Google "Luddite" before reading this article. The Industrial Revolution
killed a lot of jobs. So did the arrival of the personal computer. Rinse and
repeat. This article employs lots of words to say almost nothing. Let me
summarize: Technology advances, killing off entire classes of jobs, and replaces
them with a more expansive and growth-inducing set of technology-based jobs. Oh
yeah, and the economy improves, as does everyone's standard of living.
I know most of you are not familiar with Karl Marx's projections for
capitalism, but for the sake of argument here goes: Capitalism becomes so
efficient that the demand for labor gets less and less, leading to mass
unemployment. At the same time, since profits only come from labor - labor is
not compensated for all of the value it adds, the residual is surplus value.
Surplus value is the source of most profits, but since the system needs less and
less labor, profits will also collapse. The entire system collapses in a riot
of unemployment and vanished profits. You may not believe it, but it is
I am taking my buggy whip to the trash can right now. No need for horses or
people either for that matter.
History repeating itself. See 4 Ne. Technology today is identical to the
prosperity of the 0-300 AD described in the BoM. We're currently in the
latter stages of that society. I guess cohesive societies only have a 200 year
lifespan. We're using "prosperity" to create distance between us
rather than uniting us. We are more connected than we've ever been ... a
virtual society devoid of virtue and incapable of relating. It's not
technology so much as it is human nature. Most who are active in these
discussions I'm sure are aware of the esteem held by the "natural"
man in the broader scheme of things.
To succeed in the ever evolving new brave world, have government compete,
starting with the state run schools. Return parenting to the parents, one of
the root causes of why there are problematic children.
Bookkeepers and accountants raised the alarm in the 1950s, yet accounting is
still one of the hottest and most stable careers today. Office workers raised
the alarm in the 1980s, yet hundreds of thousands of software engineering and
network administration jobs, well paid professional positions, have been created
because of technology. I guess being a Luddite is still a good route too
The promoters of "unlimited free markets" should love this. Get rid of
those pesky, lazy, stupid people. After all, only the owners and ceos of
industry count. They are the only ones that work. "Evolve or die,"
they say. I strongly suspect one day they too will be replaced by machines.
Assuming total chaos doesn't happen first. I saw a couple of techie gurus
on 60 minutes last year saying that by the time our grandchildren are adults,
what we call work will mostly be a thing of the past. "What will people
do," the reporter asked? "Well," they said, "that the $64,000
to NoBoxScotBut, seriously... Just go to a call center. There are
robots who could do that minus smoke breaks & lunch.
I wouldn't bother going to a full service restaurant if I had to use an
ipad to order food or make request. What's next pay $15 to cook my own
I went to Peru a month ago to see Machu Picchu, and the employment contrast was
very interesting. All along the way, many Peruvians were employed to assist
tourists in their journey, and it was evident they took great pride in their
work, were happy people, and had an air of confidence about today...and their
prospects for tomorrow. If Machu Picchu was in the US, there
wouldn't have been dirt roads that bus drivers and tour guides patiently
& professionally guide their guests on. There would have been a monorail or
some sort of automated tram, and automated recordings to inform tourists about
Machu Picchu at each step of the tour, with maybe 1/20th the employment.Upper middle class Peruvians have a housekeeper, a driver, and a doorman
to their building, all very cheerful and essentially extended parts of their
families.There's a lot in Peru that is not desirable,
certainly, but the connectedness between people who depend on each other was
striking. It's what America probably used to be like. We go
to automated car washes, check ourselves out at the store, get gas without
having to deal with people.Is this progress?
this will make marketing people giddy with delight, now they can exploit their
target consumers at will. expect sugar related health problems to skyrocket!
this reminds me of Homer Simpson, dreaming of donuts, "Mmmmmmmmmmmm,
And all of my programmer and engineer friends have more job opportunities making
these machines work and maintaining them. The jobs just shift around, I would
say flexibility in the workforce and in your knowledge set is one of the more
valuable skills you can have these days.
Seriously? This is the theme of Frankenstein's monster. Jobs are replaced
every year by technological advances, and they have been since cavemen found you
could dig for roots faster with a rock than with your hands. I've been a
computer programmer for decades and every year someone writes that my job will
be replaced by a machine. Guess what, I replace my job by getting new tools and
writing my own tools every day. And the next day I have a new more interesting
job. If you are worried about loosing your job to a machine, you really do not
have a job worth doing. If you think a clerk's job at a grocery store is
totaling the price of groceries bought and collecting money, you may loose your
job. If you recognize that being a clerk at a grocery store is about being
pleasant and helping customers and not necessarily standing at a cash register
you will always be employed.
One more cost/benefit:Evil? Destroys jobs.Good? Creates other
jobs.Somehow, the money is going to be spent, it just changes the
location/person. Instead of hiring/paying servers, we hire/pay engineers on the
front end. And, as a company benefits from the decreased cost it either 1) makes
more money and spends it on something other than paying servers (making jobs
elsewhere) or 2) reduces the cost of its products to reduce their profit
(usually only will happen when all companies in the same industry employ the
same labor saving devices), in which case, the consumer saves and can spend more
money(making jobs elsewhere).As Henry Hazlitt, author of Economics
in One Lesson would say, we have to look beyond what we immediately see to
understand the whole truth, instead of just half of it.
Read "Economics in One Lesson" (book by Henry Hazlitt).The
evil of technology argument is mostly crazy. Lower labor costs for a given
product, due to improved technology, reduce prices for those goods , thus
increasing spending power of consumer, and in practice, increasing their wages.
This is THE main driver of the economy and our raising standard of living,
especially over the past two centuries.Evil? It may increase
income inequalities.Good? It does increase practical income for all.Evil? It may force the labor force to educate themselves.Good?
It may force the labor force to educate themselves.
I don't go to a restaurant to play with video screens. Modern society has
an unhealthy addiction/dependence with video screens. People need to get a
life. I don't own a cell/smart phone, don't subscribe to cable or
satellite TV. Lest you think I'm a Luddite, I have 25+ years experience in
various I.T. occupations (e.g., software engineer, database engineer,
cybersecurity specialist). A majority of people have an almost cult like faith
in digital technology, a magical elixir that can solve almost any conceivable
problem. A healthy dose of skepticism is in order.
Many would argue with me, but hypothetically as a "prosumer" who handles
checkout and ordering additional items in this Chili's scenario, I should
be able to reduce my tip by the amount of work I am now doing for the server.
Automate ordering (and even seating) altogether, have one or two host/CSRs that
handle issues, eliminate tipping, and I will eat out MUCH more often. A tablet
would do a better job of taking my order correctly anyway.
It doesn't help when companies are forced to increase minimum wages. At
some point why not use technology instead of humans?
No, Dave! We're supposed to get all worked up about technology advances!
The new is evil! ;) Heaven help us if we start seeing illegal robots
crossing the border to take our jobs. I really dislike being forced to learn new
skills in order to be marketable.oh.
There is nothing new here. It started when man invented the wheel.
Evolve or perish.
If anyone loses a job to a computer I know a lot of automated answering machines
that need to be replaced by (intelligent) humans.
Said the man who made buggy whips
We heard all this before with fast-food restaurants eliminating table service
and VCR's eliminating movie theaters.