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Essay About Technology

Does New Technology Take Jobs Away from People?

In my essay, I discuss the idea that new technology takes jobs away from people. I argue that new technology does take jobs away from people, but that it also creates new jobs and that we need to find a gentle balance as a society.

The truth is that there are bigger problems than new technology taking jobs away from good and honest people. For example, the massive influx of immigrants into the country has led to a massive devaluing of honest jobs, which means hard working people are now forced to work for far less or lose their jobs. [1] This is a bigger problem than new technology, but studies do show that increasingly sophisticated technology is taking jobs away from hard working people. [2]

Take a simple example, such as a road sweeper. The local authority needed one person per 20 streets, and that there were 500 streets. That meant that five people needed to be hired in order to cover 20 streets every day for five days per week. When machine operated sweepers came into the mix, they could cover 50 streets in one day, which meant they only needed two sweeping machines and two people, ergo three people lose their jobs. Even with a simple example such as that, you can see how people are losing their jobs.

The knock-on effect should be that money is then freed up to either cut taxes or allow more people to get a job. After all, if they were paying five wages and now they are only paying two wages, it means they have three wages left over. They could hire other people to do other jobs with the money left over in the wages budget. [3]

The money left over in the wages budget due to advancing technology making jobs obsolete would go back into the budget to help hire more people in new positions. However, that is only in an ideal world. What usually happens is that the machine operators will demand a higher wage because they are a skilled worker, which means the local authority still has to spend the cost of five wages, but the cost is split between two people. [4]

The technology problem is not simply one of fewer workers; it is also a problem of less work. With the road-sweeping example, the number of roads remains the same, but with other jobs, we may see a lowering of the amount of work. For example, thanks to downloads and such, there is now less work to do in a library. The library doesn’t have to fire people because it has become more efficient, as is the case with the road sweeper, the library has to fire people because there is now less work to do because fewer people attend the library. [5] [6]

Conclusion

Limits and controls over immigration will always dictate the number of jobs in a country, and will always be the deciding factor as to if people are paid a fair wage, or if they are undercut by immigrant workers. Nevertheless, technology does have a strong influence over the amount of jobs that are available. The only plausible solution is that jobs are worked part time in order to re-distribute the wealth and time spent.

For example, if the five road sweepers agreed to stay at their current working wage, but work fewer hours by taking it in turns on the electric road sweeper, then all five would keep their jobs, all five would remain at the same wage, but all five would do considerably less work. One simply has to stop the unions from pushing up the worker wages so that the local authority cannot afford to keep five people on the payroll.

With the library example, the employees may lose their jobs in the library, but they may get new jobs that were created by the online technologies that made their current jobs obsolete. Library workers could work on computers and online instead of in libraries.

Bibliography

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/19/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

[2] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/native-born-americans-not-getting-crushed-by-foreign-born-workers-2015-09-14

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/07/robots-replacing-jobs-luddites-economics-labor

[4] www.bbc.com/future/story/20150805-will-machines-eventually-take-on-every-job

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/17/technology-created-more-jobs-than-destroyed-140-years-data-census

[6] theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/17/technology-created-more-jobs-than-destroyed-140-years-data-census

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