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The concept of work.

2012-11-08 18:19:14

Our human life in these times circulates around getting an education, which prepares us to join the job market. Everybody is working on a plan to secure a career. How to get a secure job is the central question. This normally shouldnít be a big issue. Many are looking for steadiness in an unsteady environment. As most are looking forward to a career from entering the job market after school to staying in the same company until retirement. Sounds weird in these times. More like a fairytale or a story. Something our grandparents would tell us about an age when they enjoyed full employment in the 1950s and 60s. Especially on the bottom end for low paid jobs a career in a steady environment becomes more and more unthinkable. Beginning with factory workers to sales men and sales women. To customer service providers. None of those jobs are safe anymore.

The best example here should be the job of a secretary. Once a company is struggling, be it financial problems or competition, the common answer is "lets cut jobs" or another popular topic is outsourcing. Move the jobs to a foreign country, where only 1/3rd of the current wages are already a good pay for locals. And letís not forget. None or just little cost for social security. This is still not the biggest threat. How many companies nowadays use automation? Use intelligent software solutions or whole machines to handle labor intense processes. It begins with Microsoft office making typing a joke by using spell checks and autocorrect functions. This alone costs millions of jobs worldwide. But this is by far not the worst. Intelligent software based on data basing can solve complicated tasks at a fraction of time. The time is over when secretaries planned the schedules for patients. It just takes a database driven software to make a whole department obsolete. Secretaries have suffered most since the emergence of automated software. But this is just the beginning.

Just a while ago in a restaurant a moody waitress just handed us a touch screen input device, because she was obviously not interested in writing down the order. This quickly leads towards the question. Will there still be waitresses around in 10 years to come? I mean nobody will miss a moody waitresses absence. Itís cheaper to install a touch screen and a credit card reader than paying a waitress who is not in the mood to do her job. A machine only costs the purchase value, electricity and an occasional servicing. Either according to durability or it is more likely going to be a replacement with a newer technology. Many machines are already able to do multitasking, doing more and more jobs at once. By looking at the pace of technical advancement we can already see which jobs are next. Thinking this far already sounds scary. Doesn't it? Iím not writing here to scare people or do this to stress my importance as the author of this piece.

If we think deeply. Is the current situation the best possible solution for us? Or do we just like it because we feel its safe because we are used to it? Let's analyze our current lifestyle a bit. Arenít we all just part of a machine where we must (as if we had choices) fit in to support it through labor which gives us access to consume through money, while it supports a small group on top of the pyramid, who are of course not affected by the labor market. Under them on one side politicians and on the other there is our corporate banking system, which serves as the backbone of our system. In times of globalization businesses are forced to find cheap labor. Otherwise competitors are going to take advantage of the situation. But the next step will be total automation. A fully mechanized industry will be next. But what about the workers? And where will the money come from? Without salaries no consumers. Itís already the case with companies who moved operations to Bangladesh. The average salary there is 40$/month, and you can calculate by yourself how long the people there need to work to be able to afford a 20.000$ car. Then how long does a machine to afford a 20.000$ car. The answer is never. Machines donít consume except for energy. Meaning there is something wrong with the system. Think about itÖ


2012-11-07 23:35:11
Leon wrote: This article cut to the heart of our dilemma.

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