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Consequences of machinery and technology replacing human labor

Updated on July 16, 2012

Trying to avoid unemployment as technology progresses

In my most recent hub, I discussed how unemployment is affecting the life of society in general, and the deficient modern way of applying which makes it as “easy” as winning the jackpot. Now in this particular hub I want to discuss how technology is adversely affecting people in terms of finding jobs.

In ancient times, people were the main taskforce for everything. All the processes behind making food, clothing, and transportation, for example, required the presence of people from A to Z in the process of designing and analysis. At that time, there was much less people than there are now. In previous centuries, we could say that there were more jobs than people, so unemployment, if any, could be blamed on laziness and lack of interest. Today, even when some arrogant people insist people are out of work for these reasons, the truth is that there are more people, much more, than jobs available. And while there are many reasons such as the economy, not many people have discussed on how “progress” has much to do with unemployment today.

At this time, lots of jobs are performed by computers and machines. For example, even where are still some businesses that still work with traveling, laundry and clothing preparation by hand, most of these are now done free with the use of machines and computers. In engineering, there are dozens of programs that are designed to do the analysis and design of structures in just a few minutes, when long time ago it used to take days and months. With the invention of the calculator, months of work are now down to minutes. While progress has its positives, we cannot deny that their negatives are creating serious issues today.

Even now in some supermarkets there are “self-in” cashier lines, which just require you to insert your money or credit card and scan the products yourself. If this invention progress, soon there will be no need for cashiers and so more people will be unemployed as they are no longer needed. And while all of this happens in different forms, population grows, so the proportion of unemployed people to jobs available is continue to grow at worrying rates.

“Saving money” has not always been a good thing. Today, there are companies which have grown to billions and yet face bankrupt because of illegal issues being found. Money is there to be used, not to be saved to a point that there is nothing but greed. It’s good to save money for emergency, not for the sake of having more and more. While machines and computers have eased our way of living, it’s good that the old customs remain at least for checking and corroborating that the job done with the aid of the machine is right. There are more people, so there is more demand and people don’t like to wait today so companies today can’t afford to lose time and thus money but the solution to the problem is worse than the problem itself. More people at work means more people can check different parts of the procedure done by the computer or machine and the job can still be done in a quick way without sacrificing the stability of the employees. Indeed, progress has lots of positives, but the negative aspects should be dealt with so that no one is affected. In supermarkets, even if you can do scan and pay for the goods yourself, a person who is there that may assist you in case of a problem is not a bad idea. That way, other cashiers who are attending customers are not affected and there is no lay off. Many companies and business go bankrupt because the lose track on how much they can handle with so much technology.

We all know the world is going to a point where everything will be done from the house, except maybe getting food and clothes. This is extremely bad. We all know that recently, a giant bookstore closed because of lack of sufficient selling- Borders. I remember I loved to go to the bookstore. But now, with the presence of online bookstores such as IBooks, Nook and Amazon, you simply look for the book and order it. All the employees from Borders, thousands, laid off. No more money for them. The same is going to happen to all businesses that today people can get the services from the internet. In the future there will be no more need of music stores like fye, GameStop or any furniture store. The only employees needed would be carriers, drivers and inspectors, as well as the people who factor the products. All employees in charge of the stores will be out of work, adding to the trouble we have now. Today this is not seen because we still have lots of people that are old school and some of the newest generations like me who understand this is not good, but this group of people will eventually reduce and in one hundred years, this will be a mess that I am afraid we need to stop now, or else it will be too late.

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    • profile image

      Juninho 2 years ago

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    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 5 years ago from Pune( India)

      Yes Sir,

      I am an Indian, retired blue collar worker, found that automation everywhere has cut manual labor.In India also sometimes they bring ready to use slabs and equipment to build a large building and towers.

      Human is a perfect machine, but corp orates calculate only profit and time.

      i appreciate, you brought important point to discuss , we interact.