“Education and Retraining” – What if These are Not Enough? – (More insight from Rise of the Robots)

Rise of the RobotsIn an interview with CBS News, the president of the United States was asked about the nation’s economy.
“There’s no magic solution,” he replied. “To even stand still we have to move very fast.”
He pointed out that “we have a combination of older workers who have been thrown out of work because of technology and younger people coming in” with too little education.
…more education or more vocational training is always the solution.
Education and retraining, it seems, are a solution that is immutable across time. The president quoted above was named Kennedy and the date was September 2, 1963.
from Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots


I am enjoying (is that the word? – enjoying) my reading of Rise of the Robots. The quotes above are from the last chapter of the book. And, in the chapter, Martin Ford reminds us that we have assumed, for a very long time, that education and retraining are the keys to staying one step ahead of the encroaching technological grab of jobs from humans.

And, so far, this approach has been enough. So far. But, barely. Now, he is not so sure. Because the technology is now taking jobs from a greater and greater number of “types” of workers. In other words, it’s no longer just “physical” jobs.

Is there a “solution” to this problem? This book, and others, seem to ask this question: how can we plan to take care of the human needs of people who will not be able to find a job with a living wage?

The title of the last chapter is: Toward a New Economic Paradigm. Sounds like we are needing one.


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