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Anorak | The machines are going to steal all our jobs!

The machines are going to steal all our jobs!

by | 10th, October 2012

LUDDISM is alive and well in the modern world. The idea that as the machines do more and more of the work then there just won’t be enough jobs to go around. Here is The Economist worrying about that very thing:

It is possible that Ms Parmeshwari and other “manual scavengers” will be able to find healthier lines of work, especially if the Indian economy regains its vigour. As Mr Gordon noted in his paper, women in the West were not deprived of gainful employment after having been liberated from the task of fetching clean water. Still, one has to wonder what will happen to all the people destined to be replaced by pipes.

What that “manual scavenger” line of work refers to is cleaning up human shit by hand. Because vast areas of India do not have sit down toilets and the necessary running water and sewage pipes to handle them. There are thus an army of the extremely poor who make their living hauling the crap away. They get to pick it up with a shovel and off they go.

Perhaps machines, just toilets and pipes, will destroy such jobs. But for that we should all perhaps be extremely thankful. In our own society the only time this still has to be done is when some poor unfortunate is confined to a hospital bed.

As to whether new jobs will grow up to replace these ones: well, it did indeed happen for us, didn’t it? So there’s absolutely no evidence at all that it won’t for them.



Posted: 10th, October 2012 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink