some things i have been pondering:
– capitalism drives a company to be as efficient as possible (seen as a positive)
– efficiency drives a company to automate (or send jobs elsewhere) as much of its processes as possible to save money (fewer employees). This is especially seen in many middle class factory jobs
– fewer people employed = less customers to buy products
Ponderings: Companies, in their need to stay competitive through efficiency in a capitalistic reality, eventually find themselves in a state where their customers can no longer buy their products, because they are unemployed.
Consider… the automotive industry. in my town we have several Chrysler plants scattered throughout the city. over the next decade (if not sooner) the majority of the people that work there will be laid off in favor of automation. this layoff will result in fewer vehicles bought, as well as many other consumer/service goods that are available.
The take-away is that even if one major industry experiences massive layoffs, this affects the entire market. the less people buying the less other businesses will be successful, resulting in layoffs, which has a certain roundness to its cause/effect, a snowball rolling down a hill affect.
What do you think?
interesting thoughts. this is why Elon Musk and others think we’re reaching a point at which something like a Universal Basic Income will become necessary. i’m curious to see what happens — people have worried about labor becoming obsolete due to automation for ~150 years or more, yet it hasn’t yet happened, because the market always manages to expand. new industries and sectors emerge, new ‘needs’ and wants are invented. as such, it’s quite hard to say whether we’re actually entering a time which is different from all the other times. the economy may be able to arbitrarily expand indefinitely. i truly can’t say—whatever the case, it will be fascinating to watch things unfold.