Skip to main content

Signals of an unsustainable future coming from Davos

Hyper-automation impact on unemployment rise - further shrinking of the middle class - creation of a working elite - substitution of saturated Western consumers with other emerging consumer tanks


The general conclusions from the report The Future of Jobs, of the 2016 World Economic Forum, leave little room for optimistic thoughts about the future. They reflect what already most of us have realized: that the combination of the current socio-economic model with the rapid hyper-automation of production, lead to further imbalance and inequality in favor of the very few.

As Stephen Hawking mentioned recently: “If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

Some key points from the study:

Recent discussions about the employment impact of disruptive change have often been polarized between those who foresee limitless opportunities in newly emerging job categories and prospects that improve workers’ productivity and liberate them from routine work, and those that foresee massive labour substitution and displacement of jobs. Academics, chief executives and labour leaders hold strong and diverse views on the debate, as do policymakers. It is clear from our data that while forecasts vary by industry and region, momentous change is underway and that, ultimately, it is our actions today that will determine whether that change mainly results in massive displacement of workers or the emergence of new opportunities. Without urgent and targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with futureproof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base.

Overall, our respondents seem to take a negative view regarding the upcoming employment impact of artificial intelligence, although not on a scale that would lead to widespread societal upheaval—at least up until the year 2020. By contrast, further unpacking the bundle of technological drivers of change in the mould of the Fourth Industrial Revolution yields a rather more optimistic picture regarding the job creation potential of technologies such as Big Data analytics, mobile internet, the Internet of Things and robotics. [...] Our respondents expect strong employment growth across the Architecture and Engineering and Computer and Mathematical job families, a moderate decline in Manufacturing and Production roles and a significant decline in Office and Administrative roles. [...] Conversely, 3D printing, resource-efficient sustainable production and robotics are all seen as strong drivers of employment growth in the Architecture and Engineering job family, in light of a continued and fast-growing need for skilled technicians and specialists to create and manage advanced and automated production systems. This is expected to lead to a transformation of manufacturing into a highly sophisticated sector where high-skilled engineers are in strong demand to make the industrial Internet of Things a reality.

The expected global decline in total Manufacturing and Production roles is driven by labour-substituting technologies such as additive manufacturing and 3D printing as much as by more resource-efficient sustainable product use, lower demand growth in ageing societies and threats to global supply chains due to geopolitical volatility. Some cautious optimism is warranted due to increased manufacturing demand for advanced materials and comparatively favourable expectations around robotics, pointing to the latter’s potential for labour-complementing productivity enhancement rather than pure job replacement.

The study estimates that there will be no “widespread societal upheaval—at least up until the year 2020”, due to the takeover of jobs by artificial intelligence, but is this realy a reason not to worry seriously? Think about it: 2020 is only four years from now! Say, at the end of the new US presidency.

Secondly, the study actually confirms the trend for a limited working elite between the top 1% (or less) and the bottom 99%. The 99% (or more), which will be equalized in poverty due to the gradual elimination of the middle class. This is expected to have a major impact on the socio-economic stability, even of the most advanced societies.

As already mentioned in previous article: “In the middle of the pyramid, a restructured class will serve and secure the domination of the top. Corporate executives, big journalists, scientific elites, suppression forces. It is characteristic that academic research is directed on the basis of the profits of big corporations. Funding is directed increasingly to practical applications in areas that can bring huge profits, like for example, the higher automatization of production and therefore, the profit increase through the restriction of jobs. The base of the pyramid will be consisted by the majority of workers in global level, with restricted wages, zero labor rights, and nearly zero opportunities for activities other than consumption.” [fa.ev/a-more-simple-model-in-favor]

However, by far the biggest expected drivers of employment creation are demographic and socio-economic in nature; in particular, the opportunities offered by young demographics and rising middle classes in emerging markets and the rising economic power and aspirations of women. [...] The Consumer industry is likewise reducing its Manufacturing and Production roles but anticipates at least stable overall demand for Sales and Related jobs, as rising middle classes in emerging markets, changing consumer values and, in particular, the rising economic power of women, are significant drivers of job growth in the sector.

As also mentioned: “The consumption-saturated and aging West, cannot longer contribute to the rise of profits of the global economic elite and therefore, through the economic crisis, the middle class is systematically eliminated so that its consuming power to be "aligned" with that of the majority of the huge populations of developing countries.” [fa.ev/a-more-simple-model-in-favor]

There is a huge potential of consumers due to unprecedented human population. Once wages will further rise in China-South East Asia, to be aligned with the shrinking Western wages, there will be plenty of consumers to buy more products. However, this is probably only a transition phase. It's not a matter of money, they can print as much as they want. It's a matter of power and control. Once the elites reach the point to control all the resources and the means of production, the model will change from capitalism to global feudalism.

