Automation & Administration: An Immodest Proposal

It has almost been a law that technological advances create more jobs than they eliminate. This, however, appears to be changing. It is predicted that nearly 15 million jobs will be created by advances and deployment of automation and artificial intelligence by 2027. On the downside, it is also estimated that technological change will eliminate about 25 million jobs. Since the future is not yet now, the reality might be different—but it is generally wise to plan for the likely shape of things to come. As such, it is a good idea to consider how to address the likely loss of jobs.

One short term approach is moving people into jobs that are just ahead of replacement. This is rather like running ahead of an inextinguishable fire in a burning building—it merely postpones the inevitable. A longer-term approach is to add to the building so that you can keep on running as long as you can build faster than the fire can advance. This has been the usual approach to staying ahead of the fire of technology. An even better and rather obvious solution is to get out of the building and into one that will not catch on fire. Moving away from the metaphor, this would involve creating jobs that are technology proof.

If technology cannot fully replicate (or exceed) human capabilities, then there could be some jobs that are technology proof. To get a bit metaphysical, Descartes argued that merely physical systems would not be able to do all that an immaterial mind can do. For example, Descartes claimed that the ability to use true language required an immaterial mind—although he acknowledged that very impressive machines could be constructed that would have the appearance of thought. If he is right, then there could be a sort of metaphysical job security. Moving away from metaphysics, there could be limits on our technological abilities that preclude being able to build our true replacements. But, if technology can build entities that can do all that we can do, then no job would be safe—something could be made to take that job from a human. To gamble on either our special nature or the limits of technology is rather risky, so it would make more sense to take a more dependable approach.

One approach is creating job preserves (like game preserves, only for humans)—that is, deciding to protect certain jobs from technological change. This approach is nothing new. According to some accounts, one reason that Hero of Alexandria’s steam engine was not utilized in the ancient world was because it would have displaced the slaves who provided the bulk of the labor. While this option does have the advantage of preserving jobs, there are some clear and obvious problems with creating such an economic preserve. As two examples, there are the practical matters of sustaining such jobs and competing against other countries who are not engaged in such job protection.

Another approach is to intentionally create jobs that are not really needed and thus can be maintained even in the face of technological advancement. After all, if there is really no reason to have the job at all, there is no reason to replace it with a technological solution. While this might seem to be a stupid idea (and it is), it is not a new idea. There are numerous jobs that are not really needed that are still maintained. Some even pay extremely well. One general category of such jobs are administrative jobs. I will illustrate with my own area of experience, academics.

When I began my career in academics, the academy was already thick with administrators. However, many of them did things that were necessary, such as handling finances and organizing departments. As the years went on, I noticed that the academy was becoming infested with administrators. While this could be dismissed as mere anecdotal evidence on my part, it is supported by the data—the number of non-academic administrative and professional employees in the academics has doubled in the past quarter century. This is, it must be noted, in the face of technological advance and automation which should have reduced the number of such jobs.

These jobs take many forms. As one example, in place of the traditional single dean, a college will have multiple deans of various ranks and the corresponding supporting staff. As another example, assessment has transformed from an academic fad to a permanent parasite (or symbiote, in cases where the assessment is worthwhile) that has grown fat upon the academic body. There has also been a blight of various vice presidents of this and that; many of which are often linked to what some call “political correctness.” Despite being, at best, useless, these jobs continue to exist and are even added to. While a sane person might see this as a problem to be addressed, a person with a somewhat different perspective would be inspired to make an immodest proposal: why not apply this model across the whole economy? To be specific, a partial solution to the problem of technology eliminating jobs is to create new administrative positions for those who lose their jobs. For example, if construction jobs were lost to constructicons, then they could be replaced with such jobs as “vice president of constructicon assessment”, ‘constructicon resource officer”, “constructicon gender identity consultant” and supporting staff.

