January 13, 2013
Where's The Next Sector?
But then the topic of automation also came up. Reminiscing about my teenage years I pointed out that in the 1980s I often visited the local library and there were at least 5 women working there throughout the day. In the 1990s that changed dramatically. No longer did you hand your books over to a person. They had made machines for that which scanned barcodes. No longer were there many people there. Just 1 or 2.
Just this afternoon I came across an article in the Daily Mail that shows a restaurant operated by robots. Women who worked at libraries might have transferred to the service sector as waitresses but if this particular job is replaced by robots then where is the next sector?
Often I have had discussions on the internet with proponents of Chicago or Austrian Economics and I'm amazed at how stubborn they can be. They have this notion that the market will create jobs again and again, seemingly oblivious to the fact that with every new step in automation you lose jobs and working hours. Technology and automation will render capitalism obsolete. Time to face the facts...