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How Technology is Destroying Jobs

Graffias

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT Technology Review

That robots, automation, and software can replace people might seem obvious to anyone who’s worked in automotive manufacturing or as a travel agent. But Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s claim is more troubling and controversial. They believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States. And, they suspect, something similar is happening in other technologically advanced countries.
How many of you libertarian free-market shills think you're smarter than a bunch of professors at M.I.T.? An economic paradigm shift is coming, and it won't be pretty. This society better start thinking about how to solve technological unemployment. The beginning of the end of capitalism is nearer than you think. The Super Rich better be ready now. Technology will not only eat jobs, it will eventually eat them too. Welcome to the revolution, baby.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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I have to disagree

Manufacturing jobs are still very common, they just moved in abundance to other countries. Foxcon one of the main manufacturers for Apple employees hundreds of thousands of people to make I Phones and other Apple products. Even factories that are highly automated require workers. The unfortunate aspect is that in the US, to get those jobs require a higher level of skills then most have. Without them, they will not find work as the cost of employment in the US is higher then in other countries (along with the cost of living)
 

tacomancer

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I have to disagree

Manufacturing jobs are still very common, they just moved in abundance to other countries. Foxcon one of the main manufacturers for Apple employees hundreds of thousands of people to make I Phones and other Apple products. Even factories that are highly automated require workers. The unfortunate aspect is that in the US, to get those jobs require a higher level of skills then most have. Without them, they will not find work as the cost of employment in the US is higher then in other countries (along with the cost of living)
I think its more reasonable to say that technology is destroying many formerly well paying job. In the past, at least in the US, factory work paid pretty decently, now it often doesn't (at least for the manual labor type jobs). In the case of foxcon, the price of a chinese workforce is cheaper than automation, so the factory is less automated. If wages increase, than it is likely automation will as well.
 

Captain Adverse

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I have to disagree

Manufacturing jobs are still very common, they just moved in abundance to other countries. Foxcon one of the main manufacturers for Apple employees hundreds of thousands of people to make I Phones and other Apple products. Even factories that are highly automated require workers. The unfortunate aspect is that in the US, to get those jobs require a higher level of skills then most have. Without them, they will not find work as the cost of employment in the US is higher then in other countries (along with the cost of living)
It is still a rational concern. We are already seeing a clear division in our labor force between a small portion of employed society holding highly skilled white collar and technical jobs, and a growing portion relegated to low-paying low-skilled service jobs.

What doe it matter to the American economy that manufacturing jobs exist...OUTSIDE the country and at "slave wages" there? The issue is how this effects our working population HERE.

We have millions of people out of work and a fraction of job apportunities to fight for. We have many millions more working part-time, temporary, and full-time at minimal hours, and most of these are forced to depend on Food Stamps, Medicaid and personal deficit spending (credit cards) to exist day to day and it's not getting any better.

As this kind of division expands, with more and more people entering the job market as our population grows with fewer and fewer job opportunities as corporations seek business development overseas, a crash is highly likely. How radical it becomes remains to be seen.
 
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beerftw

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT Technology Review



How many of you libertarian free-market shills think you're smarter than a bunch of professors at M.I.T.? An economic paradigm shift is coming, and it won't be pretty. This society better start thinking about how to solve technological unemployment. The beginning of the end of capitalism is nearer than you think. The Super Rich better be ready now. Technology will not only eat jobs, it will eventually eat them too. Welcome to the revolution, baby.
manufacturing jobs havent dissapeered despite rapid technological advancement,the united states is still the number one producer in the world.

what happens is with technology and automation the jobs lost are unskilled labor,in days past,you needed a guy to screw heads on dolls,one to attach the arms etc.now a machine does all that,but instead you need a guy to monitor the machines,one guy to debug software,and multiple mechanics to repair and diagnose themachinery,vs the same number of people doing it by hand.
 

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As I've been saying for a while, Christensen's hypothesis is leagues ahead of both overplayed sides of this argument. People should probably brush up on his theory of disruptive innovation, because that's basically what the MIT professors are talking about.


Coming from a heterodox school, I think government funded research is absolutely essential to disruptive innovation which creates new markets which employs more people. Christensen, a business professor, is chiefly concerned that he's raised generations of short-term profit seekers rather than true innovators, and this is probably valid as well as the fact that we're severely underfunding scientific and technological development in this country.

