Thursday, January 24, 2013

The 'dependency' Problem

Recently I was notified by Florida Power and Light that my electric meter has been replaced with a 'Smart Meter.'  This type of meter has many advantages including the ability to be read  remotely.  Thus FPL has eliminated the occupation of meter reader.
Technology continues to remove working men and women from the rolls of the employed.  Bank tellers, ticket agents and checkout cashiers are finding their jobs in jeopardy.  The Labor Department reports that more than 1.1 million secretaries lost jobs between 2000 and 2010 due to software that allows bosses to take their own calls, arrange their own trips and conferences.  The Department also reports that the number of telephone operators fell 64 percent, word processors and typists by 46 percent.  These are a few of many examples.
It occurs to me that technology may be the force or element that is creating a 'society of dependency.'  Governor Romney placed the blame on government and its social welfare programs.  But these programs are a response to the problem, not a cause of it.
I fear a day is coming when millions of people will be unemployed or underemployed because technology has replaced them.  This would not happen at such a rapid rate if we applied moral and philosophical thinking to the impact of new Technologies.  There are gains and there are losses.  We should ponder the long term effects of each.
I know we are supposed to believe that 'job training' will solve the problem.  It won't. 
Nothing will change until Technology finds a way to replace Congress.

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