ROBOTS - Why I Believe the New Budget Will Speed Up the Automation of Jobs

A robot covered in moss with the word robot written on it.
Many people have already spilled much ink over the new budget proposals; I hope to provide something a bit different than many of the brilliant critiques that have already been written.

As technology continues to progress at an ever alarming rate, we are entering the Second Machine Age.  Any job that can be automated will be automated. If a process can be pulled apart, analysed and standardised, it will become automated. It is not something of the future, it is here now. If we need any proof of this we only need to look at Instagram, with only 13 employees it is valued at $1,000,000. Or companies like ‘Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.These giants combined do not employ as many people as General Motors did. But the money accrued by them is enormous and remains in a few hands.’

This affects both manual work e.g. Factory workers and drivers etc (yes driver-less cars are already here) as well as those in the information industry e.g. information processing, lawyers and analysts etc. In this new reality humanity’s key skills will be our emotion, empathy, and creativity.

I believe that the new budget announced yesterday will speed up this process in 2 concrete ways, through investment and incentive:

Investment - The new budget proposes that corporation tax will be reduced to 18% (and as ever, the government will do nothing to close tax avoidance loop holes for corporations). This new move frees up more capital for companies to invest in automation technology.

Incentive - The new budget proposes that the minimum wage will be increased to £9 an hour by 2020. This rise in minimum wage will give companies the incentive to automate jobs as much as possible to increase profits and prepare them for this.

I don’t really know what the answer is as we move towards a more jobless future; but I think that the emphasis on the characteristics of what a human being is (empathy, emotion, creativity) as the core skills that we have will hopefully illicit creative and beautiful responses to the problems that we face.

May we be those whose empathy cries out for those without a voice, may we be those whose emotion bleeds for those most affected by the new budget, and may we be those whose creativity bursts into a hurting world and brings justice.

Please feel free to post your own thoughts and creative solutions in the comments section.

For other interesting information on this, check out these links:
http://www.thirdway.org/report/jobless-recoveries
http://jarche.com/2015/06/preparing-for-2020/

Image from shipoffools.wikia.com - Laputa Castle In The Sky.

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