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

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk among the biggest billionaire profiteers of the COVID-19 pandemic

globinfo freexchange

A new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, shows that between January 1, 2020 and April 10, 2020, 34 of the US’s wealthiest 170 billionaires have seen their wealth increase by tens of millions of dollars.

Eight of these billionaires —Jeff Bezos (Amazon), MacKenzie Bezos (Amazon), Eric Yuan (Zoom), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), John Albert Sobrato (Silicon Valley real estate), Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX), Joshua Harris (Apollo Global Management), and Rocco Commisso (Mediacom) — have seen their net worth surge by over $1 billion.

The Jeff Bezos Wealth Surge is an unprecedented dynamic in the history of modern markets. Tracking Bezos’ wealth requires a real-time hour-by-hour tracker. As of the publication of the report [April 23, 2020], Bezos’ wealth has increased over $25 billion since January 1, 2020 and $12 billion since February 21st, 2020, the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The stock market crash initially left Bezos’ net worth deeply damaged, down to…

It has started: Greece becomes the blueprint for the 21st century corporate feudalism

globinfo freexchange
Greece has just become the blueprint for the 21st century corporate feudalism through a preposterous environmental bill passed on Tuesday.
Just when the neoliberal government lifted most of the restriction measures that were imposed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it rushed to pass the bill through unconstitutional actions. These have been strongly condemned by the main opposition party, SYRIZA.
As reported by the Associated Press:
Greek lawmakers approved a controversial environmental bill Tuesday that the opposition and environmental groups slammed for opening the door to exploratory oil and gas drilling in protected areas.

[...]

On the eve of the vote, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund said they had collected 30,000 signatures in an online petition against the legislation, which they say will remove vital safeguards for environmental protection.

Beyond the drilling, this legislation is deeply problematic in many areas, as has already been estab…

New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange

An exclusive investigation by The Grayzone reveals new details on the critical role Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands played in an apparent CIA spying operation targeting Julian Assange, and exposes the Sands security staff who helped coordinate the malicious campaign.
by Max Blumenthal
I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole.

–Mike Pompeo, College Station, TX, April 15, 2019
Part 2 - Pompeo outlines the attack on Assange
Pompeo’s first public speech as CIA Director, hosted at the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on April 13, 2017, was one of the most paranoid and resentful addresses ever delivered by an agency chief.
The former Republican congressman from Kansas opened his speech with an extended tirade against the “Philip Agees in the world,” referring to the CIA whistleblower who handed over thousands of classified documents to leftist publishers that revealed shocking details of illegal US regime change and assassination …

The neoliberal machine mocks Millennials and Gen Xers through a documentary about Bernie's awful mistreatment by the corporate media!

globinfo freexchange
Now that the "Bernie Sanders" threat for the establishment has been neutralized (for a second time), the neoliberal machine is free to pretend that it cares about the truth.
Kyle Kulinski speaks about a new documentary by VICE about the media bias against Bernie Sanders. Although the doc trailer is pretty impressive, Kulinski starts with a pretty remarkable argument he saw on Twitter:
                         Credit to VICE. Thank you for this documentary. Curious how it released after Bernie dropped out. 

Kulinski finds that the mainstream media still have enough power to neutralize an undesirable candidate, as they did with Bernie, despite the fact that most of the people don't trust them. He also explains the demographics of this year's race for the leadership of the Democratic party.

As he supports, Millennials and Gen Xers overwhelmingly supported Bernie Sanders against the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation (in which Bernie actually be…

Το κίνημα Slow News: η απάντηση στα Fake News?

globinfo freexchange
Στον θαυμαστό καινούργιο κόσμο, ο αβάσταχτος όγκος πληροφοριών που καταναλώνουμε καθημερινά έχει γεννήσει ένα δυστοπικό παράδοξο: την ίδια στιγμή, αμφισβητούμε και πιστεύουμε τα πάντα. Το μυαλό μας έχει βυθιστεί σε μια δίνη από tweets, αναρτήσεις, βίντεο, hoaxes και fake news.
Τα τελευταία χρόνια, σε διάφορα μέρη του πλανήτη, νησίδες αντίστασης έρχονται στην επιφάνεια. Ολιγομελείς ομάδες ανεξάρτητων δημοσιογράφων αγωνίζονται να οικοδομήσουν ένα εναλλακτικό μοντέλο πληροφόρησης, το οποίο βασίζεται σε μια εξαιρετικά απλή αρχή: πρέπει να κόψουμε ταχύτητα. Ένα μαχητικό ντοκιμαντέρ που έχει βαλθεί να αποδείξει ότι η δημοσιογραφία παραμένει ο βασικός πυλώνας της δημοκρατίας.
https://www.filmfestival.gr/el/section-tdf/movie/1047/13001


Το ενδιαφέρον αυτό ντοκιμαντέρ του Alberto Puliafito, ερευνά ένα νέο είδος δημοσιογραφίας που γεννήθηκε από την ανάγκη για δημοσιογραφική αυθεντικότητα μέσα στο σημερινό, χαοτικό μιντιακό τοπίο.
Σε ένα σύστημα που χαρακτηρίζεται από μια αδι…

New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange

An exclusive investigation by The Grayzone reveals new details on the critical role Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands played in an apparent CIA spying operation targeting Julian Assange, and exposes the Sands security staff who helped coordinate the malicious campaign.
by Max Blumenthal
I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole.

