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Is Technology Degrading the Value of Human Work?

 
 
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 01:32 pm
Frank Apisa said:

Quote:
Sorry Hawk...I thought I put the entire series here in A2K...but I did not. I did put one piece (of what I posted in another forum) here...and it can be found at:

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

It talks about the problems for human labor caused by our technology.

The other forum (Open Salon) where I post (haven't been there in over a year) has the entire series. If you would like to read it, I'd love to have your opinion. Here are the links in order:

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/back_in_the_1950s

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/09/unemploymentproductivityrelated

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/10/is_unemployment_really_a_problem

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/11/so_who_is_in_favor_of_more_leisure_time_for_everybody

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/12/readers_digest_version--the_end_of_the_series


That first one, by the way, begins with:

There will never, ever again, be enough quality jobs (read that: high-paying jobs) available for all the people who need and/or want one. Never, ever again. Not in our country—nor anywhere else in the world. Free market dynamics will not produce them—nor will any president, congress, or legislative agenda either. The days when it makes sense to pay humans a living wage to do things that machines, robots, and computers can do more efficiently—at a higher rate of productivity—AND AT LESS COST (which includes the vast preponderance of all medium skill manufacturing jobs) are over. They are a thing of the past and will NEVER return.

(Which is right on point with what you were saying!)

http://able2know.org/topic/172483-147#post-5559522
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hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 01:54 pm
My opinion before reading Franks is as follows:

Of course it is, which was predicted over 50 years ago when it was claimed that we would by now be all down to 20 hour work weeks because there would be no need to work more because technology would be doing the work. In the past technology has not impacted the amount of human work done because we were driving to ramp up consumption under the theory that more stuff would make us happy, the displaced workers simply needed to be retrained and in some cases better educated to take on the new work that needed to be done, but there was plenty of work. This does not work anymore, because we have experienced having a lot of crap, and it did not make us very happy, in fact working 60 hours a weeks to get crap we dont need and that does not make us happy got to feel like a useless to us rat race.

So what we have now is a whole lot of people running around with not enough to do, and gross wealth inequality.

What are we going to do about it?

Globalization of the economy ruined any chance to tax heavily enough production to make any difference, to have enough money to hand out in welfare to keep the idle in a decent quality of life. At the moment governments are ignoring this truth and using unsustainable debt to pacify the idle, to keep revolutionary zeal in check, which will certainly lead to ruin when the scheme falls apart. We are going to need a global government before taxing production would work, and we will not see that anytime soon, complete global economic collapse will have to happen first.

We could socialize major sectors: The problem with that is that governments show no ability of rising to the challenge, corruption and incompetence have been the rule for a very long time.

We could tax wealth, But wealth would bolt to what ever parts of the globe dont try to deprive the wealthy of their wealth. Again, global government is required, and will not happen till a complete crash of the current order.

We could continue to lie to the people about the problem, keep saying that better days are around the corner if people would just go get the right skills. However, while people tend to be dumb they are not so dumb that this will work forever.


Current opinion to the solution: Wait for the inevitable crash while trying to think of ideas for what comes after the crash. The current world order is too far gone, it is no longer salvageable even with the best minds and the strongest of wills to do so.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 01:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Frank Apisa said:

Quote:
Sorry Hawk...I thought I put the entire series here in A2K...but I did not. I did put one piece (of what I posted in another forum) here...and it can be found at:

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

It talks about the problems for human labor caused by our technology.

The other forum (Open Salon) where I post (haven't been there in over a year) has the entire series. If you would like to read it, I'd love to have your opinion. Here are the links in order:

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/back_in_the_1950s

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/09/unemploymentproductivityrelated

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/10/is_unemployment_really_a_problem

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/11/so_who_is_in_favor_of_more_leisure_time_for_everybody

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/12/readers_digest_version--the_end_of_the_series


That first one, by the way, begins with:

There will never, ever again, be enough quality jobs (read that: high-paying jobs) available for all the people who need and/or want one. Never, ever again. Not in our country—nor anywhere else in the world. Free market dynamics will not produce them—nor will any president, congress, or legislative agenda either. The days when it makes sense to pay humans a living wage to do things that machines, robots, and computers can do more efficiently—at a higher rate of productivity—AND AT LESS COST (which includes the vast preponderance of all medium skill manufacturing jobs) are over. They are a thing of the past and will NEVER return.

