Not long ago, an online acquaintance Jared Kent noted that in the future we won’t need as many people working, basically because we will have the labor all taken care of by robots; everything from self-driving and sorting mail delivery, trash pick-up, bus drivers, pilots to robotic instructors, teachers, military personnel and prostitutes –whoops, forget that last one, too many Science Fiction novels I’ve read as of late — never the less you get the point, or sharp poke in the eye if you are the next to lose your job to a robot.
My very wise acquaintance, Mr. Kent, of course had far different examples, as he is an engineer living in an area with lots of manufacturing, although not as many workers in that sector as in past periods. What do I think of this topic with regards to the reality that we won’t need as many workers in the future?
Well, it sometimes seems that way right – I mean we have 7 billion plus people on the planet, and with the coming of robotics we don’t need that many followers or workers – ouch. Will nature take care of that problem for us? Ouch again, that won’t be pretty. Indeed, it already isn’t pretty, and it is pretty much happening right now. In some places unions welcome robots to increase production, allowing the company to make more profits offsetting their higher wages, healthcare benefits, pensions, and other demands, but that is a slippery slope isn’t it? I mean how many time can we bail out the pension funds of the US Autoworkers Union?
The reality is that other nations will soon have robotic manufacturing too. Japan and Germany are also leading the way, so too is China moving up fast in these technologies. Manufacturers in China trying to maintain the edge with rising wages are investing in robotics, so where does that leave them with regards to domestic job growth, spending, and economics? If there are too many people with no jobs, then what do you do with all those humans? That’s a scary question for a centralized communist government hell-bent on staying in control.
What about our own nation? Can we really afford to pay people not to work, and if so at what expense to our future economy, monetary strength and social stability? Are you thinking here, maybe you should be, it’s a solvable dilemma, but we cannot wait too long to address these issues, the future cometh, and we already know that time flows forward only that linear progression in this dimension. Please consider all this and think on it.