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  1. The End of Workby Jeremy Rifkin

  2. Civilization Structured Around Concept of Work • Paleolithic hunter/gatherer • Neolithic farmer • Medieval craftsman • Assembly line worker • Today human labor being eliminated from production process

  3. Unemployment Figure • U.S. corporations eliminating 2 million jobs annually • New jobs in low-paying sectors and temporary employment • 2/3 of new jobs created in U.S. were at the bottom of the wage pyramid • layoffs from big corporations running 13% over 1993

  4. Substituting Software for Employees • Companies replacing humans with thinking machines • 75% of labor force in industrial relations work on simple repetitive tasks • Future of U.S.--more than 90 million jobs in a force of 124 million could be replaced by machines

  5. Re-engineering • Companies restructuring their organizations to make them computer friendly • This resulted in a 2.8% productivity increase (largest rise in 20 years) • Could eliminate 1-2.5 million jobs per year in the foreseeable future

  6. Re-engineering • Manufacturing sector most affected • Less than 17% of workforce engaged in blue-collar work • Service and white collar sector are reducing • Over past 10 years, more than 3 million white collar jobs eliminated in the U.S. • Productivity still increasing even though workforce is shrinking

  7. Unemployment Rates for 1993 • More than 8.7 million unemployed • 6.1 million worked part but wanted full time • 1 million were discouraged so they quit job hunting • 16 million Americans (13% of labor force) unemployed or underemployed

  8. New realities • Information and telecommunication threaten tens of millions of jobs • New products and services require fewer workers to produce and operate • High-tech industries create fewer jobs than they replace • Laborsaving technology cuts costs and increases profits

  9. New Realities • Companies produce same output at less costs with fewer workers • Demand weakened by unemployment , so businesses extending easy credit • Middle-class wage earners nearing the limits of their borrowing capacity

  10. Retraining For What? • Where will retrained workers find alternative employment? • Gap in educational levels too wide between blue collar and high-tech jobs • Hope of being retrained for a high-tech job is out of reach for many • Not enough jobs available to absorb dislocated workers

  11. The Shrinking Public Sector • Public focused on need to cut spending • Goal-- to eliminate 252,000 federal workers • Thinning middle-management to save $108 billion • Computer systems streamline procurement practices • Federal, state, and local governments are re-engineering and cutting personnel

  12. Visions of Techno-Paradise in the Late 1800’s • Industrialized lives provided context for mechanical view of the world • “Technological frame of reference” permanent feature of American life • Humans thought of themselves as instruments of production • New self-image reinforced emerging productive industrial economy

  13. The Modern Era of Efficiency • Efficiency--maximum yield that could be processed in the shortest time, using the least amount of resources • Efficiency dominates workplace because of adaptability to machine and human culture • Efficiency shortens the amount of personal labor required to perform a job • Efficiency results in more personal wealth and free time

  14. The Modern Era of Efficiency • Efficiency remade society to the standards of the machine culture • Unemployment blamed on inefficient methods of instruction to youth • Efficiency is felt everywhere, and demand becoming more insistent on it • Efficiency craze carried into private lives

  15. From Democracy to Technology • Civil Engineer new modern hero • Organizational ability and efficiency new coveted values of industrialized America • Technocrats favored “rule by science” rather than “rule by man” • Postwar generation reminded of technology’s awesome power

  16. From Democracy to Technology • Dream of techno-paradise within sight • Technologies promise a near-workerless world in the coming century • Marketplace generates profit, with no thought of generating leisure for displaced workers • Will high-tech Information Age emphasize production, consumption and work or free humanity to journey into a post-market era?

