News from Africa, Posts

In the coming decades productivity is going to increase, but poverty and inequality will grow even in developed countries.

April 4, 2018
In “Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation and Inequality”, a Bain & Company’s official report, they profile next two decades’ future and give some details about demographic growth, developing robotics and connected inequality. According to the report, all this will affect the USA and western countries.
The report’s conclusions are bitter and challenging for companies’ leading people – as these companies’ reports often state.
In short, the arrival of robotics, of 4.0 companies and of automation, will lead to the disappearance of lots of jobs and employment. More than the shift from agriculture to industrialization did in the past.
These jobs won’t be replaceable: a growing number of people will be out of work, with terrifying social consequences for the countries they live in.
We must make some reflections:
  • Demography is growing only in Africa. In the rest of the world it is stagnating, as it happens in Europe. Therefore, Africa is the only continent which is having children and which will bring 2 billion young and strong people to the world in the coming 20 years. People who won’t have money (see my post about it). Therefore, they can’t and will not buy products, but, on the contrary, they will create tensions affecting the entire world.

  • In these years, in western countries, automation, pushed by technology, is developing fast. And it is asking for money and investments. Up to 2040, investments in these developing areas will grow, and in western countries there will be an apparent growth and an increase in rates because of the need of money for the expensive automation. It will look like a fast run…
  • At the same time, in the coming 20 years, people who are finishing with their working life, will be brutally dismissed from work, because they will be considered as inadequate. Unemployment and poverty will increase.
  • On the contrary, few people having a lot of money (about 5% of the world) will get wealthier and today’s inequalities will grow.

At a certain point – maybe in 2040 – when productivity will have grown a lot because of robotics, the question will be: to whom will we sell all those products? To Africans, who will be the only ones increasing in number but who won’t have money? Or to western countries, which will get poorer and poorer?
2040 is today. Maybe we’d better think about it now.

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