–Mike Pompeo, College Station, TX, April 15, 2019
Part 3 - Journey to “the dark side”
On February 26, 2017, Wikileaks announced the forthcoming release of a major tranche of CIA files revealing details of the agency’s hacking and electronic surveillance tools. One such spying application called “Marble” allowed agency spies to implant code that obfuscated their identity on computers they had hacked. Other files contained evidence of programs that allowed hackers to break into encrypted messaging applications like Signal and Telegram, and to turn Samsung smart TVs into listening devices. 
Two days after Wikileaks’ initial announcement, on February …

Τίποτα δεν σταματάει το νεοφιλελεύθερο "οδοστρωτήρα" τους ...

globinfo freexchange
Αφού τελείωσαν τα χειροκροτήματα για τους γιατρούς του Εθνικού Συστήματος Υγείας, ο Μητσοτάκης επέστρεψε στην "κανονικότητα" της αποστολής του, που, με λίγα λόγια, είναι η ιδιωτικοποίηση και το ξεπούλημα των πάντων. Έτσι, μετά το διάλειμμα λόγω πανδημίας, φανέρωσε και πάλι το πόσο αδημονεί να οδηγήσει το Εθνικό Σύστημα Υγείας στο δρόμο της ιδιωτικοποίησης.
Όπως αναφέρει το tvxs.gr:
                         Δεν πρόλαβαν να περάσουν λίγες μέρες από την άρση του Lockdown και την απομάκρυνση, σε πρώτη φάση, του σοβαρού υγειονομικού κινδύνου της πανδημίας, και ο Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης επανέφερε τα σχέδια για ιδιωτικοποίηση του ΕΣΥ, εγκαταλείποντας τα «χειροκροτήματα» και τις αναφορές στους «ήρωες» υγειονομικούς και στη σημασία του δημόσιου συστήματος υγείας. Παρά το «σκληρό μάθημα» που έδωσε η πανδημία στους νεοφιλεύθερους λάτρεις της «αγοράς», φαίνεται πως η κυβέρνηση δεν εγκατέλειψε ποτέ τους αρχικούς σχεδιασμούς της, παρά τον τρόπο που το δημόσιο σύστημα υγεία…

Δεν τους βγαίνει με τίποτα η "στρατηγική ήττα" ...

globinfo freexchange
Τα πράγματα φαίνεται να εξελίσσονται σχεδόν όπως τα είχαμε προβλέψει.
Όπως είχαμε επισημάνει ήδη από τα μέσα Απριλίου, στο επόμενο διάστημα αναμένεται να δούμε νέες, αλλεπάλληλες "φουσκωμένες" δημοσκοπήσεις από την φιλοκυβερνητική μηχανή προπαγάνδας, ώστε να προετοιμαστεί ψυχολογικά το κοινό για το επικείμενο αποτέλεσμα των εθνικών εκλογών.
Στις δημοσκοπήσεις αυτές θα βλέπουμε ενδεχομένως την ψαλίδα μεταξύ ΝΔ και ΣΥΡΙΖΑ συνεχώς να μεγαλώνει, με μια ταυτόχρονη πτώση του ποσοστού του κόμματος της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης, σε βαθμό που να δικαιολογεί την στρατηγική του ήττα.  
Ωστόσο, το 20,3% του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, δεν συνιστά στρατηγική ήττα στο βαθμό που επιθυμεί το καθεστώς και η ντόπια ολιγαρχία, εν όψει μάλιστα και απλής αναλογικής. Οπότε θα πρέπει να αναμένουμε στο αμέσως επόμενο διάστημα ένα νέο βομβαρδισμό από δημοσκοπήσεις στις οποίες το ποσοστό του κόμματος της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης θα "ροκανίζεται" σταδιακά, έτσι ώστε να δημιουργηθεί το κ…

How the USA erased the USSR victory over Nazi Germany

Moderate Rebels
The Soviet Union played the leading role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II, but the US government has tried to erase its unimaginable sacrifice. Historian Peter Kuznick discusses the real history of WWII, and how 80% of Nazis were killed on the Eastern Front with the USSR.

COVID-19 took Chicago black lives first & exposed structural racism

Democracy Now!
The coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate toll on African Americans through the story of Chicago's first 100 recorded deaths. 
A report by ProPublica found that 70 of the first 100 people to die were African American. Black people account for 30% of Chicago's population and 72% of COVID-19 deaths.
ProPublica reporter Adriana Gallardo, who contributed to the report "COVID-19 Took Black Lives First. It Didn't Have To.", says the story paints a picture of "sophisticated structural racism" in Chicago.