  17. Crossing into the High-Tech Frontier • Near-workerless society final stage of shift in economic paradigms • Transition from biological to mechanical sources of power • Thinking machines perform conceptual, managerial, and administrative functions and coordinate flow of production

  18. Machines That Think • Computers taking on tasks of increasing complexity • Artificial intelligence may outthink humans by the next century • Some computers can “talk” • Scientists hope to humanize their machines • Computers may soon be seen as intelligent beings

  19. The Plugged-In Species • First-generation computers were cumbersome • Second-generation reduced size and cost of computers and increased efficiency • Third-generation had integrated circuitry • Fourth-generation based on microtechnology and microchips

  20. Putting Computers to Work • Business leaders excited over new automation revolution • New generation of computer-driven numerical control said to mark our “emancipation from human workers” • American Negro first group impacted by automation

  21. Technology and the African-American Experience • Mechanical cotton picker and other machines replaced black plantation workers • 5 million blacks migrated north to escape poverty • They had no capital to weather the technological storm sweeping over them • Forced eviction and migration unleashed social and political forces

  22. Caught Between Technologies • Blacks found unskilled jobs in the north • Automation replaced unskilled jobs • Numerical control technology accelerated displacement • Businesses flee to suburbs; central cities become increasingly black • Urban renaissance increased employment gap between blacks and whited

  23. Automation and the Making of the Urban Underclass • Automation and relocation of manufacturing jobs split blacks into groups • underclass (largest group) • professionals • Unemployment lead to crime • Losses in black employment since they were concentrated in most expendable jobs

  24. Automation and the Urban Underclass • Blacks no longer needed in economic system • Vented frustrations by rioting • Today, millions of blacks are permanently trapped in the underclass • Value of their labor rendered useless by automated technologies displacing them

  25. The Great Automation Debate • Academicians warned of dangers of automation in the future • Predicted revolution would leave millions jobless • LBJ created Commission on Automation, Technology, and Economic progress

  26. The Government Steers a Middle Course • The Commission steered course between two opposing views • revolution needed quick government action • Displacement normal & absorbed by economy • The Commission argued “technology eliminates jobs, not work” • In the end, concluded displacement is necessary and temporary phenomenon

  27. Labor’s Capitulation • Debate on automation fizzed in the ‘60s (due to organized labor) • Union leaders spoke out against new technological forces • Labor movement pushed for retraining • High-skilled jobs created by technology overrated • Technological forces proves too powerful

  28. Labor’s Capitulation • Technological unemployment affecting every sector of the economy • America’s underclass likely to become more white and suburban • Millions lose jobs to technology, and global purchasing power plummets • Business restructuring to facilitate new tech. • World economy laying organizational groundwork for workerless future

  29. Post-Fordism • New technologies cut costs and improved market share, profits and efficiency • ROI averaged up to 68% • Computers contributed to downsizing • Outmoded organizations were inadequate to deal with abilities of computer technology

  30. Old-Fashioned Management • Modern management formed in 1850’s • To facilitate technology, businesses adopted more complex managerial schemes • Modern businesses have pyramid structure • Americans challenged by Japanese’s organization arrangement equipped for tech.

  31. The Switch to Lean Production • Mass-production became world’s standard • Japanese used with lean production • Lean production combined new management techniques with technology to increase output with less resources & labor • Combines advantages of craft and mass production, while cutting costs and and giving consumers variety

  32. The Switch to Lean Production • Keeps less inventory and results in fewer defects • Replaces traditional management with with multiskilled teams working together • Everyone affected participates in development under concurrent engineering • Kaizen encourages continual change and improvement

  33. The Switch to Lean Production • Workers given control over production process • Creates greater efficiencies by encouraging development of workers • Pushes decision-making authority as down as possible • Places priority on JIT production

  34. The Switch to Lean Production • JIT based on controlling quality and crisis management • Toyota built a car quicker, in less space, with fewer defects, & 1/2 the labor than GM • Emphasizes process, not structure and function, making Japanese firms suited to take advantage of information technologies

  35. Re-engineering the Workplace • Lean production changing every industry • Eliminating unskilled, semiskilled, and middle management positions • Could result in 20% unemployment rate • Information tools ensure JIT inventories to meet customer needs • Compresses time and reduces labor costs

