18 Feb 2011

Can a Machine Potentially Do Your Job?

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Andy Kessler argues that the gods of economics have turned their faces against mere sloppers, sponges, slimers, and thieves, i.e., persons working in support and service and professional capacities. The number of available openings for them will dwindle and their bargaining power is doomed to decline. The future, and the lion’s share of income, will belong to the creators.

With a heavy regulatory burden, payroll taxes and health-care costs, employing people is very expensive. In January, the Golden Gate Bridge announced that it will have zero toll takers next year: They’ve been replaced by wireless FastTrak payments and license-plate snapshots.

Technology is eating jobs—and not just toll takers.

Tellers, phone operators, stock brokers, stock traders: These jobs are nearly extinct. Since 2007, the New York Stock Exchange has eliminated 1,000 jobs. And when was the last time you spoke to a travel agent? Nearly all of them have been displaced by technology and the Web. Librarians can’t find 36,000 results in 0.14 seconds, as Google can. And a snappily dressed postal worker can’t instantly deliver a 140-character tweet from a plane at 36,000 feet.

So which jobs will be destroyed next? Figure that out and you’ll solve the puzzle of where new jobs will appear.

Read the whole thing.

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