Nearly 20 Percent Of Scientists Contemplate Moving Overseas Due In Part To Sequestration
 
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Canell

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According to Marx, socialism is only possible in a technologically advanced country. :twocents:
 

Rainman05

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automation is good. It frees up people who are stuck in repetitive jobs for them to do smth else. Make public education better and let them learn some new skills.

Everythign that can be automated should be automated.
 

Beaudreaux

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manufacturing jobs havent dissapeered despite rapid technological advancement,the united states is still the number one producer in the world.

what happens is with technology and automation the jobs lost are unskilled labor,in days past,you needed a guy to screw heads on dolls,one to attach the arms etc.now a machine does all that,but instead you need a guy to monitor the machines,one guy to debug software,and multiple mechanics to repair and diagnose themachinery,vs the same number of people doing it by hand.
You beat me to it. I may have written it a little differently, but we agree none the less.

The lack of skilled labor is one of the major reasons for unemployment today. That term skilled can mean either lack of the correct skills or the lack of the any skills.

For instance, there are many formerly high paid management types that are out of work, and cannot find a job. There are a number of reasons why they are having a hard time finding work. One is, that they are highly skilled, but not in the correct trades that are hiring. Another is, that employers do not want to invest in a worker that is used to making a lot more money, and will leave as soon as they get a better offer.

Alternatively, there are millions of Americans that are lacking the skills required to compete for jobs in the current market place. It isn't that the only jobs available are low skilled minimum wage type jobs. It's that there a huge gap between the relatively large number of skilled jobs available, and the small number of workers with the necessary skills.

I run into this everyday. I have a number of positions available right now in my company, but cannot fill the positions. There are not enough skilled workers available.

A similar problem occurred right after the beginning of the industrial revolution. Agrarian based workers were not equipped with the educations, training and skills to acquire the jobs. Although that transition was not as dramatic as today, due to some of the jobs requiring very little training, there were still some, welding for instance, that did require a higher level of skill, education and training.

Today, we have larger divide to cross from the industrial based worker to the technological based worker. Higher levels of education are required. A higher level of aptitude is also required. Unfortunately, this will make the divide between the income levels more stark for a long time to come. This too will level out, as it did in the industrial revolution, but not as quickly, and only after a fundamental change in our education system for our children. Older adults will be left behind, unless they have the aptitude and drive to seek and gain additional education and skills. Computer programming for instance requires a high level of mathematical aptitude. The average McDonald's or WalMart worker is going to have a hard time. This is just part of the economic paradigm that the entire world is confronting. Many Asian countries are ahead of the US because of two major advantages; 1) compulsory education curriculum that focuses on the correct skills for the future, and 2) a work ethic that is engrained in the youth which translates into adult workers that continually seek personal advancement through individual expansion of their knowledge base.

That was a lot to just say I agree. So I'll stop here before I take up a whole page.
 

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT Technology Review
How many of you libertarian free-market shills think you're smarter than a bunch of professors at M.I.T.? An economic paradigm shift is coming, and it won't be pretty. This society better start thinking about how to solve technological unemployment. The beginning of the end of capitalism is nearer than you think. The Super Rich better be ready now. Technology will not only eat jobs, it will eventually eat them too. Welcome to the revolution, baby.
Yes, I read that. Technology has been killing jobs since the before the Luddites stormed the mills.

But you are right. We face major change and it will be exciting. And in the long run we will all be dead.
 

RabidAlpaca

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT Technology Review



How many of you libertarian free-market shills think you're smarter than a bunch of professors at M.I.T.? An economic paradigm shift is coming, and it won't be pretty. This society better start thinking about how to solve technological unemployment. The beginning of the end of capitalism is nearer than you think. The Super Rich better be ready now. Technology will not only eat jobs, it will eventually eat them too. Welcome to the revolution, baby.
I guess we should just take all the money from the people who do have jobs and give it to the people who don't.

I've never understood why we wouldn't just reduce hours for everyone instead of letting some people chill at home while others work their hands to the bone.
 

Jerry

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT Technology Review



How many of you libertarian free-market shills think you're smarter than a bunch of professors at M.I.T.? An economic paradigm shift is coming, and it won't be pretty. This society better start thinking about how to solve technological unemployment. The beginning of the end of capitalism is nearer than you think. The Super Rich better be ready now. Technology will not only eat jobs, it will eventually eat them too. Welcome to the revolution, baby.
So go join an Amish comunity.
 

