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Subject: Technology is killing middle class jobs rss

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NEW YORK (AP) - Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

They're being obliterated by technology.


http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130123/DA3VN9TG0.html


Fear of tech taking away jobs is as old as the Industrial Revolution. But it looks like it's actually happening.

I know there are a lot of informed people here - so, RSPers, what will the future look like?

More hollowing out of the middle class? The recent US 2030 reports says the middle class will increase three-fold in the next few decades - I wonder how that jives with this news article.

One career strategy is obviously to go into tech yourself, which I think many of us have already done.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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It's been killing working class jobs for decades, why should the middle classes be left out of the fun?
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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Technology kills jobs and it creates them.
It's been doing that since first water mill (and probably earlier).
Best advice: do not commit yourself to one and only one rigidly defined "job".
Have skills that transfer.
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Of course fear of taking jobs away has existed as long as the industrial revolution because jobs were in fact lost due to technology. Other types of jobs were created at the same time. The two are not directly directed necessarily.

What the future will look like is probably that things will continue to change.
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Lance Peterson
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That article is just 2 peoples' opinion. And opinions are like ...
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MungSu wrote:
That article is just 2 peoples' opinion. And opinions are like ...


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Dane Peacock
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Suck. Now where do I go? Upper class or lower class? Decisions decisions...
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tesuji wrote:


I know there are a lot of informed people here - so, RSPers, what will the future look like?



Looks alright.
 
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tesuji wrote:
NEW YORK (AP) - Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

They're being obliterated by technology.


http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130123/DA3VN9TG0.html


Fear of tech taking away jobs is as old as the Industrial Revolution. But it looks like it's actually happening.

I know there are a lot of informed people here - so, RSPers, what will the future look like?

More hollowing out of the middle class? The recent US 2030 reports says the middle class will increase three-fold in the next few decades - I wonder how that jives with this news article.

One career strategy is obviously to go into tech yourself, which I think many of us have already done.


I'd like to distinguish between middle income and middle class jobs since we overload those here in the states.

Middle income is somewhere around $45000-$60000.

Lower class is $0 to $200k and usually has little control over their work schedule. They usually work for others but may also own their own small businesses. Their income is almost entirely from working.

Middle class is $200k up to just below the truly wealthy. Middle class usually has control over their schedule and provides services directly to customers (doctors, lawyers, and such). They still depend on their income to maintain their standard of living tho they may have some limited investment income.

Upper class essentially means great wealth - often inherited, working is optional unless their spending is great. Their wealth often works for them to provide their income.

Technology is destroying jobs in the lower and middle classes.

Productivity improvements have destroyed jobs in the past and people just made up new jobs. This time may be different because the only remaining jobs require too much education and at least average intelligence and any job without those requirements is subject to automation.

Perhaps the 2030 report was based on retiring boomers. I'm hoping they'll outweigh the technology improvements for at least til 2020.

Some serious deaths and retirements on the way. 800k per year (75k per month) for the next 4 years. Then 2,000,000 per yer for about 12 years after that. Current unemployment should be completely destroyed by 2020 and employers will be short of employees and have a higher incentive to automate and use technology solutions.

It's not just us. Something close to the current u.s. population of chinese workers will retire over the next 20 years. So china will have a labor shortage as well. I haven't researched it, but I bet europe is the similar.
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maxo-texas wrote:

Upper class essentially means great wealth - often inherited, working is optional unless their spending is great. Their wealth often works for them to provide their income.

How do I apply?
 
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This article says there is net loss of jobs, not new tech jobs replacing old-school jobs.
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
Lower class is $0 to $200k and usually has little control over their work schedule. They usually work for others but may also own their own small businesses. Their income is almost entirely from working.

Middle class is $200k up to just below the truly wealthy. Middle class usually has control over their schedule and provides services directly to customers (doctors, lawyers, and such). They still depend on their income to maintain their standard of living tho they may have some limited investment income.

