Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Decline of the Value in Human Endeavour and its Implications Under the Current Economic Systems

The information age, the progression of automation, globalisation and other factors have fundamentally changed societies class structure and has stratified wealth. The reason is the value of human labor itself is in a decline, especially in career endeavours that can either be easily outsourced or made redundant or difficult to maintain by machines.

The political system in place does not handle this situation very well. Layoffs for instance, are not always the product of a failed enterprise. Companies that have record profits have laid off many of their employees. This is simply because their employees are often not needed, having been replaced by more efficient business processes. This is increasing their profit while increasing the general state of unemployment. This will only continue as new software and technology makes business processes that involved lots of manual human labor easier.

The problem is in the most of the world there is no financial net. The terminology "making a living" is not metaphorical, it is literal. To survive in any sense of dignity in this age, a revenue stream is required. People have bills to pay and these bills are often high, and the consequences are huge if you do not pay them. You could lose your home and all your possessions, basically going from middle class to extreme poverty simply by being unemployed for an excessive period of time. This is happening today. All while people who are in close proximity to the machines of tomorrow get wealthier. There is nothing that I see that is reversing this trend, it seems like it has the potential to get worse.

Some people who have identified this troubling trend have decided that the problem is the machines themselves. But that's not the problem. Technology has the power to literally make the term "making a living" a thing of the past. How great would a world be where people can spend more time with their family? Or try for more lofty pursuits? This is the power of technological advancement. We can make everyone's lives easier and happier. But we must model our society in a way that respects the interests of the greater population, and that is not what is happening!

This is not an easy problem to solve and I don't have all the answers. It's something I am still learning more about. Future blog posts will try to provide more insight on the problem, and hopefully possible solutions.

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