The mechanics of destroying a job.

Disclaimer: This post is me thinking out ways to improve society and is only one step of a series of thoughts. It may not be accurate, or represent my true beliefs at the moment, I’m trying to develop them on a more complex subject.

  1. Take a job that needs doing and has a lot of people employed doing it, and figure out each and every step in the process of doing so.
  2. Write those steps down.
  3. Temporarily hire, or contract another company to work on the technology required to do the work of building programs, hardware, or systems that replace the jobs.
  4. Once complete, keep on a small amount of staff, or retain on contract the company that made the system to perform maintenance on it, at a significantly smaller cost than the jobs that were replaced.

The goal of this is to shift money from the labor at the bottom into higher profits at the top. I don’t believe that is inherently evil because by everyone looking out for their own good, we had a strong society for a while. However, technological shifts have created a market that will soon cease to function without something unforeseen popping up. The timeline is debatable, but it still needs to be addressed.

When someone is deciding how to invest their money, they look at cost/benefit analysis and return on investment (ROI). In this case, the ROI is the biggest on finding the most jobs that can be replaced, at least generally speaking. And the technology is getting so advanced there are a lot less jobs that aren’t replaceable than there used to be. This is a recipe for the largest displacement of workers society has ever seen.

I’ve heard about Universal Basic Income (UBI). While I think it’s a good possible solution, I’m not sure it’s the most valuable solution. As with any problem, there is opportunity, but to understand that opportunity, understanding the problem thoroughly is a pre-requisite. Trying to clearly understand how a job is destroyed is straight-forward, written in only 4 steps above. How a job is created is a different animal.Research on job creation leads to talk about company creation, while ignoring competition. Information about taxes. Discussion about interest rates. In reality, these lead to how jobs are “distributed”, rather than created.

The mechanics of job creation, that’s something I’m going to keep thinking about, as we all should. After we’ve thought deeply about it, and can agree on at least a few points, then we can start to address the opportunity for bettering society with the technology we have at our disposal today.