Race to Zero Employment

With the election looming and discussions surrounding job creation, I’d like to take a step back and provide an alternative viewpoint. Let’s take a look at our ancient past then compare it with our current path forward to analyze for similarities.

Directly after the last ice age, crops of various nutritional value arose worldwide. By sheer luck, those people that lived in the fertile crescent(what is now the middle east), contained advantages found no where else in the world. Wheat and barley were very high in nutritional value for humans, large 100lb+ docile native herbivore mammals provided us with a workforce and clothing, and a highly desirable climate enhanced the former benefits. Due to these, we were able to develop agriculture which required that only a few persons work to feed and clothe the entire population. Those that weren’t working in agriculture were able to utilize their free time to experiment and specialize in other tasks such as stone and metal work thus spawning a technological renaissance that quickly developed several highly advanced societies.

Our natural human drive for efficiency leads us towards less and less employment for outdated tasks. The rise of self-driving cars, autonomous drones and 3d-printing will cut large amounts of jobs in manufacturing and transportation. These workers will either have to become skilled in other trades or join the unemployed. As we progress into our future, I don’t see the harm in a large unemployment rate if collectively we can provide these individuals with basic needs. Some will be lazy and waste their lives, but others will have limitless time to explore their deepest passions. The curious will collaborate, invent, tinker and create exciting new innovations at an exponential rate.

100% of nomads must work to hunt and gather in order to feed the entire tribe. However, one that has evolved into agriculture can provide for the entire group with a few specialized workers while freeing others to make discoveries like architecture or metalworking. The less people we have doing mundane tasks in the future, the more people will be freed to develop the next great innovations that benefit all of us.

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