TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

Should "Jobs" be artificially created, since most people seem to need them?

The whole idea of the Industrial Revolution is replacing physical labor by mechancal power, computers, robots, electricity, etc. Summed up by saying : to eliminate jobs. (for humans) This process seems to be accelerating, not slowiing down. We very well might face an economy with lots of "Productivity" , but few consumers,or "jobs". Analogous to what wealthy families have always been like. Except that they usually " take care of their own," i.e. create jobs for those who need them, however useless and inefficient. So, are we willing to face the consequences of doing that for everybody?! We would have to drop the idea of efficiency , or "merit"Just as in the Army; they pay you and feed you regrardless. Call it Radical, or Nepotism, which?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 6 2013: how many jobs there are today, in the US? around 150 million. that is approx 40% of the total population. how many jobs have destroyed since the formation of the US? almost all of them. majority of US workers were farmers in 1800. today, less than 5% works in agriculture. how is that? why job count is not down to 5% then?

    because new jobs have been created. who created them? nobody. jobs are just there. jobs are things to do. jobs are things that can be done in order for us to have a better life. better can be more healthy, safer, more entertaining, whatever. whatever we desire to have. the possibilities are endless. if is incomprehensible that at any time, people will be out of ideas how to make each other's life better. any idea how to make things better: a job.

    but we don't have enough time to to all the jobs. we do the most important jobs, and simply skip the less important ones. so as soon as one job gets automated, work hours get freed up, and we can put those work hours to some other tasks. and the result is, more of our desires can be satisfied.

    so no, it is not nepotism or radical, it is just false.
    • Jan 6 2013: The number of hours worked per capita has decreased a lot since 1800, that's a good thing and much of it was the result of state or union action, I just hope people won't forget about that when deciding how to react to continued rises in productivity. It would be a shame if people started believing that reduced working hours came out of nowhere and will do so again in the future.
    • Jan 7 2013: Krisztian: you are basically right, I was just suggesting that in the future , we are going to have to drop the "bottom line" thinking about Subsistance, and the "value" of a "job". I didn't quite understand your last line. Perhaps I should have added that in an economy of vast overproduction , there need not be any particular "wage discrimination" i.e. paying more more for one job rather than another.;
      • thumb
        Jan 7 2013: so you are saying what i say is right, but false?

        i don't know what dropping the bottom line would be. i also don't understand that why would anyone have to accept lower living standards in the future. the opposite is happening for 200-300 years. what will change?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.