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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:45 AM

 

Technology taking toll on the work force

The hollowing out of the middle class. Say goodbye to middle class wages.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130123/MONEY/701239969

4 replies, 571 views

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Reply Technology taking toll on the work force (Original post)
aristocles Jan 2013 OP
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #1
socialist_n_TN Jan 2013 #2
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #3
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #4

Response to aristocles (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:55 AM

1. This is an excellent article. I've often said similar, that the greatest crisis this

country faces is, what is a job in the 21st century. How is the economy structured, what is the reward system for a productive society, how is a skewed distribution of wealth controlled, etc., etc.

The current system is being bandaged on hemorrhaging wounds ... this current downturn is nothing compared to what will be faced in the future.

And politicians run from the topic, and those bringing up the topic are malcontents. The nation that figures out how to restructure their economy for the 21st century will lead the way. I view this as a greater crisis than climate change.

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Response to aristocles (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:01 AM

2. I remember back in the 60s when this (the rise of technology)..........

was supposed to be a good thing. It would free people from the drudgery of work and allow them to create art and learn what they wanted, to interact with each other more and more often, bring families closer because nobody had to spend a large proportion of their lives working. Of course back then the whole attitude was more collectivist and more oriented towards improving the lot in life of humanity and not making more money for a few.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

3. Yep, same memories here!!! n/t

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Response to aristocles (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:55 AM

4. This is precisely what has happened.

For a long time, middle pay jobs have been reduced in numbers.

Secretarial work, for example, used to employ many, many people.

We typed on slow, manual typewriters and used messy carbon paper. Then we got white-out liquids and paper. That saved us time. Electric typewriters were next. Then copy machines. And now -- law firms and insurance companies, for example, who hired lots of secretaries and typists hire far fewer.

A secretary who knew shorthand was viewed as trained, semi-professional if not really well paid in offices in the past. Now, we have not so well paid receptionists and copy room staff. Offices get by with half the number of secretaries, and almost nobody knows shorthand any more. Computers have speech recognition.

On the other hand, nurses are still in pretty good demand, and people eat out more than ever, so restaurant jobs are available. Nurses still are fairly decently paid, but restaurant jobs often don't pay enough to survive on.

And there are no jobs that replace these good, solid jobs.

Perhaps we really need to rethink the 40-hour week idea. Maybe if we replaced it with the 20-hour week and raised the minimum wage, people would really only work 40 hours.

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