Technological unemployment FAQ, refutation of deniers

Humans didn’t invent the first airplane until 1903. But when they did, it was only 60 more years until a man walked on the moon.

Let that sink in for a moment. Humans WANTED to fly for a million years, but didn’t until just about 100 years ago. Within that 200 years, somebody has walked on the moon, rovers landed on Mars, people now can watch movies on demand for $8 or less a month legally. Technology grows faster and faster until its reached its maximum potential (just like how a person stops growing after a certain age).

Try not to think of technology as a business, businessmen love to think how sky’s the limit and the pace of grow never slows down, it’s true, often times consumers buy a product faster than you can produce it, but often forgotten is the moment they’ve had enough of it.

What happens when people have eaten enough food, watched enough movies, listened to enough music, have enough housing? They may just stop buying crap.

Oops, that was a tangent, back to the topic of technology killing jobs. Let’s first talking about what JOBS are.

A job is, and should be, a person exchanging his time, using his skills, labor and expertise, in exchange for reward of value, this requires that he offers something of value to another person.

A job is NOT simply labor. Work is often confused as simply labor. But labor without producing value will not become a job. A job is also NOT simply occupying time to eliminate boredom, that would be a hobby. A job is a means to an end. People only work because they want money. Employers only employ people because they want to make money. Employers do not employ people to help them, nor do workers work for free.

With the above said, a job will only last as long as it can produce value. An employee is only as valuable as he can produce profits for his employer.

So there you have it, a job is created when help is needed to produce wealth. A job is also eliminated by the same manner, a job is lost when the employer realizes the employee is too expensive. Therefore, whether automation is induced to save money to cause unemployment by the employer trying to save money, or the employee trying to escape his servitude, is quite irrelevant. Do employers use automation because workers are too expensive? Or do employers use automation anyway, and workers just become too expensive by comparison?

Again, the answer doesn’t matter. What we do know is that jobs are only a means to an end, and nobody owes the employee anything but what’s promised.

If we look at history, why does it seem like automation creates jobs rather than eliminate jobs? Because since the industrial revolution, humans have consumed more.

Example : people used to only be able to buy what was produced (1 TV per family if you’re lucky), they’d have to pay more to get something made, and that was hard. But when machinery was created to make products cheaper, people bought more of it, that creates jobs in the short term, but as soon as people bought as much as they wanted, production drops. People will not buy more TVs, cars or computers no matter how cheap they become. The only thing changed is how fast these things can be produced.

Another dumb response is : Our economy used to depend on farming, if automation killed jobs, we’d all be unemployed now!

Fact is : We technically are, and would still be, but why aren’t we? We were forced to learn new skills because we CAN’T farm to make money. We had new opportunities to work jobs that require less skills BECAUSE new products and services were created (and not because of farming’s automation). UNLESS consumers buy more of something new, production will not and cannot continue (as it won’t be profitable).

….to be continued

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