(Which is right on point with what you were saying!)

http://able2know.org/topic/172483-147#post-5559522


Wow...that was nice of you to post this, Hawk.

By the way...the one that I did post here is found at:



http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

I just don't think there will ever be enough decent paying jobs for everyone who needs and wants one. Never again.

And all these essays are aimed at that thought.

Your comment saying that same thing, Hawk, was what brought this stuff to mind.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 01:58 pm
@hawkeye10,
I hope you get a good discussion out of this. I've nothing to put in at this point, but I will be following along.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:17 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I just don't think there will ever be enough decent paying jobs for everyone who needs and wants one. Never again.


"job" is a construct of the current world order, which I think has to end. It is more useful to think about "work", that which is done to sustain us. The economic system used to support this work can change at any time, "the job" does not need to exist.

Technology is hugely degrading the need for human work. Mao and Pol Pot had a solution to this problem, not a very good one but a solution...get rid of technology.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:30 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
I just don't think there will ever be enough decent paying jobs for everyone who needs and wants one. Never again.


"job" is a construct of the current world order, which I think has to end. It is more useful to think about "work", that which is done to sustain us. The economic system used to support this work can change at any time, "the job" does not need to exist.

Technology is hugely degrading the need for human work. Mao and Pol Pot had a solution to this problem, not a very good one but a solution...get rid of technology.


I get what you are saying, Hawk.

I tend to put it in different perspective.

My thesis is: The notion that people have to EARN their living...is an anachronism. At if it isn't completely yet...it certainly will be very soon. Well within the lifetime of most people alive today.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:42 pm
Quote:
FIRST and foremost, we all have to recognize and acknowledge that it makes sense to turn over any and all jobs that machines can do efficiently—to machines for the doing.

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

Wrong, because quality of life is the yardstick, not the theory of efficiency. You are making the same mistake as those who are against birth control because of a book that was written way back when not having enough humans on this planet was a problem Now we have too many, conditions have changed, and so must our behavior. Too much work used to be the problem, now the problem is not having enough. The default of always wanting to get things done with less work needs to change.

Quote:
Which brings us to the SECOND item on my list: If it makes more sense for a human to do the job…if the job cannot more efficiently be handled by a machine…the human doing the job should be paid a very decent salary for doing it. No matter how mundane the job, if it is a human-required or human-preferred job, the pay has to be exceptional.

so long as money is used people need money, and we will need a way for them to get money. And this money needs to be handed out in a fair way. HOWEVER, you have to solve the problem of not enough work available before you can deal with how to organize the economic system to sustain this way of life. Any talk about pay for "jobs" needs to wait till you solve the main problem.

Quote:
THIRD, every one of these quality, high-paying human-required or human-preferred jobs—has to be the object of competition—jobs fought for and won by the best available most dedicated people


A return to meritocracy?? You are preaching to the choir baby!

Quote:
And the question, "But where do we get the money to pay the people not producing?" is screaming in your head. But it all works out with a bit of reflection and development.
no it does not work out, you have not explained where the money comes from. I am thinking that the way it will need to work is from VAT and carbon taxes, but I dont see how you get that without a global government.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:46 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
FIRST and foremost, we all have to recognize and acknowledge that it makes sense to turn over any and all jobs that machines can do efficiently—to machines for the doing.

http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/08/there_will_never_ever_again_be

Wrong, because quality of life is the yardstick, not the theory of efficiency. You are making the same mistake as those who are against birth control because of a book that was written way back when not having enough humans on this planet was a problem Now we have too many, conditions have changes, and so must our behavior. Too much work used to be the problem, now the problem is not having enough. The default of always wanting to get things done with less work needs to change.

Quote:
Which brings us to the SECOND item on my list: If it makes more sense for a human to do the job…if the job cannot more efficiently be handled by a machine…the human doing the job should be paid a very decent salary for doing it. No matter how mundane the job, if it is a human-required or human-preferred job, the pay has to be exceptional.

so long as money is used people need money, and we will need a way for them to get money. And this money needs to be handed out in a fair way. HOWEVER, you have to solve the problem of not enough work available before you can deal with how to organize the economic system to sustain this way of life. Any talk about pay for "jobs" needs to wait till you solve the main problem.

