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Debate: The Millennial generation has no hope.

For: Stagnating economies, rising youth unemployment and an attitude of entitlement (vs. head down and get on with it) means twenty somethings' futures look bleak.

Against: The digital revolution means anyone with a good idea can make it happen. Financial success isn't everything and actually this audience can follow their interests instead of having to follow a corporate career ladder. Finally in emerging markets such as India, there is a lot more possibility.



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  • Oct 14 2012: Well, we can't know for sure, but for the sake of discussion I'd say I'm against. I think that we will somehow be able to overcome the problems we're facing now (pollution, lack of resources, overpopulation) and that there is a future to hope for. This is an interesting time to live in. We still don't have robots to do all of our jobs for us like in some of the sci-fi movies, but we have constructed robots that can do certain jobs better than us, taking our jobs and thus contributing to the unemployment crisis. Emerging technologies will probably provide new jobs for us, but we have to balance out the amount of work being done by robots and the amount of work being done by humans. In my opinion, one thing is certain, we will have to come up with a new economic system because this one is outdated. Not many people think about it, but we've been using practically the same system for around 4 000 years (Ancient Egyptian used the same system we use now). There have been political revolutions, social revolutions and more recently technological revolution. There has to be an economic revolution if we are to have a successful future and I feel that we will be successful.
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      Oct 16 2012: Hi Stefan
      Technology is creating a spectrum of work opportunities.
      You said "taking our jobs and thus contributing to the unemployment crisis." This is a common misconception. The work that is done by robots may displace some repetitive jobs like putting parts together in an assembly line or painting a car during assembly. But other people are working making robots and putting them together, perhaps with the help of more robots. Be that as it may, it is not the robots that are contributing to unemployment. The lost jobs are being done by other people who will do the work for less money. International competition is the force that is driving unemployment. In America, when Labor Unions had the upper hand, they bargained for ever increasing wages and benefits. They refused to recognize the growing international labor market and refused to compete. So their jobs were taken up by workers who would work for less, produce quality products, and accept work with no health plan, no injury insurance, very little if any retirement system, who live in worker housing with 3 to 7 other workers in their dorm room.
      The best way to grow American jobs is to encourage workers in those places to insist on more benefits, and American workers to work for less... As it stands, foreign workers who ask for any benefits or higher pay are fired and one of the 3,000 people standing in line for a job steps forward.
      As long as big business focuses only one the bottom line, and American consumers insist on cheap products of high quality, and American labor only sees other Americans as the competition, unemployment will only increase.
      Technology enables more to be done by fewer workers. But there is enough to do, that there is work for everyone if we can agree on a method of payment that is equitable.
      • Oct 16 2012: Hi Jon,
        You seem to be concentrating mainly on the issue of the unemployment crisis in the USA, but almost every country in the world has their own unemployment crisis. Yes, technology is creating a spectrum of work opportunities, but only to those with enough knowledge. You know, not everyone can work on the making of robots and their upgrading so I fear that lower classes will have problems finding work. And at one time, we will come to the point when robots will be making other robots who can do some types of work better than we can and then only a few people will be needed to overseer them. And the fact is we can't all work as scientists or caterers (not sure this is the word, but I can't find a better one).
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          Oct 16 2012: in reality, there are no strict boundaries. there is no such thing that there is a market for skilled labor, but below a certain productivity, the demand suddenly drops to zero. everyone can contribute something, and that something has a price. all that can be said is in the modern era, unskilled labor becoming less and less paid, compared to the median or the average. this process, modernization, can not possibly lead to unemployment. it only can lead to adjustment of wages according to productivity. and since productivity is not zero, wage also isn't.

          if there is unemployment, there must be some other factors that distort the labor market, and prevent it from doing what i just described. and yes, there are many such factors, namely taxes, minimum wage and red tape.

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