Automating more sensibly

Several think tanks of late, including some prestigious bodies, including Deloitte, the OECD and a research group from Oxford Uni have been forecasting that half our present jobs will succumb to robotization within 20 years.

Those are very much objective view and, in theory, could easily by brought about In practice they won’t be — or at least in the short or medium term — for several reasons, including investments and risks much higher than normal development. Also, if too many workers lose their incomes too quickly due to being made redundant, how is a dependable future consumer market to be maintained? Even if consumer sales deteriorate only marginally in an advanced economy then the whole economy can start gyrating into depression — consumer sales being by far the largest item in countries’ national outputs, and ever likely to be.

In truth, serious though the effects of robotization have been already, they’ve not been anywhere near as disastrous as they might have been, had they been brought in going bull at a gate. Anything that resembles a more orderly balance of trade developing between countries — and thus a more gentle rise in living standards in customers of both parties — is best left until the more advanced countries are a long way along exchanging, expensive customised personal services for increasingly cheaper mass production of consumer goods under robotic control in the less developed country in order to maintain an equal balance of trade.

One thought on “Automating more sensibly

  1. We have known for some time that the economy is going through a sea change. With automation and outsourcing many who used to graduate high school and go into jobs of all types can no longer do so. Governments have been loathe to consider other ways that an advanced automated economy can operate. Guarantee annual income is one such way. Others are being considered. Yet governments are fighting the last war and continue to push for “jobs, jobs, jobs.” As the saying goes, “some people can’t read the writing on the wall until their backs are up against it.” In the US this passed over displaced group tended to vote for Trump, other reasons of course but not being noticed by governments seems to be a major reason.

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