If this is as good as he says the prediction that most jobs will be functionally obsolete is even closer than I realized: Tesla Unveils Dual Motor and Autopilot.

3.5 million truck drivers in the USA, for example, will be out of a job. I imagine that there will need to be an extended period where increasing numbers of people are doing mandated pretend work until the conception of what people should be doing with their time changes. When work was hard people wanted idle time, now that for many it is easy, people wonder what they would do with that idle time. They are afraid of it.

Pre-divison of labor economy if you had food and shelter and secured the ability to reproduce, your existence (I would think) was justified. You didn't need to rationalize anything or explain yourself. Today, people view their self-worth as part of a large, complex system– "how do I fit in, am I needed, how do I justify myself". Note: most people don't say, "We want high productivity and wealth" they say "we want a job".

I'm wondering how technological change will once again impact common value systems and ideals over, say, my son's lifetime. Many believe that work will be made that "filling the gap." I used to believe that, but don't anymore. Look around. Most organizations are already highly overstaffed to an efficiency-minded person, and that is just the private sector. In the public sector, at this point, the post office is a giant jobs program that also delivers mail. Same with public school systems. They are obsolete relics.





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1 Comment so far

  1. nelson on October 23, 2014 6:02 pm

    I don’t know about your PO claim. Having worked at General Electric, General Motors, and a very efficient company, labor and otherwise, supplying the steel industry which I also go to see close up, I went to work at the PO, not because I had any desire, but because it could feed the kids. It was a Volcker steel industry recession thing. I was shocked by how the reality was other than the myth as far as labor, and it only became more efficient in the 20 years i spent there. Added benefit, the checks didn’t bounce and we could remain stably in one good community while we raised the kids.


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