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Technology kills manufacturing jobs but not the service industry jobs. So just diversify.
 

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Technology kills manufacturing jobs but not the service industry jobs. So just diversify.
Yes it does, all over the place, hell even professors, they are starting to use streaming lectures for some universities, engineering firms can automate calculations and specs with programs, requiring less engineers.

The fact is Marx' critique of capitalism stands, as technology advances, capitailsm must continue to grow at a compound rate or die.
 

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Overall it seems that automation, low priced labor, and so-called Free Trade Agreements
is the trifecta that is driving down the standard of living in this country.
I would disagree that the situation will affect the rich as they primarily live off of investments
that can be parked pretty much anywhere.
 

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The notion that our modern unemployment troubles is anywhere near a historic human low in terms of pain and suffering, is unimaginably stupid.
Just like yapping about poverty..meanwhile poverty in the U.S. is like luxury in the third world nations.

Remember too that unfortunately government/public works are the biggest drag on how rapidly develop our economy. It's as though government handicaps the market, then claims that due to slower performance they are going to what...handicap it more?

Public education is the key culprit here (coupled with the unions that support it). Wondering why people can't keep pace with technology, when you work in technology, is not some big secret you need an MIT grad to spell out. We have to import from other nations to fill our technology ranks, and even then we don't have enough, we have to export design centers overseas to staff them. Even some high tech mfg at some of the biggest tech in our markets...they tell the public this routinely, that the number of skilled engineers that support their efforts in China far exceeds what can be had in the U.S. We're not talking just assembly line, high tech mfg. It doesn't come here because our education system is way behind the times, and has a structure that ensures it will *never* keep pace with technology. Asians (includes India) are associated with being tech oriented, for a reason.

Technology moves at a pace that far exceeds the pace our hundreds of thousands...millions of public worker pensioners want to deal with.
 

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It is still a rational concern. We are already seeing a clear division in our labor force between a small portion of employed society holding highly skilled white collar and technical jobs, and a growing portion relegated to low-paying low-skilled service jobs.

What doe it matter to the American economy that manufacturing jobs exist...OUTSIDE the country and at "slave wages" there? The issue is how this effects our working population HERE.

We have millions of people out of work and a fraction of job apportunities to fight for. We have many millions more working part-time, temporary, and full-time at minimal hours, and most of these are forced to depend on Food Stamps, Medicaid and personal deficit spending (credit cards) to exist day to day and it's not getting any better.

As this kind of division expands, with more and more people entering the job market as our population grows with fewer and fewer job opportunities as corporations seek business development overseas, a crash is highly likely. How radical it becomes remains to be seen.
It will only be a "crash" if our economic system doesn't continue to evolve with technology.

100 years ago, the standard work week was 70 hours a week. If that was still our standard, then we would have a 50% unemployment rate today. Our economic system gradually evolved to meet changes in technology. I have no reason to believe that this will not continue to happen.

I think that the biggest challenge is that the rate of technological improvements is much faster now. Thats means our economic system has to evolve much faster, which means that more thought must be given to it.

There are a few things that happening with our economy that will continue to create job openings for the unemployed, like the change in our demographics with the baby boomers now retiring in mass. That concerns a lot of people because that means that our labor force participation rate will drop, but considering that it has been dropping ever since the year 2000, and considering that it is now still far higher than it was during the 1950s and '60s, thats really not much of a concern. What is a concern is that we have enough jobs in the future so that there is at least one job for every family - otherwise we have to make a decision between mass poverty, or an even more massive welfare state - neither are acceptable alternatives.

What really irks me about conservatives is that so many of them want to take steps that are contrary to our future job needs.

Look at the education forum, and the majority of people saying that we have too many people in college are conservatives. Now if we were having a labor force shortage, particularly for unskilled uneducated jobs, then I would agree with them. But thats not the case - the only areas that we have job shortages are in highly skilled and educated jobs, thus we need lots of people in college.

And conservatives keep pointing out that most of our job growth has been in part time jobs. With our productivity level constantly increasing on a per work hour bases, in the future in order to have sufficient jobs, our average work hours per week actually needs to decrease, so increases in the percent of people working fewer hours a week is actually what we need. What really befuddles me is why so many conservatives suggest that we should eliminate the minimum wage. They claim that low paying jobs are better than no paying jobs, and yes, I get that, but at the same time, aren't part time jobs better than no jobs?

