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The new economy
Old 08-07-2019, 03:45 PM   #1
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The new economy

We're generally agreed that AI is changing our world. Electronics taking over for people.

I'd like to explore this subject on a bit by bit basis, without too much comedy, and more about expanding the horizons of what we may be facing in the next 20 years.

That said, a recent thread explored farming in the US and the interaction with China. I'd like to dig deeper, and for beginners, just talk about farming in the US, and more particularly the small farmer, apparently on the way out, not just because of soybeans and corn, but because of the economics of scale, and the eventual takeover of small farms by conglomerates. Not just the farmer and his wife, but the year round and seasonal employees. If you're a farmer, you'll understand. Sophisticated (expensive) equipment that the small farmer can't afford, is used over not just hundreds of acres, but thousands, and tens of thousands of acres. While the small farmer may spend $50,000 for a piece of equipment, look at the prices of much larger equipment, that may be used ... not for just a few weeks, but for many months... going from field to field. (note that the prices are in pounds... add about 12% for US dollars. )
https://www.agriland.ie/farming-news...loughing-2016/

You may use your own imagination to predict what will happen to small farmers... their employees, and the economy that surrounds that part of our nation.

Just a tiny, tiny part of what may be coming in our new economy. Hopefully just on attempt at an overview of what most of you will be facing. Your observations of what other major changes may be waiting, but are not yet on our radar.

Oh!... and one other question that I wonder about. Will other "jobs" fill in the ones eliminated by technology?
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:05 PM   #2
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A quick follow up. Jobs for women. After checking with jeanie, I found out that not one single service that we have, (except our local bank) employs an American worker.... not only the mechanical thing that answers the phone, but the many different steps to follow after the first contact. Whether India, the Philippines, or maybe China, not a single person speaking native American English. Fortunately I can understand most, but find jeanie is frustrated by having to spend a long time to get information that should be available. Top it all off, a foreign voice answering my call to our state's attorney general office.

Save money... reduce employee costs... and the eventual world the kids of today will inherit.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:06 PM   #3
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I can't remember where I saw it (maybe an interview, or a documentary), but the general idea is that technology can't be avoided. As we continue to add technology to our lives, new jobs will be created. With the creation of electricity, new jobs were created along with it. 50 years ago, who would have known that there would be positions known as software engineers and they would be highly in demand? Jobs will always be there, even if it's just a new job that nobody knows will exist yet. The real concern is re-tooling people to learn the skills to perform those jobs, particularly with how fast technology changes.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:16 PM   #4
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A quick follow up. Jobs for women. After checking with jeanie, I found out that not one single service that we have, (except our local bank) employs an American worker
Unless you have a very, very limited number of services, you are almost certainly wrong.

Certainly you don't believe that your television cable company employs no American workers? Certainly the same is true for electric, water, sewer, etc, etc?

Perhaps you could list some of the services...

And what does that have to do with "jobs for women"?
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:32 PM   #5
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I can't remember where I saw it (maybe an interview, or a documentary), but the general idea is that technology can't be avoided. As we continue to add technology to our lives, new jobs will be created. With the creation of electricity, new jobs were created along with it. 50 years ago, who would have known that there would be positions known as software engineers and they would be highly in demand? Jobs will always be there, even if it's just a new job that nobody knows will exist yet. The real concern is re-tooling people to learn the skills to perform those jobs, particularly with how fast technology changes.
thanks... and I "think" I agree... but...

... imagination...
... when automobiles are no longer necessary.
... when shopping is all on line, and no retail stores.
... when medicine and treatment is automatic
... when schools are all online
... when energy is self sustaining... wind/sun/tide
... when general education is not feasible
... when mechanical goods don't break down
... when perfection exists, but not in the whole world

ay, there's the rub....
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:38 PM   #6
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Sounds like Norway. They seem to be doing alright.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:55 PM   #7
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This is a spiraling loop. More technology reduces cost, improves quality (hopefully) drives competitiveness....then the loop starts over. Agree the traditional worker is muscled out, hence the need to adapt and migrate to new jobs and skills. I do believe they will be out there.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
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I think the future is bright but challenging.

