|The Droids are coming for our jobs|
George Lucas forgot to mention that his droids were taking jobs previously held by tax paying human beings. How do you feed your family or purchase cars or TVs when human workers are no longer needed.
Robots, Computers and Outsourcing = A Jobless Future
- Occupations that provided middle-class lifestyles for generations are rapidly disappearing never to return.
- A Giant Clusterfuck - Poverty is becoming a growth industry. We are looking at a future with fewer and fewer human workers. Plus there will be far fewer taxpayers to support schools, roads, police, parks and social security.
- What happens to the economy when there are no human workers getting paychecks to buy products.
U.S. economic momentum screeched to a halt in the final months of 2012.
The nation's gross domestic product shrank for the first time in 3 1/2 years during the fourth quarter, declining at an annual rate of 0.1% between October and December, the Commerce Department said.
The Associated Press reports that five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.
And the situation is even worse than it appears.
Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.
They’re being obliterated by technology.
More American Workers Outsourcing Their Own Jobs Overseas
Our true economic picture as told by Onion TV News.
Are droids taking our jobs?
Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating -- jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain't seen nothing yet.
Check out your groceries or drugstore purchases using a kiosk? A worker behind a cash register used to do that.
Buy clothes without visiting a store? You’ve taken work from a salesman.
Book your vacation using an online program? You’ve helped lay off a travel agent — perhaps one at American Express Co., which announced this month that it plans to cut 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as more of its customers shift to online portals to plan trips.
Software is picking out worrisome blots in medical scans, running trains without conductors, analyzing Twitter traffic to tell where to sell certain snacks, sifting through documents for evidence in court cases, recording power usage beamed from digital utility meters at millions of homes, and sorting returned library books.
|Goodbye Tax Money|
Robots and computers are eliminating tens of
millions of jobs and the taxes those human workers paid
to support government services from schools to medical
care and social security.
Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other devices becomes more capable of doing tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.
‘’I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years,” says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of “Race Against the Machine.”
“There’s no sector of the economy that’s going to get a pass,” says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote “The Lights in the Tunnel,” a book predicting widespread job losses. “It’s everywhere.”
The numbers startle even labor economists. In the United States, half of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession paid middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are midpay. Nearly 70 percent are low-paying jobs; 29 percent pay well.
In the 17 European countries that use the euro as their currency, the numbers are even worse. Almost 4.3 million low-pay jobs have been gained since mid-2009, but the loss of midpay jobs has never stopped. A total of 7.6 million disappeared from January 2008 through last June.
Some occupations are beneficiaries of the march of technology, such as software engineers and app designers. But, overall, technology is eliminating far more jobs than it is creating.
|Killer Robots to Replace Soldiers|
Defense departments around the world are funding the creation of robot warriors.
See the stories below:
Terminator - The Navy's 1st Robot Killing Machine
Killer Robots are Coming
Terminator Robots - War without Warriors
In the U.S., the economic recovery that started in June 2009 has been called the third straight “jobless recovery.”
But that’s a misnomer. After the recessions that ended in 1991 and 2001, jobs lost were slow to return, but they all returned within three years.
But 42 months after the Great Recession ended, the U.S. has gained only 3.5 million, or 47 percent, of the 7.5 million jobs that were lost. The 17 countries that use the euro had 3.5 million fewer jobs last June than in December 2007.
This has truly been a jobless recovery, and the lack of midpay jobs is almost entirely to blame.
Fifty percent of the U.S. jobs lost were in midpay industries, but Moody’s Analytics, a research firm, says just 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained are in that category. After the four previous recessions, at least 30 percent of jobs created — and as many as 46 percent — were in midpay industries.
Some of the most startling studies have focused on midskill, midpay jobs — think travel agents, salespeople in stores, office assistants and back-office workers like benefits managers and payroll clerks. An August 2012 paper by economists Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia and Nir Jaimovich of Duke University found these kinds of jobs comprise fewer than half of all jobs, yet accounted for nine of 10 of all losses in the Great Recession. And they have kept disappearing in the economic recovery.
What hope is there for the future?
Historically, new companies and new industries have been the incubator of new jobs. But even these companies are hiring fewer people. The average new business employed 4.7 workers when it opened its doors in 2011, down from 7.6 in the 1990s, according to a Labor Department study released last March.
Technological innovations have been throwing people out of jobs for centuries. But they eventually create more work, and greater wealth, than they destroy. Many economists are encouraged by history and think the gains eventually will outweigh the losses. But even they have doubts.
“What’s different this time is that digital technologies show up in every corner of the economy,” says MIT’s McAfee, a self-described “digital optimist.” “Your tablet [computer] is just two or three years old, and it’s already taken over our lives.”
Occupations that provided middle-class lifestyles for generations can disappear in a few years. Utility meter readers are just one example.
As power companies began installing so-called smart readers outside homes, the number of meter readers in the U.S. plunged from 56,000 in 2001 to 36,000 in 2010, according to the Labor Department.
In 10 years?
That number is expected to be zero.
(The Florida Times-Union)