Upper class essentially means great wealth - often inherited, working is optional unless their spending is great. Their wealth often works for them to provide their income.


These definitions are neither common nor useful.
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rshipley wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
Lower class is $0 to $200k and usually has little control over their work schedule. They usually work for others but may also own their own small businesses. Their income is almost entirely from working.

Middle class is $200k up to just below the truly wealthy. Middle class usually has control over their schedule and provides services directly to customers (doctors, lawyers, and such). They still depend on their income to maintain their standard of living tho they may have some limited investment income.

Upper class essentially means great wealth - often inherited, working is optional unless their spending is great. Their wealth often works for them to provide their income.


These definitions are neither common nor useful.

Hm, yeah. I don't know if there are "official" cutoffs, but surely the middle class starts well before US $200K. I would think around 30-50, depending on where you live.

Although, I see what maxo is going, by providing a definition:
Lower class is $0 to $200k and usually has little control over their work schedule. They usually work for others but may also own their own small businesses. Their income is almost entirely from working.

Justifiable definition, I guess. He said lower class, not lower income. It's about how much control you have over your life.

But colloquially, lower class starts way before $200K, in social terms.
 
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rshipley wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
Lower class is $0 to $200k and usually has little control over their work schedule. They usually work for others but may also own their own small businesses. Their income is almost entirely from working.

Middle class is $200k up to just below the truly wealthy. Middle class usually has control over their schedule and provides services directly to customers (doctors, lawyers, and such). They still depend on their income to maintain their standard of living tho they may have some limited investment income.

Upper class essentially means great wealth - often inherited, working is optional unless their spending is great. Their wealth often works for them to provide their income.


These definitions are neither common nor useful.



Google "define middle class"

First entry...

mid·dle class
Noun
The social group between the upper and working classes.
Adjective
Of, relating to, or characteristic of this group.
Synonyms
bourgeoisie


American politicians use it in a nonstandard way for a reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_middle_class

We have
* lower middle class
* middle class
* upper middle class
Quote:
The "professional class", also called the "upper middle class", consists mostly of white collar professionals, most of whom are highly educated, salaried professionals whose work is largely self-directed. Many have graduate degrees, with educational attainment serving as the main distinguishing feature of this class. Household incomes commonly exceed $100,000.[2][5][11] Class members typically hold graduate degrees.[2][12]


The usage is common. it's been irritating me for at least 20 years the way they are pushing "middle income" as "middle class" to confuse the rhetoric and the public.


It's your thread tho Tesuji. What meaning do you want to use here?

Were you talking about jobs in the $40k to $60k range? Some different range? I just need to understand what you were shooting for since "middle class" is poorly defined these days.

I'd be happy to call it "middle class" for this thread...
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bramadan wrote:
Best advice: do not commit yourself to one and only one rigidly defined "job".


That's pretty useless advice to the mid-40s former factory worker with two kids and a mortgage. Who already isn't "committed" to any rigidly defined job. He just wants one.
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David desJardins
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My view is that the American middle class comprises everyone who can meet their basic needs, but who has to work to do so. That's probably somewhere around 60-70% of households; it excludes the top 1% (or less), and the bottom 30-40%. Some of the latter still consider themselves lower middle class, but I would say it's more aspirational than real.

An anecdote: my real estate agent and I were discussing the "middle class" in the context of home buying in my area, specifically the question, "How expensive of a house can you afford if you are in the middle class?" His answer was, up to $4 million. Not sure what that proves except that many things are relative.

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Mac Mcleod
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The article uses another ill-defined term. "midpay, mid-skilled"

It also defines "middle class" as ...

Quote:
In the United States, half the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000.



So the article is using the term "middle class" to talk about middle income which is from $38,000 to $68,000.

This is why it's so tricky to use a term like "middle class". It means whatever the person who uses it wants it to mean. Sort of a humpty dumpty 6:55 type of word.
 
