What Happens When We Don't Need Workers Anymore?
I know, everyone needs a place to live.....but everyone needs money to live. Millions in Africa need food......and go without.
In our system in America, and much of the world, we work for money and spend money for our needs and wants. For the most part, most of our population was able to get jobs to keep the system working. As a matter of fact, our infastructure is constructed and designed to have a very high employment rate earning relatively high incomes.
Incomes drove spending and taxes, and taxes drove government spending towards healthcare, welfare and defense.
What happens if technology simply displaces the need for tens of millions of jobs and billions of square feet of real estate? Think of the tax receipt loss from no income or property taxes being generated. It was efficient for decades to outsource factories in the rust belt to Asia and Mexico.....so long as those jobs were replaced........will it be efficient to outsource half our jobs to technology if we have nothing to replace those jobs?
Currently, we are adopting technology at rapidly accelerating rates causing massive disruptions at a time when we are very leveraged. Some examples include:
Netflix, the digital delivery of movies is replacing CDs and a huge profit center for BestBuy, Blockbuster and video stores in general.....not to mention a lot of consumption of plastic, paper and transportion utilization.
Skype, teleconferencing, replacing the need to travel for meetings displacing hotels, rental cars, airlines, and restaurants.
eMail replacing the need for the Postal Service.
All of the above actually create a net contraction in revenues and a contraction to GDP due to increased efficiencies. We are in a very interesting time when progress is actually contraction. The real question is how will we handle it as a society when few are aware of what is actually going on and it completely destroys the world as we know it?