Imagine NYC during the hot summer when there were tens of thousands of horses and mules used for transportation. I'm sure that the mechanics that replaced farriers were a welcome change. Technology in medicine - for tens of thousands of years, most humans died by their forties. Longer living souls were the outliers.

My current car keeps me in my lane, warns me of many obstacles near me, and parks itself.

Yep. A few dark clouds on the horizon. But, I'm in the "we're just getting started camp."
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:12 PM   #9
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Unless you have a very, very limited number of services, you are almost certainly wrong.

Certainly you don't believe that your television cable company employs no American workers? Certainly the same is true for electric, water, sewer, etc, etc?

Perhaps you could list some of the services...

And what does that have to do with "jobs for women"?
O course. My very poor quick note... Of course you are right. Should have been prefaced with attempts to contact and enjoin the services but being frustrated by a language barrier. Mea culpa.

As for "women", cannot recall but very few services where my calls were answered by men.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:23 PM   #10
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As for "women", cannot recall but very few services where my calls were answered by men.
I don't call a ton when I can use email or websites instead.

But recently, I called my financial adviser's office to confirm a funds transfer. While my adviser is a woman, her assistant is a man and he confirmed the transfer. I called my insurance company to verify coverage for an upcoming visit. The person who confirmed the coverage was a guy. When I moved a few months back and had to call the cable television company to cancel service, the call center person was a man.

Clearly, these are not "jobs for women" - they are just jobs.

We need to try to be careful not to generalize from a few instances. Yes, sometimes call centers are outsourced to other countries where the cost of labor is lower. But some American workers have accents. And some Americans without accents are hard to understand. And some people on the other end of the phone are men.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:45 PM   #11
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A further step into concern for the future. Already mentioned was the opening of new opportunities in the light of advanced technology.

Permit a short drift into what I consider an allied subject. For as long as I can remember, there were jobs at different levels, that required less knowledge or intelligence... as far back as Joey D. who cleaned the outhouses at my Boy Scout camp.

I would direct you to this general site, which discusses Intelligence. A one hundred IQ is the mid point of measured intelligence. For every person with an IQ of 110, there is one with an IQ of 90... and so on... For everyone with an iQ of 120, there is a person with an IQ of 80.
What Different IQ Scores Mean

Quote:
Over 140 - Genius or near genius
120 - 140 - Very superior intelligence
110 - 119 - Superior intelligence
90 - 109 - Normal or average intelligence
80 - 89 - Dullness
70 - 79 - Borderline deficiency
Under 70 - Definite feeble-mindedness
Not meant for anything other that to look at a future that purports to offer new employment in a world that approaches the best that man can hope for.
What then for those less gifted, who are now socially and humanely integrated into our society? What happens when what they do, what they are, are no longer needed?

Is the 20 years proposed in the OP, fantasy?

On the one hand, we look at the stock market, Social Security, our investments, Healthcare, Travel and living the good life. Yes... most important... but do the next 20 years look to you to be the same as the last 20 years? Or... perhaps, a concern about what the neartime future of what AI may bring?

We still have to consider global warming, environmental losses, and the possibility of plain ole economic disruption. Do you believe that your kids or the younger generation will be facing the same challenges that we have today?

Just food for thought... Do you see other new changes coming in the next 20 years?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:49 PM   #12
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I don't call a ton when I can use email or websites instead.

We need to try to be careful not to generalize from a few instances. Yes, sometimes call centers are outsourced to other countries where the cost of labor is lower. But some American workers have accents. And some Americans without accents are hard to understand. And some people on the other end of the phone are men.
And sometimes, one doesn't know they are using a call center. Several years ago McDonald's routed drive through orders at select stores to a call center. The goal was to allow the local team to focus on payment processing (often transacted at on off shore server farm) and order fulfillment. Once the order was placed with the call center, it would appear on the screen in the store.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:01 PM   #13
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And sometimes, one doesn't know they are using a call center. Several years ago McDonald's routed drive through orders at select stores to a call center. The goal was to allow the local team to focus on payment processing (often transacted at on off shore server farm) and order fulfillment. Once the order was placed with the call center, it would appear on the screen in the store.
I've often wondered if that was going on! Looks like I was right. Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:38 PM   #14
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Hmm - being left handed, INTJ and originally from wild and woolly SW Washington I follow the er 'characters' on U Tube.

