Remember the milkman? The corner newspaper paperboy? The assembly line workers at Detroit automotive plants? How about the shrinking postal service and empty ghost plants that were once steel mills? Then there are travel agents and printing press operators; both almost eliminated at this juncture.
As we speak, millions of algorithms created by computer scientists are frantically running on servers all over the world, with one sole purpose: do whatever humans can do, but better. According to some, the displacement of labour by machines and computer intelligence will increase dramatically over the next few decades. Such changes will be so drastic and quick that the market will not be able to abide in creating new opportunities for workers who have lost their jobs, making unemployment not just part of a cycle, but structural in nature and chronically irreversible. It will be the end of work as we know it.
Of course not all are in agreement on this fringe subject however I offer you this Part One in a series of three from Mish. Please give your comments below. Do you feel this is a permanent, structural shift and if so, what are the implications for spending long term and our capital markets? What, if anything, can be done to transform the situation? Are you about to become obsolete?