Courtesy: NY Times
Average Is Over
In an essay, entitled “Making It in America,” in the latest issue of The Atlantic, the author Adam Davidson relates a joke from cotton country about just how much a modern textile mill has been automated: The average mill has only two employees today, “a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man away from the machines.”
Davidson’s article is one of a number of pieces that have recently appeared making the point that the reason we have such stubbornly high unemployment and sagging middle-class incomes today is largely because of the big drop in demand because of the Great Recession, but it is also because of the quantum advances in both globalization and the information technology revolution, which are more rapidly than ever replacing labor with machines or foreign workers.
In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.
Yes, new technology has been eating jobs forever, and always will. As they say, if horses could have voted, there never would have been cars. But there’s been an acceleration. As Davidson notes, “In the 10 years ending in 2009, [U.S.] factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared.”
5% of the world population controls 95% of the resources
25% of the world population is in absolute poverty or destitution.
Our major issue today is not necessary of technology taking over jobs rather the immorality bankrupting humanity. We are not thinking of how to uplift humanity with the resources we have. So it is useless to think of a future where everyone is above average in their contribution to society. Why can’t we strive to be above average to develop our moral conscience that will enable us to eliminate hunger and destitution today? Why don’t we try to be above average in discharging us humanitarian responsibility? To do that, we don’t need to be a high school or college graduate.