Archive for jobs
“The End of Work” published in 1995. by Jeremy Rifkin, “President of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the bestselling author of nineteen books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment.”
My elder frat brother and home town hero made some grand political philosophy alignments with Rifkin. Its important considering the news yesterday that the city that birthed us both is Bankrupt, well he was actually born in Highland Park, MI which is a city surrounded by Detroit that has always been on the brink of financial catastrophe but isn’t bankrupt. How’d that happen?
The notion that we can just shorten the work load of the few people working today is not very progressive at all, for someone that subscribes to the progressive moniker that the Democratic Party touts in its modern campaigns. Specific to the structural unemployment technoprogressivism, value isn’t distributed well. of When Hewlett-Packard or Facebook acquires companies to grow its ability to provide a valuable social network its hires the staff at those firms for being effective and efficient. Sometimes they’ve even warranted paying a team of 20 people 1,000,000,000 US Dollars.
If I were to root-cause the labor gap that Rep. Conyers is referencing, I’d start by looking at the value that workers are actually creating and where they are deriving it from. While much thinking specific to policy and liberal artistic disciplines like rhetoric are based in linear thought, thinking around innovation cannot be. It is exponential, or rather, an extension of previous developments and influences. Formal jobs are a great tool for deploying human talent, but they aren’t the only tool anymore and shouldn’t acknowledged as such.
A congressman with as little to lose as Rep. Conyers at 84 years old should be looking to usher in new measures to indemnify the people of his district and others for their toiling. Logic: If all innovations are technological (methodological, software, hardware) – and technological growth is exponential – and exponential growth is rooted in influences – and influencers are individuals or institutions – then we should be looking at way to indemnify the influencers. This incentivizes people to participate well in their respective professions regardless of what color collar they’ll wear. Use the #BigData.
The Cleveland Fed shows research that people staying in jobs for longer periods of time is requiring adding the economic shock of any crisis where lay-offs or retraction is involved. The problem with this is that research also shows that people out of work are less likely ever re-enter the work force.
While economists (per the this interview) wouldn’t look at this as a “structure problem” because of the forecasted potential for worker volume to return, it is likely that their opinions are a bit too faithful in the existing model of compensating laborers for a honest days work. The enduring jobs crisis can and should of course be looked at as an economic issue and even a political issue, but it would likely be better pursued as a socio-cultural and a legal issue.
The ideal of honesty and the preferred compensation for ones good work is perhaps too subjective; having stated that, the ability for an individual to own so greatly in lieu of the potentially many other individuals that cater to the discovery, development, and distribution of goods/services is (in my opinion) the root cause of our (nation, states, humans) wealth distribution and compensation problems.
FOXCONN the Taiwanese company that so many in its media coverage from the West identify as a Chinese entity, announced that it has plans to replace 1,000,000 of its existing workers with robots in the coming 72 month (3 years). Now, as I understand it, per the products that they create (iPad, iPhone, various LCD screens, circuit boards, and more ), these robots will looks and act like most of that which we have seen in the manufacturing facilities of the West.
While the headlines look extraordinary, and identical to the title of this post, they actual technology is not. Having stated this, it is not in any way an attempt to downplay the severity of replacing some of the most low paid workers in some of the most populous regions of the planet.
As written in my last article for the World Future Society we are approaching a breaking point with product/wealth creation and human employment. The wide spread civil unrest in the western world, most recently in the UK, France, Greece, and the economic unrest in the US, is a result of a paradigm shift in how we as highly qualitative beings will distribute “fair value” to other beings of the same species in the future. This is (in my opinion) the most important issue of our time, because the ethical regard that we establish for one-another will dictate the potential that we will have to craft AI as well as preserve the majority (+50%) of the human resources on the planet today.
Our old model was to distribute the owned wealth of the world for an honest days work, regardless how ambiguous the word honest is, we transferred value through jobs, in 2011 it is apparent that we’ve exhausted our ability to do that. The difficult philosophical question that spawn so many others, is: Do we have the ability to use another qualitative methodology to distribute similar value?
One of my fellow contributors to the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies site has brought up some ethical issues that we as a society of intellectuals have failed to address well: Distribution of Value. I write about this in my essay technologies will collapse capitalism as we know it. Having been an error-proof engineer in both product and service industries, I’ve seen jobs leave as a direct result of us getting better and documenting, benchmarking, and deploying design. The exponential growth of our technological resources is trending our human resources to zero, per our existing socio-economic/political paradigm.
While I agree that the difference between executive pay and jobs distribution in the West is daunting (regardless of the foreign jobs growth), I can’t ignore the efforts of “error-proofers” and their technological impact on the corporate world. We simply don’t need people to perform the tasks that they once did…And I’m not referring to the obsolete “blue collar” labor of the 20th century, but more specifically the “white collar” labor of the last 10 years. In a world of methodological and technological efficiency (quantitative) and effectiveness (qualitative), I think that we need to spend more time exploring what “Value” is for the individual. Clearly John Paulson is not worth 1 Billion USDollars per year, and Joe the Plumber isn’t worth only 20 Thousand
To my point, human kind (and its pending synthetically intelligent counterparts) require a philosophical and ethical paradigm that establishes what (if any) the individual’s intrinsic value is….and stop asking for jobs that don’t exist.
Problem: The executive community (and the non-executives) subscribes to a variety of socio-economic/political philosophies that all stem from mercantilism. Some may be more liberal or conservative than others, but the derived general ideal is that people can be validated as valuable by the wage that they command. Of course this understanding has all types of ill social and political implications.
Future Forward: If human kind is going to manage it’s way through an age of formidable human-created intelligence it will need to establish its values in order to preserve its potential. Potential meaning (as I always eventually revert back to…lol) the ability to self-actualize and create on behalf of the collective society/group/species.
We are well on our way to building the infrastructure to discover, develop, and distribute every engaged being through information technology and networking of various other technologies, but our rhetoric needs to be clear now, we do not want jobs that don’t exist for people who have been rendered obsolete by the error-proof experts of corporate world. We want the potential to self actualize and grow in this dynamic world/galaxy/universe/multiverse…–>
Paul Krugman and all of the other author economists are great at reporting facts derived from statistical analysis. We all appreciate their ability to tell the truth based on the numbers. Unlike engineers they aren’t trained to use their numerical findings and derive solutions.
Per the article from Bob and Carol “The lack of jobs will curtail consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy”. The US requires consumer, not necessarily jobs.
Simply stating that the US needs to create jobs won’t help. Every nation needs to create jobs per free-market capitalism’s philosophy, right? (rhetorical questions…gotta love em’). Is it possible to actually create jobs in America? On page 56 of Integrationalism: Essays on the rational of abundance I start to elaborate on how our technological zeal couples with operational efficiencies won’t allow for creation of gameful employment in the modern day.
Succeeding a trilogy of “jobless recoveries” (00′, 04′, 10′) the money supply if greater than where it was in the roaring 1990’s…lol. But the bureau of labor statistics reports that the ratio of population growth versus job creation is 2:10 –> Further, the people born in 1990, who are of working age today, can expect to be surrounded by greater wealth and less access to it.
The philosophical question here is: Should the 20 y/o population of 2010 expect to work on jobs, or receive some universal welfare?