Unemployment remains on the high side, and while offshore job loss has taken a great toll, I believe that technology has contributed more than people realize too.
We all know friends (and maybe we do this ourselves too), that will go to a walk-in store, evaluate a product, talking to a sale person for an hour, the go home and order the product at a discount via amazon, eBay or similar online sites. But have we even thought about the long-term effects of such tactics?
By wasting the salesperson’s time, this has effectively wasted the productivity of and added unrecoverable cost to the company. Afterall, they don’t pay the salesperson to teach you about the merchandise they are selling so you can buy it at home.
How about technology like the Kindle or the iPad? The Kindle (and iPad) may be a future killer of the entire book industry. When people buy the electronic form of a novel, it hurts the book industry. Think about it, the lumber companies, the transportation industry, and the retail book sales companies are taking a big hit or going out of business.
Something so innocent has the potential of killing the paper book industry entirely. Look at Borders as an example, finding one of there stores is becoming more rare than seeing an albino tiger.
As technology and the offshore trend kills more and more domestic jobs, this affects other programs too, like Social Security. The less jobs people have to work, the less money goes into Social Security. Perhaps it will go busted before the 2030s hit…
What I’m really afraid of though, is how tight the future job markets might become for the future workers of tomorrow. Where is my son and daughter going to work if the available jobs become few and far between? How will they compete with foreign workers (who though technology can work from their country) who make 1/5 and in some cases 1/10 of what the typical American worker makes?
Did I mention that it’s technology that is killing the service areas that once held such great promise of the American and European countries? We gave up on the manufacturing industry while singing the praised of the service industry and how that is the area that is the future of the developed countries. But now that too is being done in by drastically cheaper labor pools in foreign countries. Technology is what is making this shift possible. Have you ever called customer support and had problems communicating with the customer support representative?
Thanks technology industry, after all, eating and wealth are overrated anyway… It’s kind of ironic that we thought that technology was our big advantage, when in reality it’s what is killing our job markets. Who would have thought…
I wonder why the government is still scratching their heads about why employment is not picking up as they expected… Isn’t it pretty obvious?
Thanks for listening to explain my take on such matters.