What We’re Reading Today
Commentary: I’m going to feature a concept that I have been chewing on for a while. The idea is that each revolution in human productivity rising with the industrial revolution has displaced a huge number of workers. People that try and dispel the fear that such job losses create unemployment argue that the technology of the revolution spawns new jobs in new industries that absorb the displaced labour force. While this has been apparently true in recent times, such people miss a key point.
Each technological revolution creates jobs that require a higher level of education/training and skill than the laid off workers have. This has become identifiable in the “knowledge revolution” where the required skill and education levels have moved up to requiring community college or university degrees.
To get an idea of the current state of employment in the US and by inference, Canada and other developed countries, read: Paul Craig Roberts – The Matrix Of Lies And What The Elite Are Really Up To Is Terrifying. In short the government defines the employment rate in a manner that excludes a large number of employable people while burying the fact that a lot of the jobs do not pay a living wage.
To see what’s coming next, read: Rise Of The Machines: Millions Of American Jobs Will Be Wiped Out In The Next Five Years. Government pronouncements of creating jobs are delusional. Bringing in a large immigrant population because we need their skillsdoes not change the current number of unemployed but increases the future number of unemployed when and immigrant lucky to land a job is displaced in the future. Programs like the 35,000 refugees with their education and skill levels simply moves the crisi forward in time.
Finally, the strongest argument supporting the idea of the start of a large permanently unemployed segment of society comes from the nature of the final stage of the industrial revolution that we are now in. The core product of this stage is the creation of labour and service units, growing in sophistication, that will displace large numbers of workers previously thought immune to automation.