We’ve All Been Automated
I love this excerpt from “Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.”
David Graber posits a theory that the automation apocalypse has already happened. It’s bloody, and has affected a majority of the population in America. However, we’ve superficially stopped the hemorrhaging by adding more bullshit jobs to the labor market.
“Since at least the Great Depression, we’ve been hearing warnings that automation was or was about to be throwing millions out of work—Keynes at the time coined the term “technological unemployment,” and many assumed the mass unemployment of the 1930s was just a sign of things to come—and while this might make it seem such claims have always been somewhat alarmist, what this book suggests is that the opposite was the case. They were entirely accurate. Automation did, in fact, lead to mass unemployment. We have simply stopped the gap by adding dummy jobs that are effectively made up. if one eliminates bullshit jobs from the picture, and the real jobs that only exist to support them, one could say that the catastrophe predicted in the 1930s really did happen. Upward of 50 percent to 60 percent of the population has, in fact, been thrown out of work.”
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