well considering they have a relatively large impact on the this country's tax laws, subsidies, tariffs and overall economic personality, its a fair thought, don't you two think? we're discussing solutions, and where they might come from, for a problem that is going to have an enormous effect on literally every aspect of our lives, and the first part of that is identifying where those solutions would come from. The two main sectors are private and public. It's wise to at least consider the capabilities of each in addressing such an all-encompassing issue, is it not? Why only consider 50% of the field? I'm not quite sure you two fully understand the scope of this issue... and I'm not suggesting the world is going to end by next week if we don't solve this. But by all means, this is something that my kids will undoubtedly face, and to me, is worth looking into, with every possible solution on the table. get outta here with your "ya'll losers just want a nanny state to fix all your problems" bs
No one in this thread has said it isn't going to be an issue. Everyone has agreed that what jobs will look like for the next generation will different then this generation -- just as commerce will be different then it is now. This has been the case since the beginning of time.
There is no doubt that more and more jobs will continue to be automated and/or replaced by machines, robots, AI, etc. No one is arguing that. Just as no one is arguing we shouldn't try to forecast what the future holds and do our best to adapt to it sooner rather than later.
As far as I can see there are two main things people (including myself...indeed probably more me than anyone else) are responding to:
1.) This ridiculous claim that that there will be 50% unemployment caused by technology displacement. This # is absurd. In the 250 year history of our great nation, the worst we have ever seen in the great depression was what 25%? So people are predicting DOUBLE that amount? Never going to happen. 250 years ago 90% or thereabouts of our employment was in agriculture. Harvesters and Combines have displaced those folks -- agriculture is like what 5% of employment now? Did that lead to 50% unemployment? Factories have been being automated for the past 200 years...has that led to 50% unemployment? Computers were supposed to displace people...did they lead to 50% unemployment? Of course not. Each of those technological revolutions led to new types of jobs being created. And the thing is we can't predict those types of jobs...so we assume they won't happen. Could you imagine trying to explain to your grandparents fifty years ago that companies would be founded on computer gaming? Or that there would be graphic designer or web managers? Again, there is no doubt, people will be displaced. They always have been. But we will adapt.
2.) The ONLY solution given in this thread by those thinking automation is going to be a huge deal is to give people money. We are discussing a structural problem with the economy. A fix isn't a redistribution of money. Personally, I think it's ridiculous that these two concepts -- welfare and automation -- are being discussed together.
So where does this leave us? What areas are there potential "solutions" to a problem we have no idea what shape it will ultimately take?
We aren't going to stop automating...nor should we. NO POTENTIAL solution should limit our creativity and ingenuity to replace labor with automation. When has society every advanced by going backwards or limiting development?
Seriously what else is there? As far as I'm concerned, the best we can do is to continue to educate and train people. To expand everyone's skill sets. We have a plethora of programs (federal, state, private) that people can take advantage of to be retrained should they so choose. Tomorrow's jobs will be different from today's...robots or no robots.
My advice would be that if someone is in a job that can be easily converted to automation make they should make themselves more valuable, learn more skills. Low cost education is everyone...just open your eyes and begin the adventure.
There are no parallels to the past. The pace and breadth of the changes caused by modern automation will be unprecedented.
You reference agriculture... that was a shift that occurred over the span of close to 200 years... and really didn't fundamentally shift until economic policy
driven by the Nixon admin steered the country towards "get big or get out". You know the other main shift in agriculture and technology of the past? The cotton gin. Its widespread use was the catalyst for a civil war. That event took nearly 75 years to manifest. Now we're talking about entire markets appearing and dying in 20 years these days.
You want to use the industrial revolution as another example? You say factories have been "automated" for 200 years. No they haven't. Factories were more manpower than machine for 150 of those years. Look what happened to some of this nation's greatest cities when we took the men out of the factories in the 70's, 80's and 90's. The disintegration of one
industry thanks to true
automation (and outsourcing - regardless, the removable the American citizen from a job) ruined lives, has had a multi-generational impact on the job market and society, and turned whole cities to ghettos.
You say "computers were supposed bring 50% unemployment" - well it hasn't been without effect, and we haven't even reached the zenith. Think about the actual impact instead of just the "50% unemployment" figure. The presence of computers invariably lowers the value of the American worker. If you insert 1 computer into a place that had 10 jobs, and it can do 3 peoples' jobs at a fraction of the cost, 3 people get fired and those people don't necessarily just go unemployed forever, they go find a job elsewhere, and take a lower wage, as simple economics would dictate. The presence of every computer within the system inherently lowers the value of each worker, thanks to a now-surplus of workers and a employer-favored market. This is why wages have stagnated over the past 40 years. The only way this isn't true is if there are emergent industries which create jobs at a relatively similar pace than the technology displaces them. And I'm sorry, but our creativity is not going to outpace Moore's Law. It is in capitalism's best interest to cultivate buyers, of course; but it is capitalism's fundamental defining feature to produce the most at the cheapest cost. And in that balance, automation is going to far outweigh the balance towards its most basic rule, efficiency, rather than its "healthy afterthought", sustainability.
These days markets are based on fabricated "needs", where the purpose is to trick people into thinking they "need" something they really don't and that model is increasingly unsustainable with non-humans as primary producers and earners.
That's what makes all of this unprecedented. It's one thing for changes to occur in industry, economies, and society over 250 years, or even 100 years. or even 50 years. Hell, we still have a hard time adjusting. But we're approaching 20 and 10 year shifts. And there's a point where our biological timeline (20 years for maturation) starts to intersect and we all the sudden need to become a lot more creative with how to achieve some degree of stability. Good ol fashion "let the market" sort it out isn't going to work anymore... the changes are just going to be too sweeping, too deep, and too fast...