Have you noticed how much the advances in technology are forcing you to work for the companies for free? It is done in the name of convenience. The other words used are it saves money. Saves money for who?
Oh it saves money for one group the company investing in the technology to replace jobs. It does not save you money in the short term however once the changes are complete on a mass scale that might be a different story. In the short term those working will pay more taxes for social programs to assist displace workers. The second part of the question is who should pay. Let me explain. You noticed I said short term, you pay? If we are automating one sector we are creating future jobs in another. In some cases we are creating jobs that even five years ago didn’t exist. That requires retraining of the workforce. Governments pick up the greatest burden of training programs directly or indirectly. That means you.
So where do you fit in? Every time you use an automated teller, pump gas at a self serve, run groceries through the automated cashier you are an indirect employee working for free. So what you say? Here is another way to look at it. Would you get out of your car and start helping trades people at a construction site for free? I didn’t think so.
I am not saying we should not use new technology, my point is we should know why we are doing it, and who is really paying for it. Incidentally you are the one paying for it. When you use the automated cashier are your groceries cheaper? No. if they were there would be a massive add campaign to brag about how much. You would also pay for the add campaign. The reason you are doing the work is to enhance the companies bottom line. Knowing what is happening also allows the consumer to prepare for the future.
What will the future look like? There are any number of clues as to the future in our changing world, even within current practices. More and more consumer goods will be purchased on line, grocery stores will see cashier jobs become shopper jobs as people will and do now, submit their lists on line. The take out fast food outlets are featuring delivery to your door. The big malls will be vacant relics in the next decade save for a few survivors. Independent big box stores will be on line distribution outlets. Transit systems will improve to the point where people will rent a car for vacation travel or out of town business travel. This will reduce carbon emissions as we transition to alternate fuel sources.
What will constitute all this change? The cell phone will be a practical tool instead of a distraction. The concept of how the world does business, and how the world of work will function will depend on the cell phone. It should be noted, my original comments were not to suggest we should resist change at all cost. My point is we should make sure the changes include transparency and who pays the cost, regardless of the level of convenience.
The points cards you get for shopping at specific outlets are really a watered down version of a rebate for doing the work and once governments catch on they may be taxable in the future. Now do you see why the future of the business world has to be transparent? And to think, we are only scratching the surface of changes to come.