Let’s say you have 10 people confined to a house and every day you bring in 10 sets of meals for them to survive. Everybody’s pretty happy and content with that arrangement. But what happens when you increase it to 12 people and cut the meals down to 9 sets? How about we make it 14 people and cut the meal sets down to 7? See where I am going here? It is obvious that at some point you are going to have some starving people on your hands, but this will follow the violent struggles for the limited food supply. So, what I would like to know is “¦ how is the current state of our economy any different.
Back in 2002, the U.S. population was $287.63 million people and we were just getting into our technology boom. Apple Stores were barely a year old, Blackberrys were just coming out and Gmail was yet to launch (2004). Well, as of July 2012, our population had risen to $313.85 million (a 9.1% increase over a decade) and technology has integrated every aspect of our lives. While tech has made things easier for us as individuals, the result is that fewer people are needed to accomplish the same job in many cases.
Maybe it is just me. I mean, I don’t really hear an awful lot made of this. I know that tech has spawned the development of new industries. But almost across the board, every other industry requires fewer and fewer people to achieve the same objective. Take attorneys, for instance. The advent of software for the legal profession and the layperson has made many of them obsolete in that (a) what used to take 100 attorneys to research now takes only one, and (2) people can print and complete many of the less complicated documents from online resources.
Attorneys aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. Company websites have done a lot to trim the need for customer service agents, as one can get information, pay bills, and manage accounts from the their phones. Amazon has changed the way we shop and many can’t tell you the last time they were in a retail store. And even your television watching habits have the cable TV companies on edge, as online options such as Netflix and Hulu, along with digital recorders begin to take eyeballs away from the screen and eliminate the watching of conventional commercials. Oh “¦ and when is the last time you went into a bank.
Advances in healthcare mean we are living longer and our population is increasing. Retraining of our citizenry is necessary if we are going to survive the next few decades without some serious upheaval. Business models distribution systems and support processes are morphing quickly to take the focus away from needing humans to get the same job done. Don’t get left out in the cold “¦ because the cold IS coming.
*** Share this post on Facebook ***