Quote:
THIRD, every one of these quality, high-paying human-required or human-preferred jobs—has to be the object of competition—jobs fought for and won by the best available most dedicated people


A return to meritocracy?? You are preaching to the choir baby!

Quote:
And the question, "But where do we get the money to pay the people not producing?" is screaming in your head. But it all works out with a bit of reflection and development.
no it does not work out, you have not explained where the money comes from. I am thinking that the way it will need to work is from VAT and carbon taxes, but I dont see how you get that without a global government.


Thank you for giving my comments so much consideration.

Obviously we are going to disagree...so...
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:50 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
The notion that people have to EARN their living...is an anachronism. At if it isn't completely yet...it certainly will be very soon. Well within the lifetime of most people alive today.
that was the belief of the massive welfare states in Europe, which are rapidly shrinking because they are undone by the global economic system. I dont like your idea of paying people to stay out of the way, work is a requirement for quality of life, people have to have a mission to do. I could see paying people to parent children, that is useful work, that is a mission, and I can see continuing to get the work week down, 100 years ago it was routine to work 70-80 hours a week, I dont see why 20 hours could not be the norm.

On a different matter, forcing the old to work well into their 60's when we dont have enough work simply because the government wants to cheap out is dumb dumb dumb. There should be a law that no one but the most critical specialists can work past their 50th birthday.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 02:54 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Obviously we are going to disagree...so...


so what if we disagree.... the problem needs to be explored and if you should need to wade through some disagreement to get r done you should be willing to do so.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 03:15 pm
LABOREM EXERCENS (On Human Work)

Pope John Paul II

Quote:
In industry and agriculture man's work has today in many cases ceased to be mainly manual, for the toil of human hands and muscles is aided by more and more highly perfected machinery. Not only in industry but also in agriculture we are witnessing the transformations made possible by the gradual development of science and technology. Historically speaking this, taken as a whole, has caused great changes in civilization, from the beginning of the "industrial era" to the successive phases of development through new technologies, such as the electronics and the microprocessor technology in recent years.

While it may seem that in the industrial process it is the machine that "works" and man merely supervises it, making it function and keeping it going in various ways, it is also true that for this very reason industrial development provides grounds for reproposing in new ways the question of human work. Both the original industrialization that gave rise to what is called the worker question and the subsequent industrial and postindustrial changes show in an eloquent manner that, even in the age of ever more mechanized "work," the proper subject of work continues to be man.

The development of industry and of the various sectors connected with it, even the most modern electronics technology, especially in the fields of miniaturization, communications and tele-communications and so forth, show how vast is the role of technology, that ally of work that human thought has produced, in the interaction between the subject and object of work (in the widest sense of the word). Understood in this case not as a capacity or aptitude for work, but rather as a whole set of instruments which man uses in his work, technology is undoubtedly man's ally. It facilitates his work, perfects, accelerates and augments it. It leads to an increase in the quantity of things produced by work, and in many cases improves their quality. However, it is also a fact that, in some instances, technology can cease to be man's ally and become almost his enemy, as when the mechanization of work "supplants" him, taking away all personal satisfaction and the incentive to creativity and responsibility, when it deprives many workers of their previous employment, or when, through exalting the machine, it reduces man to the status of its slave.


http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/jp2labor.htm

exactly!
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 03:46 pm
Quote:
How can this be? Are we not more intelligent than this? Can we not devise a system that yields all of us much, much more leisure time?


http://open.salon.com/blog/frank_apisa/2008/12/11/so_who_is_in_favor_of_more_leisure_time_for_everybody

We could, and we choose to not do it. Part of the reason is that money income is how we place value on ourselves, money is always with us a yardstick not just a means to an end. We want more money because we think that the ability to get more money means that we are better than the schmuck next to us. Most of us are not rich enough so that this incoming wealth can come from mafia inspired skimming programs, most of us need to work more if we want more money.

A bigger problem is that time with nothing of value to do, leisure time, is not enjoyable nor is it good for us. IT HAS LITTLE VALUE. Now time away from the jobby job so that we can pursue other work does have value, and we should figure out how to make this happen and still allow people to have the funds for a good quality of life, so long as we use money.
0 Replies
 
 

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