Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Economy as I see it (Part 2)

This follows yesterday's blog. Today, we'll talk about automatizing tasks, from office computer work, to robots on the assembly line, to smarter devices, power tools and the like. One could say that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have made themselves incredibly rich on the backs of the lowly workers, but if that pair had not been there, someone else would have brought computing the stage it is today; it might just have taken a tad longer...

What's clear is that by increasing productivity we'd need much more work to do if we were to keep everyone employed. We're growing the world population as fast as we can to generate a constant supply of growth but this is woefully inadequate to catch up with productivity gains, so where do we find enough to do to occupy everyone? Tough question indeed. The French had tried to “share the workload” by offering a 35 hour work week, but that didn't fly too well. Is there a path to higher quality that would pick up that slack?

Is alternative energy and medical research two avenues that hold enough promises to absorb all of that unemployed? Better yet, this might mean that we must accelerate innovation by moving forward faster, better in a wide variety of fields. This seems to be the logical answer. Now the follow-up question: What have we done – as individuals – to create something new, to address a need, solve a problem or create something new that the rest of the world will eat up?

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