1. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    09 Apr '12 03:48
    Are we/they resonsible for creating unemployment. I wouldn't generally limit the crisis to this feild alone, but it serves as an obvious target...perhaps we can explore other fields that affect this phenomenon as well.
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    09 Apr '12 14:48
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Are we/they resonsible for creating unemployment. I wouldn't generally limit the crisis to this feild alone, but it serves as an obvious target...perhaps we can explore other fields that affect this phenomenon as well.
    Um... What?

    I think you need to expand on this because it's far from obvious [to me at least] what you are talking about.

    In what way do you think engineers are responsible for creating unemployment?

    And what crisis are you talking about?

    Context, we need some.
  3. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    09 Apr '12 15:36
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Um... What?

    I think you need to expand on this because it's far from obvious [to me at least] what you are talking about.

    In what way do you think engineers are responsible for creating unemployment?

    And what crisis are you talking about?

    Context, we need some.
    Developers of technology in general remove jobs (or they shift jobs around in the system). For instance, a car wash down the street from me is fully automated, I'm not even certain if the is any actual persons that are in the facility during operating hours. Before the advent of the technology, that carwash would have employed 5-10 people. It seems to me that we are moving toward replacing the entire service industry with robots. hope thats enough context to get the ball rolling.
  4. Standard memberforkedknight
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    09 Apr '12 16:451 edit
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Developers of technology in general remove jobs (or they shift jobs around in the system). For instance, a car wash down the street from me is fully automated, I'm not even certain if the is any actual persons that are in the facility during operating hours. Before the advent of the technology, that carwash would have employed 5-10 people. It seems to m ...[text shortened]... ng the entire service industry with robots. hope thats enough context to get the ball rolling.
    Now, instead, you have 10-20 (B.S. number alert) people designing car washes or servicing and maintaining that car wash, and peoples' cars get washed in less than half the time.

    I fail to see the problem.
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    09 Apr '12 16:462 edits
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Developers of technology in general remove jobs (or they shift jobs around in the system). For instance, a car wash down the street from me is fully automated, I'm not even certain if the is any actual persons that are in the facility during operating hours. Before the advent of the technology, that carwash would have employed 5-10 people. It seems to m ...[text shortened]... ng the entire service industry with robots. hope thats enough context to get the ball rolling.
    Eventually we would all be replaced by machines which we cannot compete with in the job-market because machines do not even ask for the minimum wage nor need sleep nor go on strike. Then there would be almost 100% unemployment. Eventually A.I. machines will even be employed as politicians after being voted in by voters that finally got it into their thick skulls that the average human politician is stupid.
    There would be still some employment though; in the mad houses. -we can try our luck there?
  6. Standard memberWoodPush
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    09 Apr '12 17:58
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Um... What?

    I think you need to expand on this because it's far from obvious [to me at least] what you are talking about.

    In what way do you think engineers are responsible for creating unemployment?

    And what crisis are you talking about?

    Context, we need some.
    Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but I suspect he's talking about Shiller's deflection of blame from the financial sector to IT.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/robert-shiller-financial-capitalism-taking-over-world-good-130531139.html
  7. Standard memberWoodPush
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    09 Apr '12 18:082 edits
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    Are we/they resonsible for creating unemployment. I wouldn't generally limit the crisis to this feild alone, but it serves as an obvious target...perhaps we can explore other fields that affect this phenomenon as well.
    This is the luddite fallacy.

    Why has technological innovation not created unemployment in past major technological advances, but is the cause of long term unemployment now? Take for example the industrial revolution?
    How have we been able to sustain two centuries of constant productivity improvements without creating unemployment?
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    09 Apr '12 18:34
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    This is the luddite fallacy.

    Why has technological innovation not created unemployment in past major technological advances, but is the cause of long term unemployment now? Take for example the industrial revolution?
    How have we been able to sustain two centuries of constant productivity improvements without creating unemployment?
    I did wonder if this was the direction he was going in but the argument is fallacious.


    Technological development does remove jobs, but creates or allows for new ones.

    The fact that the overwhelming majority of the population is no longer needed to work
    the feilds to produce food means that people can do other things that couldn't otherwise
    be done if they had to spend all their time farming.

    It has allowed us to have children in education as opposed to working the feilds with their
    parents.

    Every time we automate something we put the people who do that thing out of work.

    However that frees them up to do something else.


    There may eventually come a point where (with the help of AI) we can build a post scarcity society
    where nobody needs to work to survive as all the work needed to support our existence is now
    automatic. Which frees everyone up to do whatever they want to do, work now being kind of like a
    hobby. (see Ian M. Bank's Culture for an example)


    However if and until we get to that point technology (and the people who invent it) are not going to
    cause a problem of unemployment.

    And it's certainly not the cause of today's troubles.

    Indeed the science and technology sector is creating jobs not destroying them.
  9. Standard memberWoodPush
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    09 Apr '12 19:18
    Exactly right.
  10. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    09 Apr '12 19:55
    Originally posted by forkedknight
    Now, instead, you have 10-20 (B.S. number alert) people designing car washes or servicing and maintaining that car wash, and peoples' cars get washed in less than half the time.

    I fail to see the problem.
    Thats why I added that it may just shift jobs to a more technical side...

    What happens to the people that are being replaced?

    1) they still exist
    2) they are undereductated for the technical job
    3) advances in medical field keep them alive longer
    4) technological advancment is exponential, which means its getting harder for individuals to become eductated so they can perform valuable work in society.

    Also the same 10 -20 engineers that design-maintain the car wash, will also be doing a large number of other similar projects throught their career, finding and erraticating inefficiences, and relieving the jobs of 1000's.

    look at the auto industry in America,during the industrial revolution. Sure the technological jump was huge for the era, but it probably paired a machine to a worker at 1:1. Certainly this is not the case now, 10-20 Engineers may be to 1000's of machines which have little to no need for operators.
  11. Standard memberWoodPush
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    09 Apr '12 22:031 edit
    There's no doubt that new technologies introduce short-term structural unemployment. The people that lose outdated jobs definitely need to find new employment and that often involves retraining.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing if there's support in place by savings, families, employers, governments to support those people. If there's a job to be had - people find them. The problem is when there's no job to be found.

    I don't think the high unemployment we're seeing is short term or caused by new technology. What new technology was introduced that caused unemployment to jump in 2008?

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
  12. Cape Town
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    10 Apr '12 05:08
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Technological development does remove jobs, but creates or allows for new ones.
    ....
    Indeed the science and technology sector is creating jobs not destroying them.
    I disagree. I think it is quite clear that in many cases, technology replaces jobs with machines and does not necessarily create as many jobs as it takes away.
    I think the fact that there is always room for job creation elsewhere is a separate (though often overlooked) issue.
  13. Cape Town
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    10 Apr '12 05:16
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    I don't think the high unemployment we're seeing is short term or caused by new technology. What new technology was introduced that caused unemployment to jump in 2008?
    It is still possible that technology replaced jobs. Computers were introduced in the 90's and 2000's. Most companies tend to allow a bloated work force during the good times. In 2008 due to the financial problems, companies shed all excess employees (that they might have had due to new technology such as computers). When finances become better they simply don't re-employ because they don't need to.

    Of course there may be other explanations such as out sourcing to other countries etc.
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    10 Apr '12 10:28
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I disagree. I think it is quite clear that in many cases, technology replaces jobs with machines and does not necessarily create as many jobs as it takes away.
    I think the fact that there is always room for job creation elsewhere is a separate (though often overlooked) issue.
    I think you missed the part of the sentence that went "...creates or ALLOWS for new ones..."

    Obviously the introduction of mechanised farming removed huge numbers of jobs from farming.
    However that meant that there were now people available to work in the factories making stuff.

    The loss of jobs to automation frees people up from more menial jobs and allows for the creation
    of new jobs and industries that wouldn't have been possible without the liberated workforce.

    As woodpush said you can get short term structural unemployment, (typically from rapid implementation
    of the new technology) which is one of the many reasons for having a social safety net and not
    pure unadulterated capitalism, however you don't get long term unemployment due to technology
    and science. On balance they create jobs.

    This latest job crisis can be blamed squarely on the house of cards that is our financial sector.

    There is no evidence for or need to offer any additional explanation for our current situation other
    than the eminently preventable financial crash, and the poor international government response to it.
  15. Cape Town
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    10 Apr '12 13:08
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I think you missed the part of the sentence that went "...creates or ALLOWS for new ones..."

    Obviously the introduction of mechanised farming removed huge numbers of jobs from farming.
    However that meant that there were now people available to work in the factories making stuff.
    But that seems rather ridiculous in context. You are just saying that unemployed people are available to work.

    On balance they create jobs.
    That doesn't follow from what you have said. You have simply said that unemployed people are now free to look for other work. This is not 'creating jobs' and most certainly not the thing that cause their unemployment creating jobs.

    This latest job crisis can be blamed squarely on the house of cards that is our financial sector.
    There is no evidence for or need to offer any additional explanation for our current situation other
    than the eminently preventable financial crash, and the poor international government response to it.

    Nevertheless, a better understanding of the job market would help government and others resolve the problem better. As you correctly suggest, unemployed people are available to work, the question is why are they not working? Must jobs be created for them or must they create their own jobs?
    I think a large part of the reason why they are not creating enough jobs on their own is a problem of expectations. Too many people expect a high salary in the field in which they are in. Not enough people are willing to take a pay cut or change careers. When there is financial instability or change in general (such as the change resulting from mechanization or other technological advancement) then there will always less jobs available in certain career paths. If the work force is not flexible, then the result is unemployment.

    As for the financial sector, I think it enabled for a while, a situation where people were getting paid more than they were worth by being paid on borrowed money. They compounded the situation by spending more than they were earning (due to easy credit). When the bubble burst, things are going back to the way they would have been if there wasn't all that borrowing. The problem is most people don't want to accept that they are not worth what they thought they were and thus refuse to work for less and would rather remain unemployed.
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