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comment by MattholomewCup
MattholomewCup  ·  3399 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Jobs Are Never Coming Back

So it's funny to me that people are only just coming to this revelation. The math is simple enough - More automation = fewer human jobs; the population continues to grow; more people and fewer jobs = a decreasing jobs/people ratio.

So either we stop having sex right now and let the population shrink, but that's too slow and politicians need those votes now! Or we can decide to ship all foreign computers to their countries of origin, because they are the immigrants taking our jobs.

Or, and this is a radical solution so bear with me, or we can decide that jobs aren't the most important thing in the whole wide world and find another metric for a successful society.

I think the computer deportation thing is the best plan.





AlderaanDuran  ·  3399 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So either we stop having sex right now and let the population shrink

That is happening in first world nations, birth rates are declining.

    Or we can decide to ship all foreign computers to their countries of origin, because they are the immigrants taking our jobs.

But then that still doesn't give a job back to someone here. If someone here is replaced by a computer/robot, and we ship that computer/robot overseas, that's no different than if we actually outsourced a persons job to overseas. Doesn't solve the problem at all, as it still doesn't keep the job here.

At least if it's here there are some jobs in repairing the computers/robots; engineers, repair techs, sales people, etc. Automation has created a job market all it's own with higher paying jobs albeit ones that take more experience and education. But yes it takes away from other markets like labor, clerical, and data entry. I work designing a web application that is essentially automating the loan foreclosure process for banks... I was in a meeting not long ago where my CTO told me that a new application we're working on is going to help a major well known bank in that they won't have to hire 1,500 people to do the work manually. I don't know why he told us that, as it's honestly kind of depressing. But I work in IT, part of what we do is automation and making it easier for less people to do more is kind of our thing. But it's the darkside of my job that I don't really enjoy thinking about.

    Or, and this is a radical solution so bear with me, or we can decide that jobs aren't the most important thing in the whole wide world and find another metric for a successful society.

"New metrics" don't put food on the table and pay rent or mortgages for anyone. Things cost money, and until we have a one world government and one currency, things like trade, GDP/GNP, and the value of our currency play a major role in what our government can spend on it's people. We can't just print money and take care of everyone, it just can't work that way right now in this global economy. I'd be the first one to wish that wasn't the case, but it is.

thundara  ·  3399 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I was in a meeting not long ago where my CTO told me that a new application we're working on is going to help a major well known bank in that they won't have to hire 1,500 people to do the work manually. I don't know why he told us that, as it's honestly kind of depressing. But I work in IT, part of what we do is automation and making it easier for less people to do more is kind of our thing. But it's the darkside of my job that I don't really enjoy thinking about.

Reminds me of some entrepreneurial advice I read a while ago:

    Don’t call yourself a programmer: “Programmer” sounds like “anomalously high-cost peon who types some mumbo-jumbo into some other mumbo-jumbo.” If you call yourself a programmer, someone is already working on a way to get you fired. You know Salesforce, widely perceived among engineers to be a Software as a Services company? Their motto and sales point is “No Software”, which conveys to their actual customers “You know those programmers you have working on your internal systems? If you used Salesforce, you could fire half of them and pocket part of the difference in your bonus.” (There’s nothing wrong with this, by the way. You’re in the business of unemploying people. If you think that is unfair, go back to school and study something that doesn’t matter.)

Also,

    Things cost money, and until we have a one world government and one currency, things like trade, GDP/GNP, and the value of our currency play a major role in what our government can spend on it's people.

What makes you think that would be any different if we had one world government?

AlderaanDuran  ·  3398 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What makes you think that would be any different if we had one world government?

Because our currency wouldn't have to be strong or hold up in a world market. If there was only one currency, money wouldn't really matter. We COULD just print it and give it to everyone based on whatever set of rules we wanted to. We could move away from current pay structures, and it would give the government a much more flexible way to approach how we take care of our people and our living standards.

Also, I'm not a programmer I'm in Infrastructure, but that was an interesting read. :)

thundara  ·  3398 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Intra-market inflation would still be applicable in that case, though. Unless the world government is fixing prices, the cost of items would increase as the government flooded the market with printed money.

MattholomewCup  ·  3399 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That article is a fantastic read by the way. If you haven't posted it in the past, you should be doing that right now.

thundara  ·  3398 days ago  ·  link  ·  
MattholomewCup  ·  3399 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Birthrates are declining but we haven't quite gotten to the point of a population stall or regression. We still have more people than there's work for, evidently, which is a key problem with the idea that people are more or less judged entirely by their line of work. Obviously, I was being facetious about deporting our computers. I'm aware of the fact that computers and technology are providing a new job market, but every piece of good work a developer does, it's one less piece of work that a human has to do. As programmers, many have suggested that we are coding ourselves out of the job. It's not a total pipe-dream to make software that can maintain itself, and when that happens, it's going to be a big hit to the IT job market.

When I say we need new metrics, I was really trying to suggest that, on a social level, we are getting to the point where it's becoming logical to abandon the notion that you are your job, and find a new economic system to support an abundant, automation-driven society. We aren't there just yet, but it's a problem we need to at least begin to think about before we have to deal with a massive, potentially irreversible employment crisis.

hugitout  ·  3398 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Without immigration, the Canadian population would shrink every year. So, in Canada we are technically in a population regression. We bring in people from other countries where population is still growing. The population growth rate has pretty much stabilized at around 1%. I think the USA is in a similar situation on a larger scale.

Saydrah  ·  3398 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Marx figured this out a long time ago. He was a damn good diagnostician but made lousy prescriptions.