Technological Unemployment Is On The Way And It Can't Come Fast Enough

in LeoFinance3 months ago

We have been following the situation developing between employers and employees. The remote work idea is taking hold, at least with many workers. Companies, on the other hand, are mixed about the concept. Some are embracing whereas others like Apple and JPMorgan are pushing their workers back to the office.

The economy, according to experts, is on fire. It great last quarter at the fastest pace in 20 years. Of course, it is worthwhile to add that it grew from a point where much of the economy was locked down. So the year-over-year numbers can be misleading. But, hey, why mess up a great storyline with facts.

We also just saw a tremendous jobs reports out of the United States. The hiring in June was terrific with more than 800K people going back to work. There is the one problem that the participation rate is still 7 million below where it was when COVID hit.

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Many seem to feel there are a lot of jobs out there. That is true. There is also a lot of quitting going on. Basically, employees are questioning their values and whether being married to a company is in their best interest.

At the core of this fight is the hospitality industry which saw a lot of layoffs during COVID.

Workers Won't Come Back

Restaurants claim they cannot find workers. They assert that jobs are being unfilled because people do not want to work. Actually, the reality is people do not want to work for what they are offering.

Here is a headline from Business Insider:

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This from the same article:

Businesses are tired of waiting for workers and are increasingly turning to automation instead.

So workers are not willing to work for what employers are offering so they are turning to automation. A month ago, I wrote an article detailing why employees refusing to return to these jobs is a good thing.

In short the employer-employee relationship became completely one-sided. All actions favored the employer, who also had the clout to get this backed up through laws coming out of Washington. Now that there was a global shutdown, people are re-evaluating what they are going to do with their lives.

Bullshit Jobs

One of the biggest issues in the United States is that over the past two decades, we created a lot of jobs. The problem is that most of them were total bullshit.

The country, or more accurately those in leadership, were concerned with job numbers. They did not care about the quality of jobs nor how the people were treated. Again, since all was tilted in favor of the employers, they were able to suck all they could out of the workforce. This is only getting worse with automation as evidenced by some of the complaints lobbied against the likes of Amazon.

Is it any surprise that worker satisfaction is below 25%? More than 4 out of 5 people, according to surveys, hate their jobs. Hence it is time to get rid of them.

In other words, the bullshit jobs need to go.

Unfortunately, since corporations were able to depend upon this cheap labor, they got lazy in terms of technology. They did not innovate and now find themselves in a position where they are having issues.

Technological Unemployment

Many view this concept as a negative. They believe that people losing their jobs in large numbers is a bad thing. The reality is that these jobs mostly suck and should be eliminated. It is better to get it over with than drag it out.

In the above article, we see that many restaurants are turning to automation in this time of labor difficulty. Well, it is about time. This is a much better option for the organization since they can pay for the technology once and be done with it. No need to deal with employee turnover, the HR department, and people calling in sick.

This also should help to lower the cost, which eventually could find their way into the pricing to its customers. Overall it is a major victory for all.

Except, of course, for the people out of work.

This is the crux of the issue and one that most are refusing to approach. For this reason, it is better to have it happen sooner rather than drag it out.

Many seem to feel that this is the wrong view since, after all, technology always created more jobs than it destroyed. The problem with that concept is two-fold:

  • we never had technology moving this quickly
  • the job gains happened over decades so there were short-term disruptions

Hence, even if more jobs are created by, say, 2040, that does not help the people in the next few years.

How will society handle this? It is something that is avoided. Few want to deal with freeloaders, lazy people, and those who want to sit home. Of course, they feel that way until it happens to them or a member of their family. Then, technological unemployment isn't something that is a result of being lazy.

Right now we are seeing restaurant workers in the crosshairs. However, this is spreading fast. In fact, white collar workers are going to feel the effects even more. Software is moving at such a pace that tasks are being easily replaced. Automate enough tasks and a job goes away.

So how are we going to deal with tens of millions being out of work due to corporations automating? This is not something that we are going to answer until it happens. It seems we made that point abundantly clear since every attempt at the discussion is cut off. It only makes sense since politicians stand nothing to gain until it truly happens.

However, when the floodgates open, we are going to see a massive push for action. Right now, we have a few markets that are propping things up. However, we know at some point construction and real estate are going to slow. Once that happens, a lot of jobs will be lost quickly.

Perhaps then we will start to have a serious conversation about a world where jobs are rapidly automated. Of course, we saw this happen over the past 30 years in the blue collar, manufacturing realm. But then again, who cares about those uneducated people.

Well, this time we will see hit happen to the white collar sector. Then we will see if the attitudes change.


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Very interesting thoughts on unemployment.

Asides from the fact that automation is invoke in the developed nations, developing nations like our Nigeria is facing a growing economic problem. Our Naira is continually devaluing against dollar thereby increasing the cost of production and operating cost of firms who cannot even pay their staffs favourably. On the other hand, the eyes of the younger generation is gradually opened to the understanding of socialmedia, crytpo and how to take advantage of them. THough, the high tech skills are still lacking.

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You bring in a different variable that certainly cannot be overlooked in the larger picture. Currency devaluation is a massive problems for those countries that experience it. As you said, fortunately there are alternatives forming.

The push towards automation is going to be a global shift. This is not only going to happen in a few areas. For that reason, I think the discussion is the same. However, some have other concerns as well to add to the conversation.

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The jobs report is good if you only look at it because it means more jobs were created but the labor force participation rate is just dropping. So it means there are less people willing to work and robots will replace these workers for the economy to function.

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At the end of the day, the owners of these businesses are the ones that will eventually profit from the situation on ground. Like you said, the government majorly cares about the numbers not the quality of the job, Technically people are doing themselves a favor by not settling for these jobs.

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They are doing themselves a favor. Of course, when given the choice to work or starve, people have a tough time standing on principle.

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Well I guess the thing is, when it comes to survival people can go to any length. The government for example uses Poverty to control the people.

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Unfortunately, since corporations were able to depend upon this cheap labor, they got lazy in terms of technology. They did not innovate and now find themselves in a position where they are having issues.

Hopefully they will start getting their brains out to find a new path and even try their best to provide good customer service. It definitely is a win/win situation for everyone.

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Corporations are married to the bottom line. That is the starting point all conversation has to begin from.

Without that, we are just deluding overselves.

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*ourselves.

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Corporations are married to the bottom line. That is the starting point all conversation has to begin from.
Without that, we are just deluding ourselves

Hopefully everyone comes to realize this sooner than later

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Your employment chart got me wondering how that compares to population. Turns out Y2K was the high water mark for employment.

Source: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=FbkL

You're right that this is all portrayed negatively when we should be thanking our lucky stars to live in such an advanced age. I just saw a headline that restaurants were turning to ordering through an app so they don't have to have as many waiters. And my first reaction was thank god they won't fuck up my order now.

The trick to technological unemployment is finding meaning in one's life without a job. Lots of people say they want to live the easy life, but it ends up not being so easy.

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The trick to technological unemployment is finding meaning in one's life without a job. Lots of people say they want to live the easy life, but it ends up not being so easy.

I agree completely. People need to focus upon building stuff, whatever that is. We are going to see a lot of technology that will enhance what we are capable of doing. While AI can be all over the place in terms of how we are progressing (depending upon your views), there is no doubt that we are likely to see advancement in coding where the average person can simply describe something and it will be created for us. Hence, we all can develop things that interest and amuse us.

Interesting about the population factor added in. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. I know the Great Recession cause a "lost generation". I personally knew a few people in the late 50s who were basically put out to pasture at that time and never recovered. They were basically out of the work force struggling until they got to social security (which isnt much of a life either).

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I just stumble on this now, and I'm totally in support of the moves employee are taking.

Is past the era when people work like an elephant 🐘 and eat like a grasshopper.

Actually, the reality is people do not want to work for what they are offering.

Employers tend to under value employees based on what the offer as salary. Which is not good and encouraging at all.

So I don't blame employees if the resign at work or reject offers that are not in commensurate to what they worth.


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