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The future... have you ever watched this episode of the Twilight Zone?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Brain_Center_at_Whipple%27s
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David desJardins
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In response to the original posting, I think the best way to look at it is that we already have a huge gap in our ability to productively employ most of the world's population. The US economy has gotten more and more efficient, and as a result unemployment and underemployment have climbed. But in the rest of the world the problem most often takes a different form---people are "employed" but in ways that make use of only a very small fraction of their human potential. The high growth rates that you see in (some parts of) the developing world reflect that when you're only using a very small fraction of the productive capacity of your human capital, it's fairly easy to make pretty big increases (e.g., just by moving farmers to industry, or by making retail more efficient).

The way to think about automation is that it is working at odds with the natural progression of development of human capital worldwide. Except at the very top of the economic ladder, like in the US, workers have had a way up. Cambodian fishermen become plantation workers or garment factory workers. Those workers emigrate to Thailand or Korea and work in more advanced factories (or, eventually, the factories come to them). There's a logical ladder of "progress" (sidestepping the complex question of whether increasing your economic output or income is always "good" for the workers). That ladder is threatened by automation, which decreases demand for a large part of the work that people seek to do, just at a time where globalization means that an ever-increasing share of the world's labor force is looking to move up that ladder.

The US impact is hardest to predict, because automation may come with more high-skill jobs that benefit those at the very top of the economic ladder. (Of course, whether that benefit "trickles down" to the US worker with only a high-school diploma, or less, is another key question.) But the effects lower on the economic ladder are easier to foresee.
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DaviddesJ wrote:

An anecdote: my real estate agent and I were discussing the "middle class" in the context of home buying in my area, specifically the question, "How expensive of a house can you afford if you are in the middle class?" His answer was, up to $4 million. Not sure what that proves except that many things are relative.



Everything is relative. My wife and I were watching Selling New York tonight. There was a nice young woman looking to buy her first home. At first she said she needed to stay within her budget which was around $5,000-$5,500 a month or around $800,000 I think it was. In the end she upped her budget to $1.2 million and ended up buying a 700 square foot 1 bedroom condo.

Now here in Kansas City $1.2 million would buy you a mansion. My wife and I when house hunting actually looked at a house on the market for $1m that was having an open house (our realtor wanted us to see it I think so she could go to see it too). It had 5 bedrooms, 2 grand staircases, 5 car garage and an elevator. If that woman lived in Kansas City she'd be rich living in a mansion like that. In Manhattan she's living in an apartment. Like you say it's relative.
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maxo-texas,
No point in quibbling about definitions. Middle class and middle income for me are both whatever is between poor and rich, whatever that means.

It's relative as has been said here. Many poor people in 2013 America would be considered middle class in 1930s America, when a lot of people didn't have electricity, plumbing, etc. not to mention Medicaid, car, TV, polio shots, etc.

Many rich people (in my book) consider themselves middle class because they are looking at Bill Gates as the definition of rich.
 
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Working class: Cannot afford to buy a home
Middle Class: can afford a home but no servants
Upper class: can afford both
Seems to me the old definition still fits, it's not the job you do but your purchasing power.
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slatersteven wrote:
Working class: Cannot afford to buy a home
Middle Class: can afford a home but no servants
Upper class: can afford both
Seems to me the old definition still fits, it's not the job you do but your purchasing power.


This seems a surprisingly efficient set of definitions.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Geosphere wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Working class: Cannot afford to buy a home
Middle Class: can afford a home but no servants
Upper class: can afford both
Seems to me the old definition still fits, it's not the job you do but your purchasing power.


This seems a surprisingly efficient set of definitions.
The Victorians generally were.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Working class: Cannot afford to buy a home
Middle Class: can afford a home but no servants
Upper class: can afford both
Seems to me the old definition still fits, it's not the job you do but your purchasing power.


I guess it depends how you define "servants" but my perception is that a huge share of the American middle class has some kind of hired household help. Do you include the housecleaner once a week?
 
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