Technology Can Make Man Obsolete

It’s no secret that global economy has gone down the toilet and as a result millions of people have lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. Finding a job in a service-based economy in today’s day and age is for many a living nightmare.

Workers often find themselves looking for jobs in new occupations where they lack the necessary skills required. This mismatch has led to a massive increase in long-term unemployment, especially for young people who find it increasingly difficult to enter the job market.

Since January 2012 unemployment has declined overall in the United States from 9 percent to 7.3 percent at the end of July 2013, but the latest forecast predicts that it will start climbing in the foreseeable future.

The situation is not very different in the United Kingdom. Although unemployment edged down by 0.1 percent between May and July 2013 to 7.7 percent, those who are finding jobs are only finding part-time employment.

There are currently 1.45 million people working part-time in the UK, the highest number since records began in 1992 and double the number of five years ago. Politicians are optimistic that unemployment will continue to shrink, but nobody has the guts to say that the improved figures are completely cosmetic.

It’s rarely discussed that western economies have painted themselves into a corner by employing technological solutions to manual duties or outsourcing them to foreign countries where labor is cheap. China and South-East Asia depend a lot on foreign money coming in from tourism and direct investments.

This is a growing problem for the Asian regions as the western corporations owning the factories have had to downsize to prevent share prices from falling.

Meanwhile, western economies face social problems with the ever-widening gap between rich and poor. Average income in the US is still 6.1 percent lower than it was in December 2007, while incomes for the top 10 percent earners in the country increased.

Technological progress is also taking its toll on the job market. As machines become more sophisticated, necessary engineering education will be required to maintain the equipment. This is ironic as tuition fees keeps going up. It will further widen the gap between those who have and those who don’t.

There are several challenges ahead in the 21st century to get humanity back on track. The biggest will likely be to decrease the gap.

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