Greed. The dictionary defines “greed” as “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.” Our world is awash in greed. Strike that — it’s better stated that our world is falling to pieces because of greed and its only getting worse.
Some days, it seems as if the entire human race is consumed with some degree of greed. People covet, politicians crave power, celebrities lust after fame and fortune and corporations are driven to any lengths in the pursuit of profit.
You probably remember that several years ago, people started to openly challenge the“made in China” issue. Around the time that this concern was all over the news, I had seen one quintessential American toy company pulling out all the stops with their advertising campaign during the Christmas season. Curious, I did some research to find out where they made their iconic “American toys” these days. I wasn’t really shocked to learn that they were making almost their entire product line overseas. What did shock me however, was their hypocrisy. They were saturating the media with reasons why hard-working Americans should buy their toys, yet they obviously didn’t feel the American worker was worthy enough to employ. This is kind of duplicitous, don’t you think? They won’t hire Americans, but they still want us to buy their classic “American” toys for our kids.
It boils down to greed
The primary reason they make those classic “American brand” toys in China, is because of unadulterated greed. They couldn’t care less that the majority of their sales come from North America, but they won’t employ us — they simply care that they can save .50 cents per unit to make it abroad. So I wrote to their CEO and asked:
“How is it you expect the American people to be able to buy your products, if companies, such as yours and countless others, send the jobs overseas?”
I never got a reply.
Corporate greed it seems, is now motivating companies to declare that robots and other forms of AI (artificial intelligence), are the wave of the future and that people really won’t be needed at all — why pay any human, if you can get a machine to do the work for free? Apparently blinded by their unconstrained greed, they forget one important thing” no jobs = no money = no sales. Are they really this dim?
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, Robots could replace nearly a third of the U.S. workforce by 2030. A third of the nation’s workforce laid off in just 12 short years!
From that article in the Washington Post:
Over the next 13 years, the rising tide of automation will force as many as 70 million workers in the United States to find another way to make money, a new study from the global consultancy McKinsey predicts.
That means nearly a third of the American workforce could face the need to pick up new skills or enter different fields in the near future, said the report’s co-author, Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute who studies business and economics.
“We believe that everyone will need to do retraining over time,” he said.
The shift could displace people at every stage of their career, Chui said.
By 2030, the researchers estimated, the demand for office support workers in the U.S. will drop by 20 percent. That includes secretaries, paralegals and anyone in charge of administrative tasks.
During the same period, the need for people doing “predictable physical work” — construction equipment installation and repair, card dealing, security guarding, dishwashing and food preparation, for example — will fall by 30 percent.
Around the same time that article appeared, Bloomberg published this one:
As many as 800 million workers worldwide may lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030, equivalent to more than a fifth of today’s global labor force.That’s according to a new report covering 46 nations and more than 800 occupations by the research arm of McKinsey & Co.The consulting company said Wednesday that both developed and emerging countries will be impacted. Machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees are among those who will be most affected if automation spreads quickly through the workplace.Even if the rise of robots is less rapid, some 400 million workers could still find themselves displaced by automation and would need to find new jobs over the next 13 years, the McKinsey Global Institute study found.
We’ve all heard the expression “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” This is a classic example. The rush to automate is based solely on unbridled greed. “They” say people will need to be re-trained to do other jobs, but that rarely happens and those other jobs either never materialize, or they come too late.
I’m not an Economist and I don’t pretend to be an expert, but it seems to me that these corporate beasts are feeding on themselves, devouring their own bodies, without a thought for the consequences. So yeah, they may save some money, but look at the drastic effects this will have on every single industry on the planet — hotels, airlines, car makers, vacation resorts, oil & gas companies and yes, even toy companies — all will wonder “gee, why aren’t people buying our product/service?” Well…go ask that robot over there and see if it can help you!
Happiness will always elude greedy people. Greed is toxic and deadly — it has a permanent corrupting effect on a person’s character and spirituality, causing strife and pain where ever it is allowed to fester unabated.
“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” — Erich Fromm