Piling on employment costs (think of obamacare for one) are a major factor also,
but don't tell that to the obama worshiping press and columnists!
BO, BO, BO, who gave usObamacare and an out of control EPAthose are the top reasons why our employment picture is not more robust.since the start of the industrial revolution, technology has ALWAYS been
leaping forward improving technology. Blaming the low employment picture on
technology is just MORE BO apologizing!And even the EPA has not been
as damaging in the past as it has under BO.nope, the reason for the
sluggish employment picture is BO.
Technology, per se, is not the cause of high unemployment. The more fundamental
reason is simple greed, which is standardized in most business practices.
Corporations, driven to pad the bottom line, have great incentives to minimize
labor costs. They do this through hiring fewer people, paying them less,
replacing them with machines, or shipping jobs off to Third World countries. But
this bottom-line myopia will be the death of corporations if they can't see
beyond the end of their own noses. It is in businesses' long-term interest
to actually hire more people and pay them well (rather than letting all the
profits rise to the few at the top of the food chain), which stifles demand.Without a strong manufacturing sector, our economy will always be weak.
As Harvard's William Abernathy said about a service economy, "What will
we do, get up each morning and press each other's pants?" Or, as my
economist friend Wayne, put it, "You cut my hair, I'll cut your hair,
and we'll both get rich."
The fact is that human labor as a commercial commodity is becoming obsolete,
unnecessary and too expensive. The problem is, that for the vast majority of
us, our labor, physical or mental, is all we have to trade for the necessities
of life. A civilized society needs a system of exchange that
allows the members to survive. Lest they want to spend all their time in bloody
combat with each other. Prior to the time where technology does most of the
work, members of the society could easily trade their personal wealth for what
they needed. Despite the belief of businessmen that they do it all
by themselves, business is the prerogative the of society that is needed to
distribute the wealth and keep the society alive. Society, all the people,
needs to be recognized as a major owner of business. Not the buildings or other
assets but the concept and benefits of the business. Failing to
recognize this will probably cause us to fall back into chaos from which we
would become communist.
I love the first couple of comments. Rather than thoughtful discussion, its
back to that same old - Its Obamas fault. Lets not even get into when this
whole mess started, because obviously that had no role in this. Lets look at
the fact that the US economy is currently one of the most health economies in
the world. The only one that is largely out performing the US economy is -
gasp - the world largest socialist/communist country. Samuelson -
who I usually don't agree with much - brings up some very valid points.
Technology has replaced many jobs. When was the last time you had someone else
check you in for your flight at the airport. Those jobs still exist - but in
the recession, airlines were quick to replace people with automation. The impact of this kind of change is wide spread. We just finished a
family trip up to the New Jersey Turnpike, a trip that used to mean stopping at
toll stations. Now with EZ=Pass, we never had to stop at any toll booths...
Technology is dramatically changing the world we live... and more change is
Marx appreciated the efficiency of capitalism, but in his view capitalism would
become so efficient that eventually the demand for labor would decline steadily.
But since (in Marx's view) profits come from labor, profits would
eventually decline leading to a collapse based on unemployment and collapsed
profits. This takes us into the world of abstract economics which is different
from business journalism. One thing is for sure though, where we will be ten
years from now is anybody's guess. My 2 cents - I see a new brand of
For decades we've realized that a man with a shovel could not compete with
a back-hoe, but some people still think that an unskilled worker should be given
a job in a technological world without expecting that worker to be prepared to
use the tools required.It's just not going to happen. A worker
must add value if he wants a job. He can't just be clocking in and out
each day. Continuing education is essential. Training and retraining are part
of the job. The culprit is not "technology"; it's
people who expect the world to pay them well without being prepared to work
Mike Richards.. you make some excellent points here. In the area I now live,
the state has moved from being huge in manufacturing (furniture) and agriculture
(cotton and tobacco) to being driven by bioMed and High Tech. These people in
the rural parts of the state never saw it coming at them... and many don't
have the means to go back to school. So that is really the only
part I would disagree with you on. Many of these people are in their 40s, 50s,
and even 60s - and it isn't that they don't want to work... it is just
that work, particularly jobs that they have skills for, have left. In my city,
the employment rate is really really low. Go one county up, and it is double
our current rate. In some areas, it is triple the rate. These older generation
people just don't have the skills , and even if they did, the jobs are far
away.Not sure what the answer for these people is... because there
aren't a lot of paths for them to take.
Maybe we should all strive to live like they do on Star Trek. Everyone (no
matter what race or planet they come from) has an advanced education, and a job,
but no one gets paid for it. Think it would work?
UtahBlueDevil,You've made a valid point. The question to ask
is whether the government is responsible for the personal welfare of its
citizens. We are offered a "free education" through high school. Some
people appreciate that education and others don't. After high school, our
education falls to ourselves. If we want to move ahead, we need to make the
sacrifices.I know how hard it is for someone in his sixties to find
a good-paying job. It seems that no matter how carefully we prepare, white hair
automatically closes doors that were once open. There are many
injustices in life. Good employers know the value of hard-working people who
are willing to learn new skills. Utah has had a very low unemployment rate, not
only because the people are educated, but because of the work ethic found here.
Good people who work hard, who are willing to learn, who are willing to be at
work "clean and sober" are always in short supply.Many
companies offer on-the-job training, after the worker has proven that he is
So why are so many European countries doing fine? Do they not use technology
I don't know if I agree with this thesis but if Comapnies are becoming more
nimble and efficient using technology then how do we reconcile a smaller albeit
more efficient and productive private sector with a larger, more sclerotic
Government? Can they coexist? I kind of doubt it.
freedomfighter,unemployment in the teens and higher is fine by you?
really?Europe's in worse shape than we are.technology has always moved us forward, improving productivity, without
damaging employment. So despite bluedevil's personal attacks, it must be
Obamacare and the rest of BO's anti-free-enterprise policies that are
holding employment back.
It is too bad that the nation has not learned from history. The Depression was
around until the Republicans started to dismantle the burdensome regulations and
business oversight that FDR had enacted.We forget that it was
because of wage controls by FDR that health insurance became standard as part of
compensation. Employers wanted to attract the best minds, and to do so had to
offer insurance because Federal wage controls. We also had the "Blue
Eagle" price controls in place, and all sorts of fascist type policies.Now, under Obama we don't have as much wage control, but we do have
him forcing businesses to do things they don't want to.The
answer is simple, if we want to get the recovery going at even a moderate pace,
the Federal Government needs to back down, cut back on all of its new
regulations, and let businesses work.