  36. Re-engineering the Workplace • Unemployment rising and purchasing power dropping • Near-workerless world approaching • May approach before society has time to prepare for its implications and impact

  37. No More Farmers • Technology transformed America to an urban, industrial nation within 100 years • Less than 2.7% of workforce in farming • Mechanization and new plant-breeding techniques went hand-in-hand • Greater productivity meant fewer farm workers and farms were necessary to produce increased output

  38. No More Farmers • Mechanical, biological, and chemical revolutions unemployed millions of farmers • At the same time, productivity is increasing • Higher yields and greater output have terrible consequences for family farms • Caused 9 million persons living in poverty in depressed rural areas

  39. Soil and Software • Less farms due to agricultural software and farm robotics • Robots may replace manual tasks on land • Robots used for livestock management • Sensors will be implanted on animals to monitor external environment conditions • Fully automated factory farm less than twenty years awat

  40. Molecular Farming • Machines replacing human labor in all areas • Gene splicing allows scientists to organize life as a manufactured process • Biologists see reduced need for labor to manufacture, transport, and apply chemicals • Increased productivity of dairy cows threatens livelihood of dairy farmers • Pharmaceutical companies hope to increase productivity & profits and reduce workforce

  41. The End of Outdoor Agriculture • Manipulation of molecules in the lab likely to replace traditional agriculture • Chemical companies investing heavily in indoor tissue-culture production • Lab-produced vanilla eliminates the bean, plant, cultivation, harvest, and farmer • Lab production of thaumatin will reduce worldwide sugar market

  42. The End of Outdoor Agriculture • Tissue culture next stage of a process that continues to reduce market share of farming • Genetic-engineering companies hoped to eliminate the farmer altogether • Goal to convert food production into wholly industrial process bypassing farming • Indoor tissue-culture food production will eliminate millions of jobs

  43. The End of Outdoor Agriculture • Tissue-culture substitution causes collapse of national economies, unemployment, and default on international loans • Breakthroughs promise high productivity and reductions in labor • Manufacturing and service sectors can’t absorb displaced farm workers

  44. Hanging Up the Blue Collar • Continuous-process technologies in 1880s introduces new approach to manufacturing • Automatic machinery produced goods with little or no human input • Today, information & communication technologies facilitate more sophisticated continuous-process manufacturing

  45. Automating the Automobile • Restructuring resulting in layoffs of blue-collar workers on the assembly line • Automakers seek innovations to increase production and reduce labor • View labor-displacing technology as best bet to cut costs and improve profit • Robots approach human capabilities while avoiding problems of human agents

  46. Computing Steel • Same changes in organization and production taking place in steel industry • High-tech mills transform steelmaking to highly automated continuous operation • Automated facilities reduce production time to 1 hour and reduce its workforce • Mini-mills reduce employment • Steel automation leave blue collar workers jobless

  47. Computing Steel • New manufacturing methods combined with restructuring management hierarchy turn steelmaking into era of lean production • Self-managing work teams reduce managers • Industries using steel emphasizing lean production • Automated processes will have psychological and economic impact on national economies

  48. The Silicon-Collar Workforce • Rubber industry affected by re-engineering • Extractive industries affected by automation • Automation of mining industry left joblessness • Chemical refining industry substituting machines for human labor • Strides in re-engineering and automation occurring in electronics industry

  49. The Silicon-Collar Workforce • High-tech equipment increase productivity & eliminate jobs in appliance industry • Textiles industry most affected by Industrial Revolution • Textiles have lagged behind due to labor-intensiveness of sewing process • Today, industry catching up through lean-production practices and automated systems

  50. The Silicon-Collar Workforce • Technology makes garment manufacturing in industrial nations cost-competitive • Automation of high end manufacturing resulting in record loss of jobs • By next century, blue collar worker will be a casualty of Third Industrial Revolution as we march towards greater technological efficiency