April 13, 2012, 11:18 AM —
Electronic books don't need retail salespeople, and web-based newspapers don't need printers or delivery people. Are we "teching" ourselves out of jobs?
Perhaps, according to the story, "How Computers Are Creating a Second Economy Without Workers," in the The Atlantic. This "Second Economy" has been embraced by corporate America, as one computer talks to another, or sensors update monitoring equipment, all without a person involved. Why? Money. Walmart's sales are about $100,000 per employee, while Amazon's is over $800,000 per employee.
Just over two years ago, Singularity Hub's "Martin Ford Asks: Will Automation Lead to Economic Collapse?" focused more on robotics. In The Lights In the Tunnel, Ford argues lower skilled workers will be replaced by automation, as will some well-paid careers such as research lawyers and radiologists. Fewer jobs mean people can't buy the products automation creates, depressing the economy.
Job? What job?
But there’s been a lot of technological growth in the last 25 years, and our workweek hasn’t shortened, and unemployment on average hasn’t skyrocketed.
turtles_allthewaydown on singularityhub.com
Technological unemployment is real and is here already.