Unemployment is up, and it’s not coming down. Buckling down on immigration won’t stop it. Going back to school for more education won’t stop it (pay to play and winning back what you put in is rare—educational institutions are the new casinos). Waiting out the cycle won’t save your job (because it’s not a temporary downward swing of a cycle, it’s a growing shift). It’s simply the world as we’ve built it, namely, the technology we’ve built to build it for us. Growing automation has displaced workers around the world, and those that benefit are not the masses. “The relatively few people fortunate enough to work in technology (or have the capital to invest in it) will grow steadily wealthier, even as more and more jobs around the world are replaced by software and drones and robots,” explains Canadian novelist Jon Evans in a very well researched piece. Thus, according to him, a two-track economy is being forged, where the technocratic rule supreme in wealth-laden metropolises while the consumers of technology, the dismissed workers of yesteryear, will get by with government cheques to make ends meet. From factory work to flipping burgers to caring for the sick, blue collars followed by white collars, technology is destroying jobs faster than it’s creating them—and software is continuing to eat up new sectors and industries every day.
“People who think everyone should have a job aren’t thinking big enough,” says Evans. Continuing that it’s just the beginning of “a post-scarcity world of no employment, as we understand the word. Fewer and fewer jobs coexisting with more and more wealth.” Or, in a less ideal outcome, he proposes “a dwindling minority of the very rich—tech workers, finance barons and those who inherited their wealth, mostly—living in a handful of idyllic cities dripping with wealth, and/or their summer homes on nearby beaches, lakes, and mountains… and the majority who barely get by, doing occasional contract work or odd jobs for a little extra money, too poor to even visit the places where the rich live, work and play. Aside from those few with government jobs, there’ll be hardly any middle class at all between those two groups.”