Where it is mentioned, the artificial intelligence and machine learning driver is expected to lead to negative employment outcomes in job families such as Education and Training, Legal and Business and Financial Operations. However, it appears our respondents do not believe that these technologies will have advanced significantly enough by the year 2020 to have a more widespread impact on global employment levels. [...] current trends could lead to a net employment impact of more than 5.1 million jobs lost to disruptive labour market changes over the period 2015–2020, with a total loss of 7.1 million jobs — two thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family — and a total gain of 2 million jobs, in several smaller job families.

Despite that the mixture of all above is quite explosive, there is no intention by the governments and forces of the market to change the current model. On the contrary, there is a tension for further privatization of public property and businesses, and further deregulation of the market in every level. Which means that the only way for the elites to control the growing instability of this system, is by absolute suppression:

Having secured the new labor force through fully automated machines, what has left for the dominant elite now, is to take all the resources. Big corporations are grabbing huge cultivable areas especially in the developing countries in order to control food production. [...] We see a rise of private armies that act in various battlefields, like in Ukraine, exactly because in the absence of the nation-states and the national armies, someone has to protect the natural resources and the new means of production for the dominant elite. But when the arms industry will fully automate the new weapons, private armies will only serve as assistance to fully automated war machines. We already see the test fields of the weapons of future˙ the drones in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. It's not accidental that the arms industries demonstrate new weapons designed to be used inside urban areas for suppression of potential riots. There will be no "outside enemy" in the future. The threat for the dominant system will come from the interior, the big urban centers. Soldier-robots will protect worker-robots and resources.” [fa.ev/the-dominant-elite-ready-to-break.html]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stock market: one of the biggest frauds in the age of financial capitalism

globinfo freexchange
Lee Camp speaks with Tan Liu about his revealing book The Ponzi Factor, where Liu exposes all the big fraud of the stock market. Liu explains why the stock market, especially today, in the era of financial capitalism, is the purest definition of a Ponzi scheme:
The issue, of course, is profits from stocks and what makes a stock price move, is not the earnings and growth. It is actually money from another investor. Now, is there a connection at all with respect to earnings and growth and this price movement? Yes, it's called a speculative connection. It is not a legal one. It is not a logical one. It is not a definitive, or, a mathematical one.
The SEC defines three basic features of a Ponzi scheme:
One, it is an investment scenario. Two, the investment profits come from other investors. Three, the investors think the profits come from somewhere else.
What we can clearly observe every single day, every single moment the stocks are trading, is an event where the stoc…

How a group of economists undermined public institutions, paving the way to neoliberalism

An assumption had become a truth. The self-interested model of human behaviour, that had been developed in the Cold War to make the mathematical equations work, had now been adopted by these economists as a fundamental truth about the reality of all human social interaction.
globinfo freexchange
A group of economists in the early 70s arbitrarily adopted the self-interested model of human behaviour that had been developed in the Cold War, to explain the dysfunctionality of public institutions. This perception would become a powerful tool in the hands of the neoliberal ideology, carried by big banks and corporations, to demonize the state and dismantle any state control upon them at the expense of the societies.
In his documentary The Trap, Adam Curtis explains:
In the early 70s, the government bureaucracies in Britain began to collapse. Those around them blamed a growing economic crisis, but it was clear that something much more fundamental had gone wrong. What were supposed to be institut…

Italy, Greece, Deutsche Bank: heavy clouds of non-linear collapse gather again above Europe

globinfo freexchange
For nearly ten years now, the key decision centers inside eurozone are trying to hide the huge problems, pretending that the crisis is behind, in order to maintain a completely failed economic model, which also reveals, day by day, its authoritarian nature and despise against real Democracy. The totally problematic structure of eurozone makes things even worse.
In Italy, we had another political crisis and a constitutional coup because the new majority and potential coalition government is not likeable to the Brussels/Berlin axis.
In Greece, things are not looking better. The country is about to exit the IMF-type neoliberal program imposed by the Troika (ECB, European Commission, IMF), in August. Yet, the economy is still in very bad shape, drowning in stagnation, with unprecedented unemployment, nearly zero growth and a national debt at 180% of GDP, which is actually much higher than Greece's debt in 2010 (120% of GDP) when crisis hit the country!
In fact, the eu…

More evidence that the 2011 riots in Syria were sparked by a false flag operation

globinfo freexchangeIndependent journalist Eva Bartlett spoke with Lee Camp about her recent trip in Syria. Bartlett visited the hospital in Douma where many victims of the latest alleged chemical attack went to receive medical care. Bartlett spoke with a medical student who was working the day of the alleged attack, and actually confirmed the reporting by the veteran journalist Robert Fisk, according to which there was no evidence of a chemical attack.
Bartlett also went to Daraa, where the first protests took place in 2011, and spoke to people there. They confirmed what many other investigative journalists support. 

