"data-reactid =" 18 "> The World Bank has published its annual report on the world's development.The headline of this news, relayed by Bloomberg and others, is essentially the following:" The robots do not do not kill jobs. "news, so true.
"This fear that robots have eliminated jobs – this fear is not supported by the evidence so far," Bloomberg, chief economist at the World Bank, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, told Bloomberg. More specifically, the report notes that for every job lost, new ones have been created. "This is the fourth industrial revolution, there have been three before and in each case we have managed to survive, so it is not the case that machines completely eliminate humans," Koujianou Goldberg said. "Finally, we will adjust."
Apart from the fact that countless workers were leading absolutely miserable lives in the new jobs that the first two industrial revolutions found for them after factory production eliminated their old jobs (and many have not survived), and there is little doubt that automation has indeed erased many jobs recently, and it is encouraging that economists are optimistic that we will eventually "adjust" to our new lord armed with robots.
Nevertheless, it is worth taking a minute to think about this report because it embodies a very common vision of automation. The second place in ubiquity is perhaps the widespread fear of a total apocalypse of robotic jobs. This sounds like that: yes, automation seems scary for some because it involves robots, but these fears of destructive work machines are exaggerated. We have already done the Industrial Revolution enough times before to know that technology only improved (finally) our lives. And after all, it is cheaper to buy things now, the devices are at the forefront of technology and we live longer.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "More, if you look at the data, for every job lost for automation in the US, others have been won; jobs only have displacedfrom the manufacturing sector to the after-sales service, or abroad, which is not really a big deal because the net number of jobs is practically the same and companies continue to make a lot of money. The essential (stop me if you've ever heard this one) is to educate citizens and workers, to to recycle that they are more agile in a rapidly changing world where technology is accelerating. "data-reactid =" 22 ">More, if you look at the data, for every job lost for automation in the US, others have been won; jobs only have displacedfrom the manufacturing sector to the after-sales service, or abroad, which is not really a big deal because the net number of jobs is practically the same and companies continue to make a lot of money. The essential (stop me if you've ever heard this one) is to educate citizens and workers, to to recycle that they are more agile in a rapidly changing world where technology is accelerating.
In fact, I am paraphrasing the entire World Bank report entitled "The changing nature of work" (or, How I learned not to worry anymore and do not like automation anymore) and to relay what we could be called "business and management consulting". perspectives on automation "in general, or BAMCOA, if acronyms are your thing, as they are mine and are often cast in places such as the World Economic Forum, the Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek and, yes , the World Bank.
The World Bank report provides a good summary of this view, as evidenced by its introduction:
"There has never been a time when humanity was not afraid to know where its talent for innovation could lead … And yet, innovation has transformed the standard of living. Life expectancy has increased; basic health care and education are widespread; and most people have seen their incomes rise … Despite this optimism, concerns about the future remain. The inhabitants of advanced economies are worried about the considerable impact of technology on employment. They are of the opinion that rising inequality, compounded by the advent of the larger economy (in which organizations outsource independent workers for short-term engagements), encourages a race to the bottom of working conditions.
This troubling scenario is, however, unfounded. [Emphasis mine] It is true that in some advanced and middle-income countries, manufacturing jobs are disappearing in favor of automation. Workers performing "codifiable" routine tasks are the most vulnerable to replacement. And yet, technology offers the potential to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services. Through innovation, technology generates new areas and new tasks.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Where to start. BAMCOA is built on a straw man – that assumes a technology is good / bad "binary, and equates" automation "to" technology ". I'm not quite sure what the invention of drugs or education that extends life has to do with automation, for example, and it certainly seems possible that humans were able to invent penicillin and public schools without capitalist mass mechanization. No, it's a fake dichotomy apparently designed to make you feel silly if you're skeptical about automation, as if you're opposing progress.
"data-reactid =" 27 "> Where to begin First of all, the BAMCOA logic is built on a straw man: it assumes that a" technology is good / bad "in binary, and assimilates "automation" to "technology" I am not quite For example, it is certainly possible that human beings could have invented penicillin and public schools without capitalist mass mechanization No, it is a false dichotomy apparently designed to create you feel stupid if you are skeptical about automation, as if you opposed progress.
Also note that the World Bank does not really care about the quality of jobs, but simply about their existence, somewhere in the world. He does not worry much about the serious dislocation that accompanies this lost manufacturing job, this "codifiable" job. This is one of the main failures of BAMCOA. He regularly neglects the deep cultural and social implications of losing his job. (And conveniently forgets the violence, suffering, and pollution of past industrial revolutions, when it happened in droves, even though we eventually adjusted.)
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It keeps on surprising me how much economists and When they deploy certainty, automation will remove some jobs, but create new ones: livelihoods, traditions, whole social structures that are destroyed, and if they are replaced, they are often replaced by something much less robust, less secure and more tenuous. There is a reason why many of the regions most affected by automation voted with the greatest number of votes for Trump. "Data-reactid =" 31 "> I'm always amazed at how much economists and consultants are jaded when they deploy the safe solution, automation will kill There are jobs, but that will create a new lineage, they are livelihoods, traditions, entire social structures that are destroyed and, even if they are replaced, they are often replaced by something much less robust, less secure and more tenuous .. There is a reason why many of the regions hardest hit by automation voted for the largest number of votes for Trump.
