February 08, 2017

Why has society ignored for so long the structural unemployment that is already here, and that will grow so much worse?

Sir, Sarah O’Connor does all of us an immense favor putting forward data such as “America’s unemployment rate may be close to the lowest in a decade at 4.8 per cent [but] the rising share of people in their prime years (between 25 and 54) who are neither working nor looking for work, now stands at about 20 per cent” “‘Jobs for the boys’ is just half the story in America” February 7.

History is sure going to analyze the question of how a generation that prides itself from having so much knowledge and information at its disposal, could have turned such a totally blind eye to one of the greatest challenges it faces, namely the structural unemployment caused by robots and automation.

Where can we find data about how much robots and automation have substituted for human jobs and salaries, year by year, during for instance the last 20 years? It might exist, but I certainly have not found it.

In 2012, having been worried for quite some time about this issue I wrote an Op-Ed titled “We need worthy and decent unemployments”. But only quite recently are possible remedies to a real inexistence of jobs surfacing into public debate, like that of a Universal Basic Income. Though much too late that is good. Nonetheless the “whys” or the “how comes” of all social blindness to this issue, needs also to be studied.

PS. Why is there no concern with that humans have to so unfairly compete for jobs with robots that are not handicapped by having to carry weights like payroll taxes?

PS. Just like the “whys” or the “how comes” about the silence on stupid bank regulations, based on the silly notion that what is perceived as risky is more dangerous to the bank system than what is perceived as safe, needs to be studied.