The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data; by devices such as smartphones and tablet computers that let people work just about anywhere, even when they’re on the move; by smarter, nimbler robots; and by services that let businesses rent computing power when they need it, instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear…
For more than three decades, technology has reduced the number of jobs in manufacturing. Robots and other machines controlled by computer programs work faster and make fewer mistakes than humans. Now, that same efficiency is being unleashed in the service economy, which employs more than two-thirds of the workforce in developed countries. Technology is eliminating jobs in office buildings, retail establishments and other businesses consumers deal with every day.
News flash from 1910: buggy whip makers decimated. News flash from 1913: Ford’s new invention of the “assembly line” destroys jobs at other makers of auto-mobiles. News flash from 1960: railroads’ passenger business destroyed by the jet airplane. Newsflash from 1970: Eastman Kodak investigated by Department of Justice for monopoly on photographic film. News flash from 2012: Kodak goes out of business. News flash from 1969: DOJ sues IBM for having illegal monopoly on “computers”. News flash from 2013: IBM? What’s that?
It couldn’t be policy choices, could it? How many jobs have been created in China since 1989? 300 million? 500 million? This silliness from AP is what you get when Ivy League professors’ political donations are 96% in one direction. We first warned just a few years ago that the young were becoming dangerously out of touch with the history of this country, and the marvels of technology, innovation and capitalism. Since then we’ve had smartphones, tablets, ubiquitous wireless and the social networks — all without government. But it’s technology that’s ruining things, not government policies. Thanks, AP.
(And on the government side, because of environmental regulations, no oil refineries have been built in the US in 30 years. We’re still importing dangerous levels of foreign oil when there is no technical or economic reason to be doing so. And it takes 10x longer to build some skyscrapers than it did 80 years ago. Oh yes, how many millions of children have died worldwide from malaria since the US took the lead in banning DDT in 1972?)