Oh and if you’re drinking Bud Light Platinum, you’re this guy.
Travis Clark (We The Kings) - As Long As You Love Me (Justin Bieber Cover)
It’s not gay to like this since it’s not technically Justin Bieber right?
150 years ago we had a very different economy than we do these days. There were farms everywhere and all the work was done by humans with the help of relatively basic tools and animals. The work was back breaking and slow and required a large family to produce barely enough food for themselves with a little excess they were able to sell to make money.These days farmer are basically obsolete (in 1860 farmers made up about 60% of the work force. Today it’s about 2%.) So where did all the farmers go?
They were replaced by machines. We are still producing almost all of our food here in the states (about 93%) but agricultural jobs are no where to be found. Technology has made the farmer obsolete. Now whether you think that’s good or bad can is a different topic but the fact is, it’s done.
The same has happened with the manufacturing industry though not as drastic. With the emergence of the 20th Century we saw manufacturing jobs boom. People started moving from rural areas to the big cities because that’s where the jobs were and it’s been that way just about ever since. Thanks to the World Wars the US economy boomed on two different occasions because there were so many jobs created in factories and they needed bodies to fill them.
So what happened to all those jobs. Well obviously some of them went overseas to cheaper markets but just like with farms machines started replacing humans. Productivity coming out of American factories has boomed over the last 40 years but jobs have been on a steady decline thanks to technology. During the 1950’ manufacturing jobs were a third of the workforce while today its down below 10%. Despite these numbers our productivity has soared in this country despite what you may hear on the nightly news.
Last year we produced about 8.6 millions cars in the US and sold about 12 million. Though that doesn’t sound great you have to remember that the most popular car in the US last year was made by a Japanese company. So even though we have lost millions and millions of factory jobs we are still producing almost as much as we ever have thanks to machines.
Now here comes the good or bad news depending on how you view this data. I predict that slowly we are going to see this happen across all sorts of industries and we already have in some. With the rise of the internet access and smart phones we are seeing a huge increase in online shopping. How long before almost all of our shopping is done online and brick and mortar stores have all but disappeared taking the retail jobs with them. We aren’t going to need store clerks, salesman, or stock boys if everything is sold online.
Now what happens when we have machines that can make and serve our food. Why then will we need restaurant workers or cooks. OR the Self driving car about to be released by Google in the next few years. There goes bus drivers, taxi drivers and anyone else who makes a living getting people around. Planes these days are completely able to fly themselves including takeoff and landing so how long will it be before we diced we no longer need pilots.
Slowly we are going to be able to make machines to do all sorts of things that have required humans up to this point. And my guess is that is not as far in the future as we might think. Technology has, and will for the foreseeable future grow on an exponential curve so if you think we have made huge strides in the last 20 years (think about what a computer was like in 1992) just imagine what we will see in the next 20 or even 50. Our grandchildren are going to look at us and the technology we have today the way we look at the pilgrims. They were a wonderful people but we could never imagine having to live in such a primitive time. Now the hard part is figuring out how to not become obsolete on the planet. But that is a different topic.
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