So I was listening to a recent podcast about millennials, and the current lack of need for more people in the labor force. First let me just say this, the podcast is an hour long so I don't expect anyone to listen to the whole thing (though I encourage it) just for the purpose of this discussion. Instead I am going to try to bullet point the main themes so we can discuss them.
- We have become a society with little to no limit on the amount of goods and services provided to us. This sort of put us in a Jetsons like era where we have so much that there is little concern that we can actively get it. And in fact productivity is the highest it's ever been since WW2.
- We have automated so many things that there is less need for man power, and more need for machines to get jobs done. Yes we need operators for machines, but what use to take 50 or so people to gather crops now takes 10 or so to work said machines.
- Many things could be automated, but remain as low income jobs because we can't quite figure out what else to do with a society that would otherwise be jobless. Think Starbucks for instance, all they really do is take the money, input ingredients into a machine, and hand us the cup. Hell that's already been automated, just not in official coffee shops. Or the military where we spend far more than we truly need in part because it gives people jobs.
- Should we really be mad when people do not want to do one or more low paying jobs that they know could be taken over by a machine just to get by?
- Finally, we have absolutely been working towards this reality of less jobs. Why else build roads, highways, and bridges meant to last for a hundred years if not so that the next generation no longer needs to do so?