Brother Can You Spare a J-O-B? The First Part

Category: 2040s Here 2015 Blog
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Written by Tony Dickey Hits: 950

 A 2040s are Already Here Work In Process (WIP)

Buddy Can You Spare a J-O-B?

20141215 Uranus 90 Pluto chartandwaveThe current Uranus-Pluto 90 square moved into place as the 2008-2010 Great Recession "officially" ended. Of course, what governments declare and real world experience completely differ; many people feel the recession never ended. This feeling engenders many questions, especially regarding income inequality. While that class issue, effectively raised by the Occupy Movement, still reverberates, parallel concerns loom larger and larger. How does an economy based on consumer spending survive when wages stagnate or, worse, disappear?

Innovations in energy, technology, manufacturing, and health care are undoubtedly important. However, in and of themselves, they will not reestablish the broad-based wage growth and improved job quality needed to generate and sustain middle-class income growth. Nor will they, on their own, permit access to a rising middle class for those now left behind.
A Decade of Flat Wages The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class

This dim view of the future piles on what workers see paycheck to paycheck

For virtually the entire period since 1979 (with the one exception being the strong wage growth of the late 1990s), wage growth for most workers has been weak. The median worker saw an increase of just 5% between 1979 and 2012, despite productivity growth of 74.5%—while the 20th percentile worker saw wage erosion of 0.4% and the 80th percentile worker saw wage growth of just 17.5%.” This again notes the break between productivity gains and wage increases.
Show Me the Money: Facing the Dangers and Causes of Stagnant Real Wages

What's worse than a job (or jobs for many) that continually fails to keep up with expenses? No job at all!

Already, robots have been embraced by the industrial sector.
Gone are the days of industrial robots serving a single purpose. In 2012, Rethink Robotics introduced Baxter, a freestanding and mobile robot that can be taught physical tasks. Any regular worker can show Baxter what to do, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
2 billion of today’s jobs could disappear by 2030

It gets worse

Demand for code-writing high-tech workers then becomes limited to those who are needed for general code maintenance like updates and repairs. The rest of the high-tech workers end up going into the service sector, which consequently pushes down wages for employees in that industry. And lower incomes reduce the amount of goods and services that workers are able to buy.
Robots Could Make Even High-Tech Workers Worse Off

This leaves retailers worrying, as we all should, about who can afford to buy their products.

Two-thirds of America’s largest retailers, most of which pay minimum wage, are citing “flat or falling disposable incomes” as a serious risk factor to their business models.
Retailers Cite Low Wages as Major Threat to Business

Sparea J O B ura pluWhere we are now

  • Rising productivity
  • Increasing use of robotics & automation
  • Stagnant wages
  • Declining wealth of middle and working classes
  • Aging populations
  • Current workers with constantly falling disposable income

With economies based on consumer spending, not just in the US, but around the world, something has to give. To use a popular ecological description, current trends are unsustainable. Logical sequencing given suggests society arriving to a place where few work for a living in the tradition of industry and commerce. For what ever reason, extremely consciousand efficient robots will perform the majority of tasks in certain fields; there will be more people than jobs in a world with a still growing population.

A Uranus-Pluto History of Labor Most of this history appears in The Second Part, but readers should know that the history of labor in the modern world and Uranus-Pluto hard aspects are intimately connected. The 1870s Long Depression, 1930s and the Great Recession each coincided with Uranus-Pluto squares. Each marked critical turning points in the struggle between labor and industry Understanding their importance may help us to decide what to do between the current 2010s square and the 2040s opposition.