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Discussion #30 - The Shrinking/Growing Middle Classes

50 years ago, most of us were farmers. Then came the industrial revolution, and most of these farming jobs were replaced with manufacturing jobs. Increasingly, these factory jobs (and many others) are being replaced with robotics and technology. The jobs remaining are increasingly being exported from the Western world, to countries that utilize an extremely low paid work force.

In these countries, there are many millions of talented people who are lined up for these low paid positions (relative to richer countries). While the exportation of this work is a large benefit to the receiving nations, the vast majority of revenue from this work is not going to the workers. The massively wealthy business owners and investors are getting most of this new-found revenue.

Globalization is like a freight train that is not going to stop, or even slow down, unless the complacency towards this monstrous issue is addressed. Ignorance is not bliss. As technology and globalization advance, the world will experience an increasing game of "musical jobs" and shrinking middle class in The West if this continues. The middle class are the biggest group of consumers, and pay the vast majority of the taxes. In many developing countries, their middle classes are actually growing, since their wages are much lower. As most are fully aware, the vast majority of manufacturing work globally, has already migrated from the Western richer countries to developing nations, and this trend will obviously continue indefinitely. While a great benefit to building up many countries, the vast majority of this new-found profit is going into the wrong pockets (the already wealthy).

There is only one real solution to avoid a massive global economic collapse from all this. There is far too much denial going on, as the total man-hours required globally continues to decline. The remaining work must be shared by those who need it. This will mean more leisure time for everyone. This is what technology is actually supposed to accomplish, but is not a popular option for big business. Corporations benefit financially from having fewer workers working longer hours.

With a shorter average work-week, there must also be a rise in hourly wages to compensate (also not a popular notion for employers). In their defense, global competition in all areas of business is also heating up, as displaced workers are forced to go into business for themselves. At some point, the whole greed-fest bubble is going to burst, if this issue is not taken seriously soon. People who are willing to work harder in life, obviously deserve more, but there is plenty of money and resources for everyone on earth to thrive. We just need to wake up and smell the coffee, a massively polarized global economy is going to create big problems.

As automation continues to permanently gobble up real human jobs, many believe the solution is to have more people become higher educated. There is some validity to this argument as technology advances, but there is simply not enough work for everyone to follow this road. This fact is becoming painfully obvious, as more and more university graduates end up working in fast-food-caliber jobs. Not every job that is replaced by a robot will result in a higher-educated job taking it's place (not even close). It's just simple mathematics, but it's amazing how many extremely intelligent people are in denial of this fact.

Right now, the global shorter work week/higher min.wage solution to this entire problem, is not popular with many. This is due to most being quite paranoid of being viewed as being lazy. There are indeed lazy people all over the world, but their numbers are far eclipsed by those who desperately want to work! People should be paid enough to survive if they are willing to work full-time (which will be less than 40 hours in the near future).

There is plenty of money and resources for everyone on earth to live comfortably if they are willing to work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either greedy, arrogant, uninformed, or all of the above. There are NOT an infinite number of higher-educated careers available, and the reality of taxi drivers with university degrees is growing exponentially. A university degree will ALWAYS increase your chances at a higher paying career, but higher education has taken on a religious element in recent years. This is resulting in (ratio-wise) far more people choosing this road, along with many more going into business for themselves.

There is a finite amount of global work necessary, and every time a robot replaces a human this amount decreases. These jobs are gone permanently, as the cost of technology always goes down, and the cost of human labor always goes up. While many aspire to higher than middle class, the loss of these careers can be devastating. Even for those lucky/fortunate enough to hang in there, the stress of this uncertainty can cause serious health issues if long-term. (If you think work is stressful, just try being middle class and out-of-work for a while). There is much more than just economics and survival at stake here, there is also self-worth and identity. These are much bigger issues than most would like to admit. An increasingly polarized world is the real demon here, when you look at the bigger picture on this issue.
Discussion #30 - The Shrinking/Growing Middle Classes

50 years ago, most of us were farmers. Then came the industrial revolution, and most of these farming jobs were replaced with manufacturing jobs. Increasingly, these factory jobs (and many others) are being replaced with robotics and technology. The jobs remaining are increasingly being exported from the Western world, to countries that utilize an extremely low paid work force.