This is strong evidence that it was a false flag operation that actually sparked the subsequent riots:
In the initial protest, Daraa was named as the birthplace of the so-called revolution. And Daraa is a city in the very south of Syria, not a very large city, and a rather unlikely city for a so-called revolution to have started. But prior going to Daraa, I interviewed a do…

WikiLeaks reveals Italian officials had serious concerns about Italy's ability to participate in the monetary union already since the late 70s

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A 1978 cable from the US Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs to the Secretary of State, was monitoring in detail the Italian serious concerns on the perspective of Italy joining the European monetary union. It describes an atmosphere of anxiety insi…

What happens when a country decides to decouple itself from the US/Saudi axis of evil

globinfo freexchange
The role of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East chaos is quite well known. Recall that in aletter of the Podesta email series, John Podesta admitted that both Qatar and Saudi Arabia were helping ISIS. Podesta also mentioned that the US should exercise pressure to these countries in order to stop doing it: “... we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.
Of course Hillary Clinton wouldn't do anything about this problem too, as in another letter of the Podesta email series, it was revealed that Bill Clinton was receiving "expensive gifts" from the Qataris!
As reported by Antimedia, in 2009 Qatar proposed a pipeline to run through Syria and Turkey to export Saudi gas. Assad rejected the proposal and instead formed an agreement with Iran and Ira…

How eurozone became a financial dictatorship

It all started with the silent coup against Ireland
globinfo freexchange
In 2010, Ireland experienced Frankfurt's political blackmail. On the 18th of November, where there was a governing council of the ECB in Frankfurt. The governor of the Irish central bank who sat on the governing council, called "Morning Ireland" which is the most important radio program in Ireland, to say that Ireland will need what he called a loan. He didn't warn the government about it and this created a massive panic.
Then, the next day, there was a letter written from the then president of ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, to Brian Lenihan, the minister of finance at the time, saying that 'if you don't apply the so-called bailout program, by this opening of the markets the following Monday, we're going to cut off access to Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA)', which obviously would have collapsed the Irish banking system.
The ECB used the liquidity weapon in order to impose its terms o…

David Harvey: unless there is some real new thinking, another crisis is inevitable

globinfo freexchange
Chris Hedges spoke with David Harvey about the repeated crises of the capitalist system, which generate further instability, especially since the early 70s where we have the rise of financial capitalism and neoliberal ideology.
As Harvey points out:
Interestingly, in almost every crisis there has been a good deal of re-evaluation of exactly how to think about the economy, how to think about the relationship between state power and politics and all this kind of stuff.
Since 2007-08, is hardly any new thinking at all. And actually, we're trying to hang on. And we are trying to hang on because the oligarchy - which has all of the money, all of the power - is actually in a situation where it does not want any change. And until we confront the oligarchy, we're not going to find a way of exiting from this, apart from repeating what happened in 2007-08.
And the interesting thing when you look back, before 2007-08, and you see big financial crises in Argentina, in Braz…

Ecuador and Julian Assange in great danger as traitor Moreno is about to throw them into the hands of the US empire

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, shook up his cabinet and appointed six new ministers this week. The move appears to confirm what many of his critics on the Left have long suspected, which is that Moreno is moving the country increasingly towards the Right. That is, they say he is reversing the policies under the previous government, Rafael Correa, who pursued a fairly progressive agenda, particularly in foreign and economic affairs. For example, President Moreno’s new Minister of the Economy, Richard Martinez, comes directly from the country’s business class, where he worked as a consultant for the Chamber of Industry and Production, and he also was president of Ecuador’s Business Committee, which is the country’s main business association.
globinfo freexchange
Greg Wilpert of the Real News spoke with Guillaume Long, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador under former President Rafael Correa, about the rapid turn of the new Ecuadorian administration towards neoliberal policies…

The facts about Venezuela’s May 20th Presidential Election

Despite a high level of election transparency, one that Jimmy Carter called “the best in the world”, the US and its allies have accused Venezuela of election fraud. Caleb Maupin breaks down how Venezuela’s electoral system really works.
by Caleb T. Maupin
Part 3 - Accusations of Fraud
Despite the stringent safeguards in place to protect Venezuela’s election integrity, international media based in Western countries have widely claimed the election was fraudulent. Those claiming that the results are illegitimate have cited prior statements from SmartMatic, a corporation based in London that manufactured Venezuela’s voting machines. An official statement from SmartMatic claimed the 2017 Constitutional Referendum vote showed “tamper evident.” Statements from SmartMatic have been vague about how exactly the results were illegitimate or what malpractice took place.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Elections Center (CNE), says the claims from SmartMatic and its Chief Executive Antonio …