Now as far as some of the the things that we could do to help resolve the problem, they don't have to be drastic, they just need to be at about the same rate that our productivity increases, so that consumption and thus business expansion happens at about the same rate. I'm talking about ensuring that our demand keeps pace with productivity. A few things that we could do to facilitate this are 1) middle class tax cuts so that the middle class can consume more and save more, 2) increases in the minimum wage that would at least keep up with increases in productivity and inflation, 3) a more progressive tax system so that less income and wealth is pooling and more is actively circulating creating real wealth (goods and services). But for some strange reasons, conservatives seem to be against all of these things.
 

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automation is good. It frees up people who are stuck in repetitive jobs for them to do smth else. Make public education better and let them learn some new skills.

Everythign that can be automated should be automated.
I totally agree. But one of the dividends of more automation should be more human leisure time. That means shorter working hours, resulting in the number of jobs increasing while our productivity also increases, and a sharing of both the shorter work hours and increased production between all income classes proportionally.
 

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Technology kills manufacturing jobs but not the service industry jobs. So just diversify.
It kills jobs everywhere. Barbers can now cut hair faster since we have clippers and vacuums. Buggy boys can round up more buggys in the parking lot faster since we now have remote controlled buggy pushing machines. With just one cashier operating four or six self service cash registers, and with barcode readers, one cashier can now do the work that it took ten cashiers 30 years ago.

And even in my industry (the graphics industry), I have replaced people (artists, dark room employees, estimators, etc) with machines and software.
 

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Yes it does, all over the place, hell even professors, they are starting to use streaming lectures for some universities, engineering firms can automate calculations and specs with programs, requiring less engineers.

The fact is Marx' critique of capitalism stands, as technology advances, capitailsm must continue to grow at a compound rate or die.
Yup. We even have software that helps programmers to do more programing in less time. Eventually, just any ole moron is going to be able to create some fairly sophisicated software without the aid of a true programmer.
 

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Yup. We even have software that helps programmers to do more programing in less time. Eventually, just any ole moron is going to be able to create some fairly sophisicated software without the aid of a true programmer.
And this is what...anything other than extraordinary? Are you aware of the plethora of web pages, apps, indie games, and otherwise useful applications written by average individuals that provide competition to the big corporate giants, as a result of this? When a game developed by 4 people can compete with a multi million dollar blockbuster (and ultimately boring) AAA title, you think this was better to have those big corporate publishers milk the market, rather than compete and innovate? Good grief. It's as though you're pushing FOR economic repression!

Technology currently has no known limit. None. Until you reach singularity, and we're nowhere near that. So stop the chicken-little nonsense. I work in tech, and everything cannot be automated as long as tech continues to develop. See above, technology has no reasonable limit, so why would it NOT continue to develop? Maybe if you are content to let big business or big government stifle the market so it CANNOT innovate, you'll dam it up sufficiently to destroy jobs. But if you let technology go go go, you stand a greater risk of AI taking over the world than you do of destroying the economy. And technology is applied to every industry. Health care, energy, Hollywood. So the core of our econnoy is ultimately technologically driven, has no known end point, and affects every industry.

But RGacky3 is worried about Moses...er...Marx prognostications? That's just bad **** crazy IMO.

Technology is developed on the cutting edge, as it's being used. That is, they don't even have enough time to finish development, before they implement it in products and services. That *cannot* be automated, because you can't automated if it's not even through being developed (What would you fully automate?), it simply can't be cost beneficial to invest that much in automation when next year you'd have to rewrite it anyway, and you wouldn't hit critical mass in terms of how much utilization you got from the automation.

Remember too that our expectations of living standards likewise has NOT STOPPED. That's why they redefined the poverty level relative to the economy. So if you want to be so brazen as to stop innovation, you stop the rise in living standards and poverty today = poverty tomorrow. Meanwhile with our constant innovation, poverty in years past look more like absolute poverty, and poverty today in the U.S. is like luxury living compared to a third world. You cant' have it both ways.

Stop competition and innovation and we are doomed to real corporatocracy the likes of which we'd look back and dream of today...
 