In these countries, there are many millions of talented people who are lined up for these low paid positions (relative to richer countries). While the exportation of this work is a large benefit to the receiving nations, the vast majority of revenue from this work is not going to the workers. The massively wealthy business owners and investors are getting most of this new-found revenue.

Globalization is like a freight train that is not going to stop, or even slow down, unless the complacency towards this monstrous issue is addressed. Ignorance is not bliss. As technology and globalization advance, the world will experience an increasing game of "musical jobs" and shrinking middle class in The West if this continues. The middle class are the biggest group of consumers, and pay the vast majority of the taxes. In many developing countries, their middle classes are actually growing, since their wages are much lower. As most are fully aware, the vast majority of manufacturing work globally, has already migrated from the Western richer countries to developing nations, and this trend will obviously continue indefinitely. While a great benefit to building up many countries, the vast majority of this new-found profit is going into the wrong pockets (the already wealthy).

There is only one real solution to avoid a massive global economic collapse from all this. There is far too much denial going on, as the total man-hours required globally continues to decline. The remaining work must be shared by those who need it. This will mean more leisure time for everyone. This is what technology is actually supposed to accomplish, but is not a popular option for big business. Corporations benefit financially from having fewer workers working longer hours.

With a shorter average work-week, there must also be a rise in hourly wages to compensate (also not a popular notion for employers). In their defense, global competition in all areas of business is also heating up, as displaced workers are forced to go into business for themselves. At some point, the whole greed-fest bubble is going to burst, if this issue is not taken seriously soon. People who are willing to work harder in life, obviously deserve more, but there is plenty of money and resources for everyone on earth to thrive. We just need to wake up and smell the coffee, a massively polarized global economy is going to create big problems.

As automation continues to permanently gobble up real human jobs, many believe the solution is to have more people become higher educated. There is some validity to this argument as technology advances, but there is simply not enough work for everyone to follow this road. This fact is becoming painfully obvious, as more and more university graduates end up working in fast-food-caliber jobs. Not every job that is replaced by a robot will result in a higher-educated job taking it's place (not even close). It's just simple mathematics, but it's amazing how many extremely intelligent people are in denial of this fact.

Right now, the global shorter work week/higher min.wage solution to this entire problem, is not popular with many. This is due to most being quite paranoid of being viewed as being lazy. There are indeed lazy people all over the world, but their numbers are far eclipsed by those who desperately want to work! People should be paid enough to survive if they are willing to work full-time (which will be less than 40 hours in the near future).

There is plenty of money and resources for everyone on earth to live comfortably if they are willing to work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either greedy, arrogant, uninformed, or all of the above. There are NOT an infinite number of higher-educated careers available, and the reality of taxi drivers with university degrees is growing exponentially. A university degree will ALWAYS increase your chances at a higher paying career, but higher education has taken on a religious element in recent years. This is resulting in (ratio-wise) far more people choosing this road, along with many more going into business for themselves.

There is a finite amount of global work necessary, and every time a robot replaces a human this amount decreases. These jobs are gone permanently, as the cost of technology always goes down, and the cost of human labor always goes up. While many aspire to higher than middle class, the loss of these careers can be devastating. Even for those lucky/fortunate enough to hang in there, the stress of this uncertainty can cause serious health issues if long-term. (If you think work is stressful, just try being middle class and out-of-work for a while). There is much more than just economics and survival at stake here, there is also self-worth and identity. These are much bigger issues than most would like to admit. An increasingly polarized world is the real demon here, when you look at the bigger picture on this issue.