I read an interesting article on a talk that Bill Gates had where he mentioned that low skill jobs will eventually be replaced by robots and software. I think we’re just starting to see the tip of that iceberg. Tesla, for example, has almost completely automated their production line by using robots. Look at self checkouts at retail stores. It won’t be long before retail workers, fast food workers, and other low skill workers will be replaced by automation. Look at Amazon’s warehouse operations. Can you picture this happening at retail stores where shelves will be restocked like this?
That’s not to say that all of those jobs will be gone. There will still have to be people to upkeep, maintain and possibly operate those robots. The question will be whether people will want or be able to be trained to do so. Another interesting take from the story was how Gates said that we’d have to give incentives to business to continue to hire those low wage workers. If they aren’t being hired the unemployed will skyrocket causing a major drain on our economic health. He mentioned cutting the payroll tax or income tax as options. He also said the government may need to get on their knees and beg to have those workers hired by companies. While I think he’s pretty close to accurate on this thoughts, I think he’s wrong on the time frame. 20 years seems to far out for that to happen, I feel like it will happen sooner. Look at how far we’ve come with technology since the mid 90s. The internet was just starting to come into fruition around 1996. Look how far cell phones have come in the last 10 years. The bottom line is people will need to get on the technology train or risk getting enveloped in the wake as it pulls away from the station.