Happy Easter – back next weekU
But 'robots aren't altruistic beings; they're capital investments; and though robots may not ask to be paid, their owners demand a return on their investment. We now live in the robot utopia, which isn't one. Thanks in large part to computerized mechanization, manufacturing productivity in the past century has increased many times over. Standards of living are higher than they ever were, but we no longer need as many humans to work as we once did. Perhaps not coincidentally, human wages, in America at least, have stagnated since the 1970s. If humans made no more money in the past four decades, where did the wealth created by the higher productivity go? Toward robot wages, as it were. The owners of the robots took the money—that is, the capitalists. Any fifth-grader can see where this leads. At some point society has to choose. Either society accepts the robots' gift as a general one, and redistributes the wealth that the robots inadvertently concentrate, or society allows the robots to become the exclusive tools of an ever-shrinking elite, increasingly resented, in confused fashion, by the people whom the robots have displaced' .Or, in the case of services, enslaved and downgraded. So as well as being customer-unfriendly and inefficient, inappropriate computerisation is also part of the Wal-Martisation, or if you prefer McDonaldisation, of work that is such a striking feature of the non-recovery. Shall we just say no?
Now, in the case of RBS, its chief executive's pay of £7.7m is equivalent to about 233 times typical pay in finance, compared with other FTSE100 bosses who on average earn 120 times typical pay.
As for for top civil servants, well, they tend to earn around £160,000 a year, around six times a typical public official's salary.
Or to put it another way, RBS's boss, Stephen Hester, seems to be handsomely paid for public sector or private sector.
Why? It's because he's a banker.