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Technological Unemployment

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Technological Unemployment 
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n00b
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:03 am
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Post Technological Unemployment
With the increase in automation and the use of computers and robotics to carry out tasks traditionally completed by human beings there are many jobs that simply do not exist for humans now. How bad is this, will there eventually be so few jobs for humans that our current economic model will become useful and a rethink on how wealth is distributed becomes required. In fact, are we already at that stage?

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:34 am
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n00b

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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
I would say that technological unemployment is a massive issue that so far has been swept under the carpet and really needs to be addressed asap.

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:02 am
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n00b
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
Here's a perfect example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14368244

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Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:19 pm
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
I agree that technological unemployment is a big problem - but what do you suggest? You can't really 'force' businesses not to use technology to their advantage.....

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:55 pm
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n00b
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
Quote:
what do you suggest?
- A massive question that really does need an answer. To answer it though really means to expand the subject to look at our whole way of life as human beings on the planet. Our current moral values, economies and natural resources simply do not favour further positive progress for the human race (and the planet for that matter) if we continue how we were are - something needs to change, and relatively quickly too.

I would suggest that:

a) Our current moral values (here in the west) minus the polictical correctness that has sprung up are really pretty much OK and require very little change, if any.
b) Our current economic model (capitalism, fiat money and the welfare state) really does need to change as its failure is inevitable.
c) Our natural resources are finite and cannot be changed only used differently.

So... b) shows itself to be the thing requiring most change.

I would suggest that when it comes right down to it human beings spend virtually 100% of their time trying to get the best a) food, b) shelter and c) love and recognition.

So, these things are obviously the things that are most important to people and however you wrap it you must cater for these three things above all else in any society.

Personally I think that all the things that are absolutely necessary for a person to survive in a practical sense should not cost anything, so food, transport to a place of work, shelter and love should not cause any financial burden to that person, whatsoever. Unfortunately our current social and economic model makes people pay for at least two of these basic needs - food and shelter (love and recognition is technically free - although some might argue to the contrary for these purposes we're going to assume that love at least, is free). Because as human beings we all want to have somewhere we can call ours to shelter (I include warmth and comfort in with the term shelter) and we all need reasonable food to eat we must get these two important things in the only way we can (in practical terms) at present - work hard and pay money for it. Now - let's think - just how much of our time is spent trying to earn money to pay for these two things, just these two things - nothing else.... in response perhaps first consider whether you would be going to work every day if these two essential things you could get for free... suddenly, work is less important, is it not?

So if we could get food, shelter and relative comfort without individuals needing to pay anything for it, that would be a MASSIVE step in the right direction. Pie in the sky you think? Well.. maybe not. Let me continue:

The following is only going to relate to the modernised western world (I don't know enough about the numbers in the rest of the world to make any kind of argument for them I'm afraid - although no doubt they would look to the west to see how they should go about it so it's not all bad).

FOOD: With crop growing and farming now so heavily automated by the use of amazing agricultural machines there are very few actual human jobs left when compared to the boom years in the US for example, and this is a continuing trend, but have food prices dropped..? No. Why? Well, it's all about profits for massive corporations - such as capitalism is. But what if major farming was administered by the governement and owned by way of a trust for and by the people? Now, with so few human jobs needed to operate these massive food growing farms surely it would be more beneficial to the human race to simply make food 'free'. With food not costing anything - and if we can make shelter free as I'll look at shortly then the argument that it would cost too much to run these farms not for profit falls down because there would now be millions of people who I'm sure, with free food and free shelter would be more than willing to help run these farms on a rota basis - perhaps only working one day in 30 !

SHELTER: Space on this planet is at a premium for humans - we all want our own little patch to call ours and we'll work tooth and nail in order to get the best 'home' we can. But let's be fair about this - can one person or a group of people justafiably lay claim to every square mile of the planet and force others to pay for it using a currency which has no beneficial value to anybody accept the issuer of that currency. I'd say that it's not morally right and therefore we need to find a way to give shelter to people for free without running the risk of a 'free for all'. I would say that in the same manner as we have done with the farms we could have a certain number of raw material miners/suppliers run by and for the people at zero profit in order to provide the materials for building housing at zero cost (again I'm certain that with free food and housing there would be thousands if not millions of people willing to train to get the required skills in order to help build these houses at no cost). I don't see a reason why we could not extend these principles to water and energy companies.

So now we have millions of people who have free food and shelter of a reasonable standard. So, what are they going to do with their time? Well, that's up to them (of course it would be morally correct to do at least a few days work a month in order to keep the farms working, mines working and houses being built etc) but I would assume that they can now either work in a paid position and treat themselves to other luxuries or perhaps they would like to dedicate their time to research or some other noble goal. I think we as citizens should automatically be opted-out of paid for work until the age of say 25, a 'chip in to the upkeep of the farms etc' and at 25 we can either 'opt-in' to paid for work or simply remain as we are. I don't see why we couldn't have a paid-for job and also still take a few days a month to remain on the opt-out scheme that provides all the free necessities of life. The important factor here to remember is that the farms, mines etc are operated by the people, and owned by the people - this is not a communist idea but a 'chip in a little and get stuff for free' idea whilst still having the option to enter the capitalist world of business and for profit corporations.

I think more of the best things in life could be free :)

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:30 pm
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amoeba

Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:22 am
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
I really do not agree. The technology can replace to some extent but not all. Brain is something which a technology can never replace. It can work on if then else but not common sense.

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Tue Sep 13, 2011 8:28 am
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lesser known shrew

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:13 pm
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
I'd agree that technological unemployment is quite a big factor affecting unskilled people. Just look at the self-service checkouts in supermarkets and cashpoints 'inside' the bank. Perhaps the 'Amish' have one thing right in their society..... (watched them on the telly the other week)

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:17 am
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
I think if we could pick on certain jobs... such as supermarket checkout staff and force by law all the supermarkets in the whole country to only use people and no self-service etc to checkout goods then that would be no bad thing. As time goes by and more jobs to the 'people power only' list. Of course I think it would only work for businesses that cannot moce their activities abroad.

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:24 am
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
Quote:
force by law all the supermarkets in the whole country to only use people and no self-service
- definately a good idea I think. 'Ban Self Service Cheackouts!'

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:52 am
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grunt
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Post Re: Technological Unemployment
Agreed, banning self service checkouts would definately be a good start ! We should start a petition!

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Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:59 pm
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