Tag Archives: Automation

The Great Transformation: Robots Will Displace 20 Million Jobs By 2030

A new report by Oxford Economics says accelerating technological advances in automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have the potential to reshape the world in the 2020s through 2030. The collision of these forces could trigger economic disruption far greater than what was seen in the early 20th century.

Across the world, a new wave of investment in automation could displace 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030. This coming period of change should be called the great transformation period where job losses due to automation will be on par to the automation of agriculture revolution ( the transition of farm workers into the industrial sector) from 1900 to 1940.

Robots have so far increased three-fold since the Dot Com bust. Momentum in trends suggests the global stock of robots will multiply even quicker through the 2020s, reaching as many as 20 million by 2030, with 14 million in China alone. The collision of automation in the economy will lead to more volatility and economic swings.

The adoption of new automation technologies can significantly boost income inequality and, by extension, wealth inequality. Many countries, including the US, are entering the 2020’s with extreme inequalities, and automation will likely accelerate that trend. Oxford Economics estimates that 20 million manufacturing jobs across the world will be displaced by robots by 2030.

By 2030, most of the automation disruption in major manufacturing countries will be centered in China, the EU, and the US:

  • China: over 11 million
  • European Union: almost 2 million
  • United States: nearly 1.7 million
  • South Korea: nearly 800,000
  • The rest of the world: 3 million

Oxford Economics developed the Robot Vulnerability Index – where specific regions across the US are at the highest risk of labor disruption thanks to automation.

The crosscurrents of these macroeconomic force could dramatically reshape economies around the world. Nevertheless, displacing blue-collar manufacturing jobs with robots will continue to drive income/wealth inequality to such extreme levels that governments will be forced to become more interventionist, using higher taxes, regulation, and policy to control economic imbalances.

Source: ZeroHedge

Americans Show “Enormous Increase In Support” Of Universal Basic Income

As automation and AI destroy millions of middle-income jobs, permanently forcing (primarily male) workers from the workforce, Americans are beginning to reconsider their attitudes toward a radical policy tool that’s popular among some segments of the left: Universal Basic Income.

According to CNBC, a recent poll conducted by Northeastern University and Gallup found that 48% of Americans support the measure. In an association that’s hardly a coincidence, the poll also showed that three-quarters of Americans believe machines will take away more jobs than they’ll generate…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/bernie.jpg?itok=kIERw8-2

Unsurprisingly 65% of Democrats want to see a universal basic income and 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 do. In comparison, just 28% of Republicans support UBI.

While proposals for universal basic income programs vary, the most common one is a system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment. That system is being tested in Canada and Finland, as well as Stockton, California, which recently emerged from bankruptcy but remains mired in poverty.

Support for UBI and wariness about automation/AI have become closely linked in the public consciousness. The movement has even inspired America’s first “anti-automation” presidential candidate: New York businessman Andrew Yang is launching a “longer-than-long-shot bid” for the 2020 Democratic nomination, on a platform of adopting a “freedom dividend” (a fancy term for UBI), to help offset the impact of automation.

Advocates say all of the UBI-focused experiments being conducted are an opportunity to show that the policy could boost both productivity, as well as individual happiness and overall wellbeing.

“The claim is often made that if you give people a basic income, they’ll become lazy and stop doing work,” said Guy Standing, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. “It’s an insult to the human condition. Basic incomes tend to increase people’s work rather than reduce it.”

Political philosopher and economist Karl Widerquist remembers a poll from 10 years ago that showed just 12 percent of Americans approved of a universal basic income.

“It’s an enormous increase in support,” Widerquist said.

“We don’t need to threaten people with homelessness and poverty to get them to work,” he added.

“It’s capitalism where income doesn’t start at zero.”

Of course, the odds of UBI actually being enacted in the US are highly unlikely.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/teaser_desktop_2x/public/2018-02/2018.02.27freemoney.JPG?itok=B0TV0tY-

Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimates that a program providing everyone with $10,000 annually could cost more than $3 trillion a year, a bill that is more likely to increase poverty than reduce it.

“This single-year figure equals more than three-fourths of the entire yearly federal budget – and double the entire budget outside Social Security, Medicare, defense, and interest payments,” Greenstein wrote in a CBPP commentary last year.

Still, a recent McKinsey study found that automation could eliminate up to 800 million jobs by 2030…

…If such a dire outlook comes to pass, the US – and practically every government – will need to devise a plan for mitigating the devastating impact this will have on employment.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.02.26mckinsey.JPG?itok=yuwWk0at

So – in ten years, eight of which were ruled over by President Obama – the proportion of Americans who want more free shit for doing nothing has quadrupled (from 12% to 48%)… now that is ‘conditioning’!!

Source: ZeroHedge