Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jobs, Robots, Capitalism, Inequality, And You

The second thesis is one which I am less ready to dismiss. As Winship puts it:

If technology reduces demand for labor by a quarter, that might translate into everyone working 25 percent less rather than unemployment rising by one-fourth.

I fully agree. Indeed, in my view, the ultimate purpose of technology is to destroy all jobs and bring on a post-scarcity economy. Let’s face it, a whole lot of today’s jobs are already total bullshit; but they persist because we live within an economic system built by, for, and around people with full-time jobs.

The trouble is, we can’t get there from here, not without wholesale changes. Machines will reduce labor, yes, great: but equally, across all of society? You must be joking. If technology cuts the demand for labor by 25%, then laborers will earn 25% less, or 25% of them will become unemployed, while all the benefits go to those who own and/or built/wrote that technology. That’s capitalism.

- More Here

No comments: