How Technology and Automation Affect Employment, the Economy, and You
By Cody Ferenchak
March 16th 2015
Automation is definitely a topic of concern in almost all of today’s industries. Especially for those in the service industry. Automation is making the processes used in the product and service industry less labor intensive and more productive. Over the last three decades manufacturing companies in the industrialized world have seen what great change automation is bringing to the world in terms of production. Assembly lines in the automotive industry are faster than ever. Electronics such as the iPhone are being constructed in just minutes due to hands of automated robotics. ...view middle of the document...
Replaced by automation. Why worry about paychecks and benefits when that particular business can rely on an automated computer system that requires neither of those payments. Is this the dilemma of employment? Or is this the progression of our economy? An analysis of technology and automation reveals two pressing issues: whether automation may lead to an economic collapse, or the displacement of jobs into higher skill levels and increased productivity. The response to the automated epidemic may be situational, or quantifiable. This analysis will explore the topic on both sides.
To begin the exploration of automation, it would be best to break down the topic into two views. First looking at how the topic at hand may present some “cons”. Secondly, how the issue presents it’s “pros”. And then to conclude, piecing together both sides to find balance in the industries and economy that are examined.
Employment is the biggest concern facing automated technologies. Most fear that the speed of technological improvements in today’s day and age will wipe out broad categories of jobs faster than our economy can absorb and refocus its sights (Dave Maney). What exactly happens when jobs are taken over by machines and people are displaced? One way to view this is that when jobs are taken away employees will begin to look for new jobs. In the meantime the unemployed will need to find funding to support themselves and their families during the time they search for a new job, if they ever do. This is where welfare comes into play. Taxpayers will begin, as they always have, to aid welfare recipients. When jobs are continually lost due to the sweep of automation more and more will rely on welfare. Who doesn’t pay taxes to fund welfare checks? The answer is alarming and obvious, welfare recipients. Where will we see the economy of this country turn when over fifty percent of its once working people are on welfare? That is the pressing dilemma that companies and more or less our government is going to need to face with social responsibility framework. Where do actual jobs need to remain to secure a strong economy? Where and when is automation just going to far? Fewer people work in factories today than they did in 1997. There is enough anecdotal evidence that automation is threatening jobs, everywhere. Skills are not growing fast enough to compete with technology (David Rotman). The result here is that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States (Brynjolfsson and McAffee). To add to the down sides of automation, American’s are being taught to do a lot more work for the same amount of money. For example, self check-out lines that are now in place in Wal-Mart shopping centers everywhere are requiring the customer to scan their items, bag their items, process their payments, and take their items to their automobile for the same...