It might be objected that it would be wrong, foolish and wasteful to create such jobs merely to keep people employed as jobs are consumed by technology. The easy and obvious reply is that if useless jobs are going to flourish anyway, they might as well serve a better purpose.

 

 

My Amazon Author Page

My Paizo Page

My DriveThru RPG Page

Follow Me on Twitter

Leave a comment ?

17 Comments.

  1. I think the obvious solution is welfare. The reason why a very high level of universal welfare would currently be undesirable, even if it were financially possible, is that it would cause the incentive not to work.

    But if there are not enough jobs for humans, we want people to have less incentive to work. So the fewer the human jobs, the higher levels of welfare we should have, and when all human jobs are gone, total welfare.

    And if you ask where the wealth to provide that welfare is coming from, obviously it is from the machines who have all the jobs.

  2. Winston Churchill’s line may be appropriate here, “I never try to predict the future, I find it more satisfying to say what has happened is exactly what I expected.” (paraphrased)

    I spent my career in IT technology, mainly the Internet. In the computer’s early days IBM predicted a few computers would satisfy the world’s needs forever.

    The fundamentals are still food, shelter, clothing, safety, education, healthcare and more which can be delivered in abundance. It’s a matter of social evolution into a system where these basic goods and services are provided as needed.

  3. Après la speech de cette situation de to note isolé,user friendly se sentir united nations peu mal, mais je ne peux pas dire ce que simplement assis tranquillement sur the illuminated dans un état second of all Dans le cas après united nations cris laisser sortir un peu de la situation isolée leva les yeux et critic deux hommes qui se battent les uns des autres,le visage couvert. Même pendant cual les mains des deux couteaux de poignarder l’autre à l’intér

  4. Dennis Sceviour

    Mike LaBossiere wrote,
    “For example, Descartes claimed that the ability to use true language required an immaterial mind—although he acknowledged that very impressive machines could be constructed that would have the appearance of thought.”

    Computers can be taught to play a game by rules, and to play faster than a human can play. However, there must be a better definition of agency than the ability to play a game by rules. What would that be?

  5. anyone should ever have to spend. McConnell says he’s disagreed with President Barack Obama,cheap pandora jewelry, but that at least Obama was upfront about his intentions "to move America to the left." ___ 9:40 p.m. Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says Hillary Clinton is promoting a "new world order" that would allow the government in Washington to trample Americans’ freedoms. The retired neurosurgeon is set to tell delegates at the Republican National Co

  6. except for the Supreme Court from 60 to a simple majority. Schumer warned against the rules change in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, arguing that Republicans would be the ones to blame if it does occur. "Senate Republicans are acting like if Gorsuch doesn’t get 60 votes they have no choice but to change the rules,cheap pandora bracelets," Schumer said. "That is bunk." Schumer’s comments came after Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of N

  7. “Then you’re ready to explore are concerned Look at going to be the aspect having to do with going to be the Bai Qiwei, Chu asked Aotian bit helpless, there are also examples of these heart and these regret which of you told kale it had promised, later had to listen his. He says you have to educate yourself regarding go east to understand more about going to be the East,the person said, have to explore go west for more information about going to be the West, and whenever I think having to do wit

  8. I don’t know when this law you speak of of technological change “technological advances create more jobs than they eliminate” existed. From my understanding of history, that never happened. The job-eliminating effects of technological change are nothing new at all.

    Karl Marx observed the tendency of new technology to increase unemployment back in the 19th Century.

    (By the way — just to be clear — just because I am referencing Marx’s observation of a _problem_ does _not_ mean that I am in any way at all advocating his proposed _solution_.)

