Technology and Wages LO7555

Dr Ilfryn Price (
Wed, 22 May 1996 15:07:22 -0400

Replying to LO7517 --

Fred Nickols injects a dose of reality
[Thanks Fred for raising something that concerns me deeply. I wish I had

Where we seem to be at this point is poised on the edge of another
great displacement. Armies of service workers, especially clerical
workers, can be displaced by automation (which is different from
mechanization). Changed management methods, reengineering, and
the like, have the potential to do much more than simply decimate or
take out one in ten managers, it could leave only one in ten standing.

Can the ranks of service workers swell to accommodate future
displacements? Perhaps. Let us at least hope so. But what kind
of world will that be? Looks pretty grim to me.
=====end of quote==========

The food we need can be produced by a few % of the population

The goods we need can be produced by a few % of the population

The high value services [original entertainment, great sport, high class
administration, justice, great scholastic or artistic achievement etc.
etc.] can only {?] be produced by a few % of the population

So where next. A learning society [planet?] that works to restrain
material growth and population and finds some way to share wealth
generated [It has not happened before except perhaps on frontiers] or a
slide back to history's norm [Life brutish, subsistence and short for most
of the population]

Anyone see other ways? If so please help. The 'more of the same'
[technology will solve the problem as it always has] solution does not
appeal to me. We have been living with a reinforcing loop of technology,
culture and organisation for 2,000 [or 50,000] years. Every limit to
growth has been breached, but how much longer can it go on? Can this list
do anything to help a transition to a learning planet? I wish I knew but
the question moves me.

If Price
The Harrow Partnership
Pewley Fort Guildford UK


Dr Ilfryn Price <>

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