Crushing the Expectations of 2.5 Billion People

The American Dream is dying.

Unfortunately, it arrived at its deathbed at the very moment 2.5 BILLION people in the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) adopted it as their own.

Simply, 2.5 billion people are using their version of the Dream to climb into the middle class.   What they don’t know is that they are in a race to achieve a modicum of prosperity before technology kills the global economy.

This situation has the potential to become a socioeconomic nightmare of monumental proportions, because in this race, my bet is on technology.

The smart bots (in both hardware and software) we’re currently rolling out will simply eat the available jobs in the BRICs before most become wealthy enough to afford the benefits of it.

With the wave of technology currently underway, there isn’t…

  • a wage low enough,
  • an effort great enough, or
  • a work day long enough to successfully compete.

On top of that, these bots will do it better than the human workers are doing it today.

A failure to deliver on the Dream to this group will create a mismatch between:

  • expectations of the future vs. the grim reality
  • available jobs vs. actual jobs
  • the leadership needed vs. the incompetent leadership (both in government/business/finance) we currently have.

The last time a mismatch this great occurred, the world exploded into world war as malicious leaders exploited the crushed expectations of the structurally unemployed to take up arms.

Of course, history being what it is, it’s not likely to happen in the same way this time.

This time, people aren’t needed to man the factories or the bureaucracies of the national security machine.  Technology makes it possible for a few to control a great many.  It allows the automation of tyranny.

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Discussion — 6 Responses

  • Michael J. Lotus February 18, 2014 on 3:41 pm

    A rather dreary vision.

    Will, really, every conceivable employable and productive of human activity be outdone at every turn by machines? If so, then a tiny minority of Eloi will have no need for any Morlocks at all. Will they just euthanize the useless billions so the capital-owning few million can enjoy their control?

  • EGrise February 18, 2014 on 4:31 pm

    “Will they just euthanize the useless billions so the capital-owning few million can enjoy their control?”

    Yes; I suspect that’s why nothing is being done about global warming – the Eloi have done the math and know that they’ll survive on a world that will support only a few million.

  • Chris February 18, 2014 on 7:20 pm

    I don’t think it’s quite so black and white. The 2.5 billion will achieve a modicum of prosperity, which will allow them to purchase, in varying degrees, equity in the new technology. For some it will mean nothing, for others, it will help them in their own entrepreneurial efforts.

    There is more than a hint of the 1890’s suggestion that “the patent office be closed since everything had been invented” in some of this discussion.

  • larrydunbar February 18, 2014 on 10:29 pm

    It’s the morlocks who need the technology. They will always find a place for the Elois, even it’s between two slices of bread.

  • Cliff February 19, 2014 on 12:42 am

    >Will they just euthanize the useless billions so the capital-owning few million can enjoy their control?

    The elite already got their piece of the pie, so even if most of their customers are eliminated, it won’t interfere with their enjoyment of riches. As I said in a prior post, the may inherit a paradise once they make it bereft of most of troublesome humanity. Plus they will have robot slaves to take care of their every need. Sounds like a plot for a SF novel, huh? But every paradise has a snake. Dealing with it, whatever it is, would be central the plot of such a novel.

  • Jeannie February 26, 2014 on 5:48 pm

    …heh… I’m a massage therapist … and if a robot is invented to massage I will become a builder of massag-o-bots. One tyrant with a bad back then we’re back in business!!!