Jeremy Rifkin and the Third Industrial Revolution. Hint? Pssst - construction but not your Father's and not quite the highway cats you see while driving.

Ag. - Curtis Stone the urban farmer. And all all the other fun guys/gals - Mark Sheppard of Viola Wisconsin, Eliot Coleman of Maine, Conner Crickmore, Alan Savory, and of course others like the always entertaining Joel Salatin

heh heh heh - I'm ER'd in the 'bleachers with my popcorn' watching the show to see how it will all turn out. DW has signed us up for local Community Gardens, we have a 10 panel share in the local community solar field. A Missouri Wind and Solar junkie at hobby level - two 1.6 kw windmills and some solar panels, solar pond aeration, solar powered Polaris Ranger EV and 'hot rodded' an old Westinghouse Marketeer with a 300 watt solar panel.

Not enough guts to buy a 'long range' Tesla yet. Still have my gas sucking, rubber burning Chevy pickup and listen to some Beach Boys every once in a while for old times sake.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #15
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Sorry... I think this got off on the wrong foot. Was really looking for a broad overview of where the world would be in 2039.... I won't be there so I shouldn't give a dam. Just looking forward to what my grandkids might be looking at.

I guess it ended up being a fight about women, which was never intended.

I should know better... Best to let everyone go back to financial subjects. I'll take my concerns somewhere else.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #16
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What then for those less gifted, who are now socially and humanely integrated into our society? What happens when what they do, what they are, are no longer needed?
What happened in the past? How is Joey D doing?

You seem to think that there will be no jobs at all for "those less gifted". You are wrong.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:44 PM   #17
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And sometimes, one doesn't know they are using a call center. Several years ago McDonald's routed drive through orders at select stores to a call center. The goal was to allow the local team to focus on payment processing (often transacted at on off shore server farm) and order fulfillment. Once the order was placed with the call center, it would appear on the screen in the store.
I remember that story. I thought it was Burger King. Doesn't matter.

Some local fast food burger restaurants are using kiosks rather than human cashiers.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:46 PM   #18
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joeea... the rest of this is all yours.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:58 PM   #19
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Change is inevitable. I know that and it scares me.

I work in the IT field, was a programmer in 2000 but didn't keep up my skills so now more of a technical troubleshooter. So I've literally seen the bus pass me by. Had the foresight to plan for it and be frugal.

I pass through old mill towns a few times a year and think about the empty mills waiting for someone to redevelop. All the lost jobs. But also the jobs created a few towns over in new fields. Change happens, nature abhors a vacuum.

Sure some strip malls or even the mega shopping malls may go bust. But also many are redone for those virtual reality games or apartments or who knows what will be needed. They were built near people, those people will need something else.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:59 PM   #20
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I look back at the last 20 years of my tech career and see huge changes. I know there is currently a lot of talk about the high wages in Silicon Valley, but the reality is that's a small subset.

Overall, there's a lot of pressure on tech wages by offshoring, which continues with a vengeance. I saw it in my career, and I see it happening now. My old MC recently had another layoff, for example. That pressures wages.

So, for the next 20, offshoring will continue to put pressure on many skilled jobs, not just tech. And even unskilled jobs, as the example of a drive thru order window going to an agent in India shows. I'm surprised that drive thru's are not more 100% automated. I expect voice recognition and AI to handle 90% of orders in the next 20 years. There goes some unskilled jobs too.

In summary:
- AI, continued progress in voice recognition, self serve kiosks, etc. will eliminate many jobs
- Offshoring will continue

This may put pressure on the USA. However, as the "Overtourism" thread shows, the rest of the world is rising. In my travels, I'm amazed at the number of middle class tourists from former depressed countries. There are many examples, but let me give you one. Poland. Polish tourists are everywhere. 25 years ago they simply did not exist.
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