Unemployment. Should we be worried?
Employment today is the only means we have in order to receive money so we can live a desirable life. The money we receive pays for necessities such as food, water and housing and also pays for the luxuries we desire. So if we happen to lose our jobs, we won’t have a way to pay for such things. What happens then? Should we be worried about being unemployed?
The introduction to robotic machines and combine harvesters for instance reduced the amount of workers needed and the work was done much faster. This obviously scared many people believing that robots and machines were taking their jobs. The Luddites rose during the Industrial Revolution against the machines and after World War II labor unions were created to ensure stability in the workforce and fairer wages. Sustainability also became an issue once consumerism was manifested. Gone were the days of buying goods for necessity and now comes the age of buying things of want and must have in order to be part of society. I will discuss planned obsolescence in another post, but essentially, companies were making products more inferior in order for the products to fail after a certain point and forces to the consumer to buy more again and again. The perfect example of this is from the movie, “Lightbulb Conspiracy: Pyramids of Waste” (2010). Since the rise of machines, production has increased exponentially.
So with the rising unemployment and rising automation, are we right in being scared of being jobless? Robots are taking our jobs, but it’s okay. Here is a brilliant article about the inevitable: “Robots will steal your job but it’s okay.” Basically, what makes everyone think that unemployment is bad? What if this is what naturally happens when a civilization advances? Soon we will have 3D printers mass producing at home. We’ll have fast food restaurants with automated till points (like those already present in some KFCs and McDonalds) and machines that will cook the food for us and deliver it with a vending machine. We will have contour crafting where houses could be built in a few days as opposed to months. These are inevitable. Maybe we should embrace the changes instead of becoming just like the Luddites in the 19th century.
In tomorrow’s post, I will explain in more detail about planned obsolescence and the secret to making things more inferior in order to create more repetitive consumption.