Minnesota Farmer


Money vs. jobs
December 1, 2011, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Farm, Politics, science | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Back many years ago when I was in college we were talking about the changes in farming and how machinery was replacing people.  Farmers were embracing the new machines that were being designed for agriculture and greatly advancing the amount of work they could do.  Because there were more, better paying, jobs in town, young folks were not staying on the farm.  They were taking the cleaner, less demanding, jobs that were available in town.  Farming was changing from a labor intensive job, to a machine intensive job.

As time has gone on, farmers in the developed countries have embraced the machinery that makes their lives easier.  It has made farming a capital, as in money, intensive occupation.  Now it means that every farmer must manage large amounts of money.  We are becoming like the factories in our cities in that we use machinery to do many things that were once done by hand.  That same thing is now happening in our cities.

I was recently at a seminar put on by my bank where Michael Swanson Ph.D.was talking about all of the problems our countries economy was facing right now.  One of the things that he talked about was our current monetary policy.  The U.S. monetary policy now is promoting low interest rates so that people and companies can borrow money at low rates.  The idea is that this low interest money will promote factory and business start ups and thus employ more people.  It seems that the opposite may be happening.

Today it is cheaper to build and own computers, machines and robots to do the jobs that were once done by hand.  Business owners are taking this cheap money and building businesses that do not need many people to operate them.  Even the military is using many machines to do dangerous, dirty jobs, that used to need and endanger many people.  In other words, the low interest rates are actually taking away jobs rather than producing them.  This does not employ nearly as many people as we would hope.

What is left for the working person?  More and more jobs are being taken by machines every year, and a cheap interest policy by the U.S. Government will only hasten the movement.  People are more and more having to move to jobs that cannot be done by todays machinery, and many of those jobs are changing from people to machinery every year.

The day of the working person getting a living wage in the U.S. is rapidly disappearing.  Unless you can run or repair the machines of modern society you are going to be left behind.  Service jobs are all that are going to be left.  Jobs that need a hands on human touch are all that are left, and many of them are low paying.  Jobs are already leaving China for places like Africa and Southeast Asia, where people will still work dangerous, repetitive jobs for pennies a day.  If you are not the lowest cost producer you do not get the job.

Business is quickly following in the steps of Agriculture.  If a machine can do the job, it will increasingly be done by machinery.  Only the lowest paying jobs will be left for the working person.  Money is replacing jobs in more and more places.  This is good news for those with the correct training, it is terrible news for those without that training.

Michael

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