Technology and Wages LO7495 ("")
Sun, 19 May 1996 09:02:08 +0000

Replying to LO7481 --

On Sat, 18 May 1996 01:33 Ray Harrell wrote -

[Quote of prev msg trimmed by your host...]
> I have been following this conversation ever since I got on the net.
> My questions are these:
> Are we not talking about what kind of human beings
> we are going to be when the full impact of
> automation hits?
> What will be the social contract that we work out with
> each other in all the different professions and
> economic classes?

IMHO we will be the same kind of human beings we are now and as such
will adapt to any new circumstance. Manufacturing jobs are going the
way of agricultural jobs - down. In the U.S., at one point over 30%
of us were employed in agriculture and now it is less than 3% even
though we produce far more agricultural products than ever. Consumers
demand more for less and employees demand more pay for the same
number of hours. These two forces cause business to become more
productive every year, inexorably decreasing the number of people
required to satisfy demand for any product. So manufacturing jobs are
decreasing even though we manufacture far more today than ever.

What will we do and what will be the social contract are not
particularly significant problems for us. More importantly, are our
educational systems good enough to prepare people with the
fundamental knowledge and skills needed so that each person can adapt
to the inevitably new circumstances of the next working generation?

In the U.S., we have an increasing number of poorly prepared people
who are becoming our underclass. We also have an increasing number of
government regulations which are succeeding in slowing our ability to
create new industries and new jobs, in discouraging people from
starting up new businesses and in preventing them from gaining access
to sufficient financing. Will we continue down the road taken by the
French or the Germans and almost completely preclude job growth while
blaming business or will we learn from their mistakes and reduce
government regulation/control? The latest company bashing certainly
portends the worst as does the class warfare being waged by the
Democratic party's liberal wing and a couple other supposed leaders.

Regards, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book "How to Unleash the Power of People"


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