One of the main objectives of BAMCOA is to reinforce the idea that technology is a fundamental element of nature (whose very large companies and CEOs profit by chance) whose workers must continuously learn to master (usually for the benefit of of these companies). These reports place the burden of action on workers, who need to have maximum training, master multiple skills and be ready to retrain to remain flexible in order to remain employed in companies that would otherwise automate them. They obscure the fact that, on the whole, these technologies and automation initiatives are implemented by senior managers and senior managers, and that the workforce in general has virtually no say in the way they are affected – unless they agree to "recycle" to help them earn the business profits in another way.
"Many jobs today, and others in the near future, will require specific skills, combining technological know-how, problem solving, critical thinking and soft skills such as perseverance, collaboration and empathy, "says the report. said. "The time spent in a job or working for a company for decades fades. In the entertainment economy, workers will probably have many concerts during their career, which means that they will have to undergo continuous training. "
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "This is an interesting way to say" endless precariousness. "It's never a question of whether companies and governments that introduce automation have the responsibility to take into account the welfare of their workers, or even recognize that the introduction of l & # 39; automation is actually a choice. Automation may follow a certain economic logic, but only a total technological determinist would say that it is like a rising tide that can not be managed apart from a few sandbags. "Data-reactid =" 34 "> This is an interesting way of saying" endless precariousness. "There is never any discussion about whether companies and governments introducing automation have the responsibility to take account the well-being of their workers, or even recognize that the introduction of automation is actually a choice. Automation may follow a certain economic logic, but only a total technological determinist would say that it is like a rising tide that can not be controlled except by throwing a few sandbags.
The report has the merit of recommending a "minimal basic social insurance", which looks like or is not a basic income, but would never dare anything so drastic, suggesting that workers have more say on the impact of automation on their jobs. or even this mass automation should perhaps be a more democratic process in general.
Another paragraph speaking:
"Overall, technology has created more jobs than it has moved. The technology has helped increase labor productivity in many sectors by reducing the demand for labor for routine tasks. And yet, in doing so, he opened doors to new areas that were once imagined only in the world of science fiction. As technology progresses, companies adopt new production methods, markets grow and societies evolve. Companies rely on new technologies to better use their capital, overcome information barriers, outsource and innovate. New technologies allow more efficient management of business operations: companies hire workers in one place to produce parts, another to assemble and a third to sell. Meanwhile, consumers benefit from a wider range of products at lower prices. "
<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Hooray" C is the BAMCOA peak. simply that all that language is suitable – the technology has allowed companies to cut jobs, maximize capital gains, innovate, innovate, innovate, and everyone has … a shit a little cheaper to buy.
"data-reactid =" 39 "> Hooray is the BAMCOA spike – just notice who this language is all about: technology has allowed businesses to cut jobs, maximize capital gains, and to innovate, to innovate, to innovate and that everyone … shit slightly cheaper to buy.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The crux of all this is that even if are replaced elsewhere Automation is cutting out all current jobs Amazon, which has long shone in the recent employment history in the United States, employs few workers as it embraces automation Over the past two decades , automation has created millions of jobs, plus One-third of Americans rely on precarious workstations and scars left by the hollow manufacturing sector across the Rust Belt and beyond continue to hurt the good social being of many communities in this country as if they were on a record and proclaim that robots do not kill, it's not wrong in reality, but, coming from an institution like the World Bank, could lead to a disastrous policy.
"Data-reactid =" 40 "> The crux of all this is that, even if they are replaced elsewhere, automation absolutely removes jobs, for the moment.Amazon, long-lightened by the recent period of time. Employment in the United States, employs few workers Over the last two decades, computerization has created millions of jobs – more than outsourcing itself, and one-third of Americans rely on precarious jobs and jobs. scars left by the hollow manufacturing sector of Rust Belt and beyond.Continue to undermine the social welfare of many communities in the country.look at the net number of jobs worldwide as if they were figuring on a balance sheet and announce that robots do not kill is not actually a mistake, but, coming from an institution like the World Bank, could lead to a disastrous policy.
It may not be useful to keep repeating the words "Robots come for our jobs" because it makes things much simpler too, but adopting the typical business and manager view of automation would be worse. . (It is also interesting to note that the headlines "Robots are looking for our jobs" are written with the potentially distressed worker in mind – whether it's a click or not – and the variety "L" business is overrated "is largely written for an audience of the managerial class.) BAMCOA returns to" stay calm and continue to automate ", and this will absolutely lead to a continued degradation of protections and benefits of workers, or even additional unemployment.
Reports like this help to better understand how elites, that is, those that automate a lot, see mechanization. But if we really want to understand the evolution of automation, we should not look at the overall numbers of employment, but the countless communities and workers who have already lived it. And instead of saying: Humanity has survived the last three violent and massive economic upheavals. If we (the economists and managers who write such reports, in particular) put the head down, we will also go through this one. Maybe we could apply the lessons of history and do a little better this time.