The Future of Jobs?

The Future of Jobs?

Revisiting the subject of the future of jobs, I am almost certain that the current trend in robotics and automation is going to create a situation that has had no historical precedent. Historically, as jobs became insignificant, they were replaced by high-tech ones. Remember phone switchboard operators. They disappeared as the demand for computer programmers increased. But now were seeing something altogether different. Some jobs are moving to cheap labor markets, while other jobs are being replaced by automation without any prospect of replacement.

In the last few centuries, landowners became factory owners who then became capital owners. No matter how you look at it, capital requires industry, markets and "consumers". And now were seeing the transformation of capitalists into automation owners. Once this transformation passes a critical point, there will be no consumers to sell goods to, because they won't have jobs, hence there will be no reason to manufacture goods. It isn't difficult to imagine technology taking over even the most traditional professions, medicine, law and construction. People are already talking about such technologies on television and radio shows.

As that critical point of diminishing returns is reached, we'll have no choice but to fundamentally rethink how we organize society - that is, if we are capable of responding rationally. Even then, most scenarios look dystopian, especially given the rate of depletion of natural resources and the seemingly imminent environmental collapse. Humanity is on untreaded territory...

Here's a related story. There are 8.7 million trucking-related jobs in the U.S. In about 30 States, Truck Driving is the most common job. And, Self-Driving Trucks are already being tested.

Song of the Day: Helpless Automaton - Men At Work (1982)
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