Sunday, January 22, 2017

David Deming — Will Manufacturing Jobs Come Back?

What this Means:

Automation is a long-run problem that demands a long-run solution. Convincing manufacturing companies to keep — or bring back — jobs, one company at a time, is not going to restore the millions of jobs that have been lost to technological change. We must reorient educational institutions and job training around “human” skills that are difficult to automate. These skills include creativity, complex problem-solving, and the ability to work with others in fluid, team-based settings.
Deming also notes,
Employment could also be increased through public sector “make work” programs, although these programs are generally inefficient and do little to address long-term structural issues.
A job guarantee can be a component of a solution but it is not the solution. The job guarantee is chiefly addressed toward cyclical rather than structural unemployment, although it is possible to include structural issues, too, such as including public funding of retraining.

But the structural problems that global society and the global economy face owing to technological innovation will require creative solutions that can only be addressed by out of the box thinking. The whole concept of "work" and "jobs" needs to be revisited as the world embarks on the Information Age, the Knowledge Society and the Third and Fourth Industrial Revolution that are happening simultaneously owing to technological innovation.

What Deming doesn't consider is distributing the increased opportunity for leisure owing to technological innovation and the reduced need for labor. This could be accomplished by longer time spent in education and earlier retirement by providing public funding as a social dividend. Leisure has long been the basis for culture. Increased distributed leisure can be expected to generate unprecedented cultural benefits.

The economy, including technology, is the material life-support system of a society. Culture is the spiritual foundation of a society. Leisure waters the root of culture by nourishing the human spirit.
Will Manufacturing Jobs Come Back?
David Deming | Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research


lastgreek said...

As I was reading, I was expecting Buckminster Fuller's quote to soon follow. You've posted it here before:

“We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

― R. Buckminster Fuller

Matt Franko said...

Petroleum consumption would probably collapse....

Tom Hickey said...

@ lastgreek

Thanks for posting the Bucky quote.

I would disagree with one point in it, or unpack it.

The true business of people should be to go back to school

The current approach to eduction is schools as prisons. We really need to revise the concept of education away from "schooling."

"Education" is from the Latin meaning to lead from. What we have now in "inducation," which is stuffing things in.

Genuine education is learning based on drawing out potential rather than increasing the content of minds.

As an inventor and creative genius, Bucky knew that, of course.

Tom Hickey said...

Petroleum consumption would probably collapse....

That the idea.

We are poisoning the nest.

Ryan Harris said...
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Ryan Harris said...
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