Email of the day - on the world after COVID:
Comment of the Day

April 26 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Email of the day - on the world after COVID:

In today's article on the long-term consequences of Covid no mention was made on the long-term impact of robotisation. In the short-term there may well be a shortage of workers in some areas but in the long term this will probably be offset by more mechanisation.

Eoin Treacy's view

Thank you for this email which may be of interest to the Collective. Mechanisation is an inexorable trend and we have ample examples of how many labour-intensive jobs have been outsourced to robots. The challenge with this trend is it is accelerating and is something that the whole world will need to adjust to.

There are both push and pull factors at work. On one side we have a large number of people about to leave the workforce through retirement and a global population where the best demographics are in countries with less well-developed systems of governance. On the other we have the accelerating trend of technological achievement which is heading towards much greater roles for artificial intelligence and autonomy.

We already have examples of public unrest at the loss of living standards arising from globalisation and outsourcing. Low interest rates and massive liquidity injections favour the trend of technological innovation because they help to overcome high capital barriers to entry. Arguably the preponderance of capital and the creation of a global economy raise the barrier to entry into the middle classes for less well-educated people.

As we look to the aftermath of the pandemic, I see a lot of impatience. People are sick of being told what to do and how to live their lives. They are ready to live on their own terms. That will likely result in more hedonism but higher wage demands to pay for it too.

Capitalism trends towards consolidation and the developers of artificial intelligence and autonomous programs stand out as both beneficiaries and targets for taxation as the implications for workers of what they are developing begins to be felt.

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