bianca Talbot, a former Mannkal scholar’s event. The event was in Busselton and it was good to have a change of pace.

It was a joy to see friends being married and moving on with the next stage of their lives. I had a really good time catching up with old friends and making new ones. I returned to Sydney on what was a sweltering night.

I attended a talk this week given by Paul Mason, journalist and broadcaster at UK’s Channel 4 news held at the University of Sydney. The talk was titled Can Robots Kill Capitalism?

His main point of contention was that technology was going to make us obsolete and in the future, only low level jobs that robots could not do such as working as a masseur would still remain.

The term that he used was ‘neo-feudalism’ and his description was one where most of us would be serfs and only the wealthy that have their assets in high end property being at the top of society.

His solution to inequality in society is a Universal Basic Income. I did not agree with any of his points and found it interesting to contrast his talk with the presentation below.

The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) organised a lunch meeting on one of the work days with Daniel Hannan, a former Member of the European Parliament who campaigned for Brexit. He is an urbane speaker and I found myself enjoying hearing him speak and seeing his interaction with the rest of the staff and people in attendance.

His view with regard to technology was that there are now more jobs created rather than killed off by technology. His personal example was that of his grandfather in Chatham, UK where he was a welder at a shipyard and was laid off. Currently, Chatham has even lower unemployment than during the shipbuilding days due to the jobs in the computer animation industry.

I am thankful to the CIS that they regularly organise events where I can learn more about free market principles as well as being able to interact with people in the liberty movement.

There was some discussion in the office about Trump’s preference for a weaker US dollar vs what the Fed prefers. You can find my response IDEAS@TheCentre here.

I managed to find some free time during the week to visit the Sydney Mint. It is Sydney’s oldest surviving public building and I found it history fascinating. However, it is not a working mint like the Perth mint.

Nevertheless, I was able to find reminders of it’s past and see how it must have been like for people of that age.

Till next week.

Coin Press@The Sydney Mint

Australia's first gold coins

My first lucky "coin" from the Sydney Mint

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