We’ve watched it happen throughout our lives, and maybe you’ve wondered if someday the robots would take over, or there would be artificial intelligence that would take over the planet. I personally don’t think robots or things made with artificial intelligence could conquer humanity, but what I do know is that robots and automation are the hallmark of a flourishing business at the top of technology.
Farming started to become mechanized in the early part of the 20th century, and we’ve never looked back.
From this article in American Free Press, “(a)ccording to these authors, corporate spending on technology has increased 26 percent since 2009 while payrolls have remained essentially flat in that time period. Corporate profits as a share of GDP are at 50-year highs,” they write. “Meanwhile, compensation to labor in all forms, including wages and benefits, is at a 50-year low. Capital is getting a bigger share of the pie relative to labor.”
In other words, there ain’t no jobs. And there ain’t gonna be any more jobs. Because machines are doing them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with no rest. How the heck can any human be expected to compete with that? And once the company buys the machine, that’s the end of the expense! No salary to keep paying, no health benefits, no vacation days, no sick days.
Do you want to know why there is so much unemployment in this country? Everything is automated or will be soon. And there is going to be a scramble like never we’ve seen as technology takes over more and more jobs. Here is a great example of an awesome new technology that would cut down corporate costs in things but get rid of a lot of jobs at the same time – self healing electronics.
The only real safe sector right now is the service industry. You need people to take care of people. But one day that may also change. And even if some people still have jobs in the service industry, you’re still looking at giant unemployment numbers like 30% and 40%. What are we going to do when that happens?
In this presentation by Ben McLeish of the Zeitgeist Movement, he talks about how in 1860, 60% of Americans worked in agriculture. Today, less than 1% of American work in agriculture. In 1950, 33% of Americans worked in manufacturing. Today, less than 8% of Americans work in manufacturing. Now, we have tons of jobs working with computers. But what about when we finally build computers to work with computers? You see the exponential problem here. And we don’t have new sectors of jobs being created to compete with the increasing automation of labor.
Another way to look at it is that jobs are created to deal with problems. Not solve. Deal with. That’s the way our economy works. If there’s a need, a business services that need. It doesn’t take away the need (as it would if it had solved the problem), it fills it. So, the very idea that machines can solve a lot of our problems inherently means that there will be less jobs.
And if you continue that train of thought, what signals a booming economy? Lots of problems! Isn’t that crazy? Our GDP is used a lot to compare us to other countries, or just to compare where we were at another point in history to where we are now. And a high GDP is looked at as a great thing. But when you examine this measurement you will see that it isn’t a measure of any kind of well being in a country. It is the rate of transactions in a country. That’s right, the rate at which people buy things. And what is one of the largest, most booming industries in the country (and the world)? Healthcare and pharmaceuticals! Yep. Our GDP goes up when more people have to get medically treated and use pills. Our GDP goes up the more sick people there are.
And people think that it’s a conspiracy theory to think that companies are deliberately keeping us fat, sick, and depressed? It’s no conspiracy theory. It’s happening and it’s the way the system works. Deliberately keeping people in constant need of medical attention is actually a deft move in the game of the “free market system.”
WTF isn’t even strong enough for that.
On the other hand, in a resource-based economic model, advanced technology and automation is a boon to society. The more advanced things we can do and make, the more we can provide for humanity. Check out this 3D printing video. (And what up! This company is just down the road in Burlington, MA.)
With technology like this, we can make whatever it is we need. But, in our current economic model, this would be a gigantic detriment to jobs.
How long has electric car technology been around? Since the early 1800’s. But when oil was discovered and the shift went to gas powered cars, the technology was left in the dust. Now, it’s slowly making a comeback but it’s been a Sisyphean task because of the money associated with oil companies. We are held back from doing awesome things for our environment by our dependance on this economic model.
I’m sure you can all think of a ton of other examples of this—the tug of money/economy/jobs vs. new technology and problem solving innovations. The monetary system holds back the amazing advancement of technology that could give us all a life of abundance. It’s time to throw it out.