Endgame?

Endgame?

Model of the Dr.Strangelove War Room. | Wikicommons/China Crisis. Some rights reserved. Get our weekly email

As was pointed out on 23 April by the Economist , close to a dozen states, from Azerbaijan to Togo have used the Covid-19 pandemic to arrogate more power to themselves . Indeed, this development has been particularly evident in Washington, Budapest, and Delhi.

Trump has claimed “total authority” for the Oval Office in opposition to state governors who had sought to loosen lockdown measures earlier. While he quickly backtracked on this claim, he has nonetheless more recently called upon his supporters (“Very good people”) […]

The Future Of Work And Employment – And What That Can Mean For Your Career

The Future Of Work And Employment - And What That Can Mean For Your Career

digital composite robot Getty The book The Future Of Work And Employment edited by Australian scholars Adrian Wilkinson and Michael Barry recently caught my eye. It tackles a massive subject and takes that subject seriously. It also provides a wide range of perspectives on the title, and a variety of insights into how your career might soon be affected. Here are some highlights.

Two grand narratives

In their introductory chapter, the editors reflect on “two grand narratives” that underlie competing views of contemporary employment. One stems from World War II era economist John Maynard Keynes, who envisioned knowledge workers […]

A New Age of Feudalism for the Working Class?

A New Age of Feudalism for the Working Class?

In the past, fears of job losses from automation were often overstated. Technological progress eliminated some jobs but created others, and often better-paying ones. In the early days of the high-tech revolution, many of the pioneering firms—such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and IBM—were widely praised for treating their lower-level workers as part of the company and deserving of opportunities for advancement, as well as benefits including health insurance and a pension.

The labor policies of the newer generation of tech giants tend to be vastly different. Firms like Tesla have been sued for failing to pay contract workers the legally mandated […]

No Crisis Wasted: MSNBC Uses Corona to Push Universal Basic Income

No Crisis Wasted: MSNBC Uses Corona to Push Universal Basic Income

Liberal MSNBC host Ali Velshi on Sunday used the COVID-19 pandemic to push for Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all Americans. Touting it as a “big idea,” Velshi largely dismissed the critics and glossed over cost. The MSNBC host, who has a history of promoting far-left economic ideas, began, “UBI is a big deal…. There’s lots of versions. But it goes something like this: Every citizen regardless of employment status gets a modest income from the state, no strings attached, which allows them to live above the poverty line.”

Though he started by linking the need for UBI to the […]

Say Hello to the Robo Worker

Say Hello to the Robo Worker

Illustration by Tanmoy Chakraborty MORE FROM THIS SECTION

Right from when I started working with the government in 1956, the approach has been that India must adopt labour intensive methods in manufacturing industries. The logic was that our large population and abundance of low-cost labour would help us manufacture goods at low cost. Quite predictably, labour unions opposed any form of automation or use of technology in factories that would lead to additional jobs not being created.

Everyone is aware that manufacturing in India has stagnated at 15-16 per cent of GDP while some of the bigger countries in […]

The federal government’s foresight agency has identified five game-changing trends related to technology that could change the future of work.

The federal government’s foresight agency has identified five game-changing trends related to technology that could change the future of work.

The head of the federal government’s foresight agency says identifying the skills that workers will need in the future, as jobs rapidly change or disappear completely, is one of the toughest challenges policy-makers have in front of them.

Kristel Van der Elst, executive head of Policy Horizons, said artificial intelligence and automation’s impact on the nature of work is an issue confounding researchers and governments around the world.

“We have an idea, but what (skills) are actually needed is the biggest question,” said Van der Elst, who is also the CEO of the Global Foresight Group.“A lot of organizations are struggling […]

Employment warning

Millions around the globe may have taken to the streets in recent years to protest against the impact of globalisation on their jobs and communities – but this backlash is only likely to grow as globalisation itself becomes more disruptive.

The stark warning comes from Richard Baldwin, president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research think-tank, who has been studying global trade for the past 30 years.

Technological advances could now mean white-collar, office-based workers and professionals are at risk of losing their jobs, Prof Baldwin argues.In the US, voter anger with globalisation may have led to Donald Trump‘s election victory, […]

Growth of value chains will be hurt by trade war: World Bank’s Aaditya Mattoo

Growth of value chains will be hurt by trade war: World Bank’s Aaditya Mattoo

Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank’s Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific region. NEW DELHI : Aaditya Mattoo is the co-author of a World Bank Development Report (WDR) 2020 on global value chains (GVCs) and its role in powering a surge of international trade after 1990. In India on a short visit, Mattoo, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific region, spoke of the impact of the US-China trade war on GVCs, the lessons India could learn from countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam and why automation and artificial intelligence need not necessarily lead to job losses. Edited […]

Your View: Ignore Andrew Yang. Automation is good for our economy

Your View: Ignore Andrew Yang. Automation is good for our economy

Robots weld the bed of a 2018 Ford F-150 truck at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. (Carlos Osorio/AP) The presidential debates have featured several candidates with new proposals to curb the threat automation poses to workers. Andrew Yang has his signature Freedom Dividend, giving $1,000 a month to every American to alleviate technological unemployment.

There’s a catch with all of these solutions, though. The problem they’re meant to solve doesn’t exist. Ignatios Draklellis (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO) The idea that jobs are being automated so quickly that it is displacing workers and causing societal dysfunction has become ubiquitous in […]

Editorial: Scary reading for rural America

Editorial: Scary reading for rural America

If you want to read something grim, depressing and sometimes downright scary this Halloween season, you could try a Stephen King novel.

Or you could read the report “The Future of Work” by the New York-based consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The King novel might have more gripping prose, but the McKinsey report is much more frightening because it’s not made up.

Here’s the essence of it: “In the decade ahead, the next wave of automation technologies may accelerate the pace of change. Millions of jobs could be phased out even as new ones are created. More broadly, the day-to-day nature […]