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And this is what...anything other than extraordinary? Are you aware of the plethora of web pages, apps, indie games, and otherwise useful applications written by average individuals that provide competition to the big corporate giants, as a result of this? When a game developed by 4 people can compete with a multi million dollar blockbuster (and ultimately boring) AAA title, you think this was better to have those big corporate publishers milk the market, rather than compete and innovate? Good grief. It's as though you're pushing FOR economic repression!

Technology currently has no known limit. None. Until you reach singularity, and we're nowhere near that. So stop the chicken-little nonsense. I work in tech, and everything cannot be automated as long as tech continues to develop. See above, technology has no reasonable limit, so why would it NOT continue to develop? Maybe if you are content to let big business or big government stifle the market so it CANNOT innovate, you'll dam it up sufficiently to destroy jobs. But if you let technology go go go, you stand a greater risk of AI taking over the world than you do of destroying the economy. And technology is applied to every industry. Health care, energy, Hollywood. So the core of our econnoy is ultimately technologically driven, has no known end point, and affects every industry.

But RGacky3 is worried about Moses...er...Marx prognostications? That's just bad **** crazy IMO.

Technology is developed on the cutting edge, as it's being used. That is, they don't even have enough time to finish development, before they implement it in products and services. That *cannot* be automated, because you can't automated if it's not even through being developed (What would you fully automate?), it simply can't be cost beneficial to invest that much in automation when next year you'd have to rewrite it anyway, and you wouldn't hit critical mass in terms of how much utilization you got from the automation.

Remember too that our expectations of living standards likewise has NOT STOPPED. That's why they redefined the poverty level relative to the economy. So if you want to be so brazen as to stop innovation, you stop the rise in living standards and poverty today = poverty tomorrow. Meanwhile with our constant innovation, poverty in years past look more like absolute poverty, and poverty today in the U.S. is like luxury living compared to a third world. You cant' have it both ways.

Stop competition and innovation and we are doomed to real corporatocracy the likes of which we'd look back and dream of today...
We are not in disagreement that technological improvements are a positive thing, and I am agreeing with most of what you said. I'm not making a case against technology, I'm making a case that our economy has to change as our technology changes, or else we end up in a world of hurt.

Increases in technology should result in more satisfaction of our demands, both in terms of having more "stuff" and better "stuff", but also by filling our demand for more leisure time. Without more satisfaction of demand, then there is little point to improving technology (again I'm not suggesting stopping innovation, I'm suggesting changes in our economy). While technology is unlimited, the economic demand is unlikely to continue to increase at the same rate that technology increases our productivity, and thus shorter working hours per week, or more days off per year, or fewer years in the workforce will be necessary to provide enough jobs for every family to have at least one income earner.

We are already seeing increases in productivity surpassing our increases in demand. We are now producing more than we did before the recession, yet we are doing it with fewer people. If demand had increased as fast as productivity has, then we would have just as many jobs as we did pre-recession, so it's pretty much a proven fact that demand is being outstripped by productivity. I don't see any reason for that to change any time soon.


In my "conservatives are so stupid" rant a couple of posts up, I pointed out that the stuff that conservatives complain about isn't the problem, it's the answer to the problem. And you pretty much just proved me correct by more or
less accusing me of being anti-technology, instead of even attempting to grasp an understanding of the economic issues that are arising from improved technology. You bitch and complain and attempt to twist what I said, but yet you offer no alternative.

If we reduce work hours per worker, then we solve the demand for more leisure time problem, and we solve the issue of having ample jobs for every family. Do you have any better alternatives? If so, I would love to hear them.
 
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RDS

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It kills jobs everywhere. Barbers can now cut hair faster since we have clippers and vacuums. Buggy boys can round up more buggys in the parking lot faster since we now have remote controlled buggy pushing machines. With just one cashier operating four or six self service cash registers, and with barcode readers, one cashier can now do the work that it took ten cashiers 30 years ago.

And even in my industry (the graphics industry), I have replaced people (artists, dark room employees, estimators, etc) with machines and software.
Killing jobs is no excuse for employees. Shape up or ship out.
 

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Killing jobs is no excuse for employees. Shape up or ship out.

???

So you mean that I should keep paying employees who no longer serve any work function? To do what? Stand around smoking and joking? Then why should I invest my money in new technology?

I'm not sure what you are saying.
 
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