This post builds on the above article and my last post (jobs of the future?)
Andrew McAfee is the Co-Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Jobs.
The article is a good read, however a thad lengthy. But don’t worry, I’ll give you the cliff-notes!
In his article he presses that we need not fear losing all our jobs:
“We will soon be able to eliminate those dull and repetitive tasks we don’t like doing, and achieve the goal of more wealth and abundance with less work.”
And that we should stop slowing innovation to keep people working:
“We definitely need to rethink the social contract that our societies’ offer to workers, but trying to protect existing jobs at this pace of innovation is a deeply flawed idea.”
I’d like to give you his conclusion:
“While it’s true that the consequences for labor seem – and are – pretty serious at the moment, it is vital that we don’t attempt to put the brakes on technological progress. We are standing on the edge of a singular point in human history, and we should be profoundly heartened and optimistic about that. Technological progress has always generated new, exciting opportunities for humanity. There isn’t any reason for us to expect otherwise for the future.”
“Are we holding back advancements in technology?” you might say. I could only say, ask the electric car wether it’s a yes or no. How long have we been holding onto our polluting cars? We all know they pollute but risking not having your oh so useful car is unimaginable. Maybe if we all said no to our cars and kept our minds open for a better solution it might happen faster than we might think. But then again, what if it doesn’t?
That, I think is a bit our conservative safe self. I find we have the same vision on technology in regards to our jobs. Innovation is all wel and good as long as we get better stuff that’s cheaper and more useful.
Smartphone, welcomed with open arms. HDTV, couldn’t live without it. The new slicer dicer that cuts onions so easily and without you crying, can replace the knife, for all some people care. But what about our jobs? Many people will fight as hard as they can to resist letting the “slicer dicer” of workers, robots, take over. The resent strikes in Belgium are all about our jobs, we don’t want to lose them or gain less money than we did before. Ironically we don’t want to work longer either. But that’s a discussion we best not go into here.
What would it take for us to be able te lot go of our jobs? It would seem magical, not having to work day in day out. So why can’t we risk it? I feel it’s because we can’t put our finger on how we will be when we no longer have jobs. Will we still have enough money? Will we all be rich? Will we all be poor?
I like to think we will all be better off if we all find something useful to do. hmm ALL…I do wonder what will happen to our population rate, births tend to be related to welfare (1). But do we feel rich when everyone has the same and yet still all they need?
Feel free to post your opinion on the matter. give your philosophical self free reigns!