By Daniel Javier, Director of Quality & CSR
In previous notes, I wrote about the growth of robotization, automation and other technologies that are replacing jobs.
For a more complex and still valid analysis, I recommend reading Jeremy Rifkin’s “The End of Work”.
Although this process is not new, other sectors used to absorb the lost jobs, but now the phenomenon is faster affecting the same generation.
Until today, the capitalist system cemented its bases in the concept of productivity, that is, the efficient use of resources. With the technological advance this productivity has multiplied in a spectacular way, and the consumption has also increased not only in quantity but with a constant innovation in goods and services.
Expressions such as recycling, reconversion, re-qualification or reengineering begin to emerge, describing the need to re-enter a cycle, we begin to think on circular economy.
The educational system, both formal and informal, was not updated fast enough to accompany technological change and its social impact. This change requires other and new skills that are up to the changes of the productive world.
The loss of jobs will also collapse social security systems with fewer contributors.
Facing the issue of unemployment, we blame the government or immigrants and globalization, but we may face the consequences of changes that will not stop.
The same logic of the capitalist system must find solutions as to what will serve to produce more goods and services if there are no consumers who can buy them.
The reduction of the working day will be one of the logical consequences of this process of technological advance.
Another consequence would be the revaluation of a “Third Sector” constituted by voluntary and non-profit organizations. In many countries, this sector is constantly growing in terms of its possibilities of occupying the labor market.
If the social economy sector provides the new sources of work then a positive impact on the social can be expected. But there must be a financing that must come from more taxes.
If jobs and incomes for the unemployed are not solved, they will be marginalized, and crime rates will increase, which seems to be already happening.
The long-awaited global village, respects no borders, no states, no governments and generates changes in social cohesion, economic inequality and social injustice, so it should not be allowed a globalization in those terms, but can it be stopped?
Undoubtedly the countries that bet a new education as a priority will be the ones that will have the best opportunity to overcome these challenges.
Trade unions will have to think seriously about the future, analyzing realistic solutions and abandoning the class struggle, renewing ideologies, and avoid trying to stop the inevitable, to think about innovating and renewing.
Governments today are faced with the alternative of funding protection policies and creating more prisons to incarcerate a growing number of criminals or to budget alternative forms in the voluntary sector.
Through a synergy between the government and the third sector, you can build a social economy, you can restore civic feeling in society. Providing food for the poor, securing basic health services, educating youth, building affordable housing and preserving the environment are top priorities for the coming years in the Sustainable Development Goals.
While the industrial revolution was fundamentally concerned about the increase in production, the consequence of the current information revolution will mean more free time giving us the possibility of a higher quality of life.
In the best possible scenario, new technologies and advances in all areas will bring us a world where we will have less time to work and more time to enjoy life and develop creative, artistic and social activities. Environmental sustainability will be achieved using renewable energy and new technologies will solve most of the problems we face today.
At worst, the differences between a small group that will enjoy the benefits of development and a large majority that can only access marginally, and this is also something that is already happening.