Freefall 3931 - 3940 (D)
Freefall 3931

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

There are many thoughts
on wealth and society. Broadly put, they can be called equal
and unequal distribution.
Neither works in pure form. The
most benevolent parents will not share wealth equally with toddlers. The most brutal dictator will ensure those close to him are well paid.
If a society can not
be run without inequality, the question becomes “How much inequality is fair?”
And the answer often is “Far less than what those
on the top want.”
Freefall 3932

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Would you like
to speak in support
of your views?
Yes. Thank you. Hmm. Where to begin?
Start with Machiavelli and how abuses will occur when there
is an imbalance of power and
build from there.
Do you get the
feeling that we're being herded?
Like cows
in a chute. But continue. You
have the floor.
Freefall 3933

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Sam's suggestion is not a bad place
to begin. When the balance of power
is equal, things tend to be fair.
I make two piles. You
choose pile you want.
When the balance of power is unequal, things rapidly become less fair.
I shall make two piles. Then
I shall pick the pile I desire.
There are those who want power so they
may command the wealth of others. Then there are those who want power so their wealth can not be commanded by others.
Freefall 3934

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

The economics of production consist of capital, land, and labor. People who controlled the capital and land often had significant power over those who labored.
Unions were formed to balance this.
A united workforce was able to gain concessions in pay and working conditions. These gains improved the lives of both union and non-union workers.
You wish to improve our conditions?
Yes. It's called “Making
life better for the next generation.” Societies that
fail in this tend not to last very long.
Freefall 3935

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

You two appear mostly in agreement.
In theory, I agree with Mr. Hillman. In the real world, I can not.
When we were supplying ships
and workers to move the moon, there was enough wealth being generated to meet everyone's needs. Now the moon move is complete. There is not enough money to continue as we were.
If the station has completed its
function, we can close it down.
Another point of agreement.
Are you two sure you are
actually in opposition?
Freefall 3936

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

This is why we need to bring
in robots. We can't afford
to keep the station running with all human labor.
I've already stated my position. I have no problem bringing in robots as long as we treat them the same as human workers.
To repeat myself,
we can't afford that.
An unintended consequence
of balancing power. Abuses
are less likely to occur. The same
can be said for progress.
Freefall 3937

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Deadlocked? Thought that might happen. That's why I made sure there were three parties to this negotiation.
I only see two humans. Where
is the third…
Oh! It's me,
isn't it?
Freefall 3938

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

What should
I do?
When negotiations get stuck like this, you give them a little shake.
I appreciate
the assistance.
Glad to help.
Besides, you have
an honest face.
I shall send
a note thanking
my manufacturer.
Freefall 3939

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

Gentlemen. Robots and A.I. have
reached the point where they can do your
job better, faster, and cheaper.
If you really want
to save money, why have
a human worker at all?
See? He makes
a good point.
Oh, I wasn't talking
about him.
Freefall 3940

Provisional Title: Sqid in the maintenance shop

What? Me? I can't be replaced by a robot!
Your job description is nonphysical. There is no need for a robot body. Your function could be handled by software. It would be easier to replace you than a maintenance worker.
Well, nuts.
Makes a difference when it's your job on the line, doesn't it?
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