Posted by: coastcontact | November 17, 2011

Technology Is Destroying Jobs

Erick Schonfeld, writing for authored a piece where he wrote in part:

Many of us take for granted that technology is the brightest spot in the economy, where most of the innovation and job creation occurs. But if you look more broadly at the impact of technology across every industry, it doesn’t look so great. Technology makes businesses more efficient, often by eliminating the need for repetitive tasks and the workers who do them. We are not replacing those jobs with enough new, higher-skilled ones to make up for the loss.

So what we are seeing in the U.S.over the past decade is productivity growth without the job growth that usually comes with it. Traditionally, productivity growth and job growth went hand in hand, but that is no longer the case. Annual productivity growth in the U.S. between 2000 and 2009 was 2.5%, a faster rate than at any time since the 1960s. Yet the last decade saw the total number of jobs decline by 1.1 percent.

Mr. Schonfeld is merely confirming what most of us already knew.  Automation replaces jobs with computer controlled devices.  Computers make determinations on stock trades and control the robotic arms that perform welding functions in the manufacture of cars.

 What our society has not done is face the reality of a world where it takes fewer people to fulfill our needs. How do we employ all of those displaced people?  Should we require their employment at all?   If not, how will those unemployed people occupy their time?  Where is the money to pay their living expenses?  Does this situation indicate that millions of people will never become part of the top 20% much less the 1%?


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