Is There A Downside To Technology?

By | December 1, 2012

I originally wrote this piece for another blog I published during 2010.

Lately within an economy that remains somewhat weak with challenged employment, most publicly traded companies have reported solid earnings and have guided profit forecasts somewhat higher, especially the technology sector. This phenomena is out of sync with what’s occurring on main street and on a global basis.

Its not as though the consumer is banging down the doors to spend, is it? Businesses aren’t suddenly bleeding their wallets to increase capital expenditures, are they? Could it be banks lending again with reckless abandon? No, I think not. Is it possible that technology is getting to the level where enterprises can do more with fewer warm bodies collecting a paycheck thus boosting their bottom line?  Yes…could be!

Although not an absolute, it is having an impact and is never discussed or even pondered within mainstream media. Face facts, where we once had an army of welders at an automobile plant, we now have several fast robots. At offices that once required a team of clerks and assistants, we now have wicked computers doing all that filing, sorting, billing and such. Oh, did I forget to account for a massive decline in domestic manufacturing? Let’s not discard that little tidbit. I could go on and on but I think you get the drift.

Mind boggling advances in technology have been taking place while the population of the USA has exploded over the past 30 years from 225 million to 305 million and these numbers don’t account for the millions of people in the country illegally. So it stands to reason that if technology is allowing many tasks to be completed with 10 people that once required 50, and all during the time population has increased and manufacturing has decreased, we’ll eventually get to the point where jobs, (at least worthwhile employment) can prove difficult to secure. Yes, a theory albeit a good one.

The next 10 years will be interesting unless we can all figure out a way to make a living texting one another, updating our Facebook account and posting to Twitter.

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