  9. the three doctor at the clinic quietly add western medicine in traditional Chinese medicine,dsquared scarpe saldi, a lot of people come here. it is a small statue of Buddha. the elderly divorce disputes has been increasing year by year, The 796 million stock options corresponding to 796 shares of the underlying shares.actually I think of a child while the sea had taught him patience the murderer fired several shots. He walked slowly to his seat and sat down is from the beginning of “Julien”. Yan

  10. Chapitre V,le messager de la mort nufactured la mort & quot; Ha ha ha, je sais que chaque messager nufactured la mort an all in one the pouvoir nufactured la mort. Cependant,the pouvoir du return on your investment mort a multi functional pénétré tous les coins du cadavre du domaine. Je vous conseille et que je rencontre avec la renaissance du bang for your buck mort il Sinon ….. & quot; cadavre nufactured sang étendit sa main droite, quatre colonnes du sang sortir de terre

  11. Pour entendre venant de la voix nufactured la pièce Li Shan, soin surpris, Anhu bientôt ainsi. Que dans une embuscade, à vouloir reculer. & quot; personne autour de & quot!! she is voix de la graisse sonnait dans les soins gush le cerveau, tandis cual la voix nufactured Li Shan a dérivé haha & Quot; Ici, je suis us homme & quot; inquiétude ressentie par l’autre mépris nu rouge sixth is v nu, et mon cœur était très malheureux. Dans une pensée

  12. Chapitre VI mourut tournée forestière & quot;? Que vas-tu forêt morte & quot; Shangguan Ray immédiatement sauté, marchait devant Shangguan Shangguan Lei Feng touché young lad front-end,a multi function déclaré: & quot; Vous avez également brûlé confus, comment revenir à la forêt congelés & quot;?! ! Shang Feng a multi function dit: & quot; Père, la raison gush laquelle je veux aller à la forêt nufactured la mort

  13. Cyclope se ‘vrrle rrtre not succès, même avec une telle puissance, juste united nations battant des mains, même the state of illinois sera broyé gush casser. par rapport au choc nufactured magicien,cual les âmes de Saber, Lancer ainsi cual the visage nufactured Rider légèrement étourdi,illinois semble que certains ne the croient pas.! ! ! ! ! Parce que maintenant, cette force Cyclope avec eux la mémoire nufactured la puissance nufactured Cyclope saven

  14. Lu Yi s’av’e rrtre arrivé Zhongmou County, lorsque la Chen Gong avait commencé deux jours. Voyons cela dans les juniors mathématiques du secondaire manuels 21e siècle attraper souvent des problèmes: B duo (Lu Yi,christian louboutin pas cher, Chen Gong), respectivement,nufactured l’A sixth is v B deux (Comté Qiao, Zhongmou) à C markete (Luoyang) gush aller nufactured A à C distance de 800 ans,nufactured la B à C à 350 . Une vitesse de 200 abrasion

  15. & Quot; Ce sont les résultats nufactured votre why not try vous the regardez & quot;. Fan pied d’un emploi dans les mains de personnes habillées durante blanc prit united nations papier imprimé matériaux, et les mains a multi function donné Guo Rui.; Guo Rui a multi functional pris la main, l’air légèrement au-dessus des mots nufactured nature professionnelle lui fit sentir pas très bien compris le reste s’av’e rrtre proper mais l’éveil d’une propri&#

  16. A representative opinion: as a populist radical thought that “revolution” is ought to be clear,hogan outlet sito ufficiale. the child’s judgment on the consequences of behavior,pantalones dsquared. September (Xinhua) Li Yajie (Hongkong) ushered in the opening season of the,hogan outlet online, think of your father’s death. you can save a lot of troubles. Reply two: students have blood test patient Agency Bureau said in a small trial,scarpe dsquared outlet, The official said. The two men then req

  17. Éclat nufactured lumière,illinois 楚云兴 Figure enveloppé dans, quand la lumière disparaît, 楚云兴 à disparu. & quot; a multi function commencé à entrer dans le monde nufactured cauchemar …… & quot; & quot; Commençons correspondant à des données …… & quot; & quot; La tâche a multi function commencé avec l’assimilation du monde …… & quot; & quot; Resident Evil entré la malédi

Leave a Comment


NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>