Is technology a complicated asset for the future?



The Daily Journalist Opinion.

Technology has become an essential part of modern times, that is here to stay for a long time. Unlike in the past where man power was crucial for innovation and development during the era of Industrialization, technology has branded itself as the modern prodigy that allows  services, industry, utilities and agriculture to flourish as never before seen.

A) Corporations like “Wal-Mart”, have started to include on their “check out” sections intelligent scanning machines as opposed to cashiers, which have taken people out of work.  

 B) Online business are responsible for extinguishing physical based retail companies. This can be observed specially during Christmas season, as many “big malls” have shown a big decrease of shopper consumption during seasonal boom sales.

 C) Blockbuster (movies) as many music industry labels and other different industries are losing the battle against illegal downloading, made from Bit-Torrents, file shares, and peer2peer downloading sites.

 D) Even Wall Street which was once flooded with stockbrokers, is now changing their large rooms to exchange stocks and bonds via electronically without the need of paper. So the paper industry must have lost money because it’s not been used as before digitization arrived.

And many other examples….

The question is simple. Many people are losing their jobs to manufacturers in China, but with the addition of technological advances it seems that China is not the main reason unemployment is going up, as technology itself is the biggest cause of job losses.

Unlike people, machines work much more efficiently, never get sick and don’t need insurance premiums to accommodate their health. Also in principal, insurance is also not quite as needed for machines than as for employees.  This seems a disadvantage for people, but not for a corporations financial perspective. Faster production, less wages paid, means more profit in theory.   

Is technology going to replace even more workers in the future? Wouldn’t that spark a big crisis in the future?  Can machines really do the job more efficiently than our own brains? Should technology dominate our future generations or will the future generation dominate technology? If companies sacrifice the human workforce for machines, in the end how could the unemployed afford to buy more products if they’re not working ( more losses for the company than gain)?



Seyed Mostafa Mousavipour.

“These days science and technology are pushing relentlessly from every direction. The exponential upsurge in technological advances is increasingly transforming and influencing existing mechanisms of everyday life, ranging from personal relationships to professional aspects.

The ever-rising tide of technology is, however, getting daunting due to the inexorable pace of technology which has rendered us unable to keep it from infiltrating different areas of our lives. That is, even if we disapprove of this massive influx, our existence today is inextricably entwined with technology in one way or another that it has become an impossibility to keep it at arm’s length. Quite ironically, this much-vaunted fruit of mankind venture – technology – is here to remain, survive and even outlive or replace us.

Fear of this unleashed force is now haunting us: a day may come that man is tripped over by technology; a day when man is the servant of machines, and they are quite capable of manipulating him. This unsavory premonition is unfortunately among the core parameters of capitalist societies – those which have already climbed up the dizzying pinnacle of science and technology at the expense of ethics and humanity.

In other words, capitalist societies are governed by giant businesses which attach a far greater value to material gains. I believe if we do not revert to the core ethical and human values, we will be devoured by technology one day. ”


David Merkel

David J. Merkel.

“There have been many complaints about improvements in technology affecting labor over the last 200+ years.  For the most part, they are bogus.

That we can produce more with less labor is a good thing.  The excess labor can seek other employment, and here is what I would suggest:

Think back on the era (around 1800, think Jane Austen) where wealthy families had a lot of resources, and hired a lot of people to aid them in their daily lives.  If the income distribution is tilting toward rich folks controlling more of total income, it makes sense to provide services to them, much as it was in the early 1800s.

This takes some humility, but I have worked for rich guys before, and it can be quite remunerative to be on their team.

You can’t change technology, but you can change how you interface with it.  Look for your best advantage, and work with the rich, or use the technology to create your own firm – that is what I am doing.”



Adil F Raja.

“The question brought forward is most current and important issue having deep rooted impact on the global demography and socioeconomic health of world population. As far as the advent of technology and it’s future growth is concern, I consider it like downhill flowing water which will eventually find it’s way forward. The solution lies in not withholding progress, but identifying and employing innovative measures to provide alternative means of employment to the masses.

These means should be related to fields of work where technology alone can never completely substitute manpower, like agricultural field, cattle/dairy farming and livestock management. Food security being an equally emerging global problem area like the subject being discussed can absorb numerous workforce to augment the production, in particular at the developing and third world countries.

The supply chain related to this market is also manpower intensive. This is just one point in case as how to tackle the posed problem beside many other innovative ideas and options. The process of human evolution and modernization will go on as the technology evolves further, but the basic needs and instincts of human beings will remain the same with slight alterations. The purpose of mankind therefore never gets lost but have to be found/rediscovered at every level.”


Claude Nougat.

“As always, those questions are so loaded they’d require a whole book to answer them! So, just briefly:

1. technology is here to stay and will displace more and more people in the future, creating ever larger spirals of unemployment;

2. that may (and does) have an effect on consumption at the macro level: as masses become unemployed there will be inevitable dips in consumption – but not long-lasting as a reaction sets in and the business cycle goes on an upswing again;

3. What causes the upswing? The adaptation of the workforce to the new, re-configured job market. Why do I say “re-configured”? Because the jobs that need to be filled, as technology advances, are increasingly demanding in special skills. Because technology is not a monster that goes forward on its own. No, it doesn’t, it’s created by hum’ans! So new jobs open up (mostly IT and Silicon Valley-linked jobs nowadays, but the future may bring other kinds of technical jobs…) And the business cycle starts over again.

4. What worries me is something else: the hijacking of technology by the One Percent. Technological advances provide benefits that increasingly only the ultra-rich can afford. Humanity will be divided into two groups: the majority that ekes a living, barely surviving in polluted, treeless, unlivable cities and a tiny minority that will live a charmed life in protected, gated communities with clean air and green plants…”



John Hauserman. 

“The question assumes that the economy is a zero sum game. History tells us that such is a false assumption. Just slightly over a decade ago our economy hummed at a rate which equaled technical full employment. In other words; somewhere around 3-4% of the population, for whatever reasons, is not seriously seeking employment and so an unemployment rate below 4% signifies full employment.

Under the zero sum scenarios, a job which is lost to a machine is simply lost–end of story. In reality, the frenzied nineties told a much different story. When the tech led boom swelled the ranks of the employed, the jobs gained were not simply those in related fields.

The gains and resulting profits that flowed went into the pockets of shareholders (in the form of dividends) and those business owners skilled enough to play the right hand. Those profits and dividends resulted in the creation of new economic activity. Restaurants, auto dealers, luxury jewelers, real estate, travel, clothiers, and small businesses (which could suddenly compete on a worldwide basis) were all winners. As a result millions of jobs were created as an offshoot of the tech driven economic activity.

Less obvious however, were gains which occurred as a result of mass wealth building. Charitable foundations, research hospitals, and universities were all big beneficiaries. As a result, physicians, scientists, and others all became wanted commodities. Even to this day, the U.S. has a shortage of such skilled positions and employers can’t find enough workers to staff needed positions; at least not without going abroad. In fact, this is less a story of a shortage of U.S. jobs than it is a story of a shortage of U.S. skilled workers.

The real danger to the economy going forward is an administration (and electorate) that seeks to remove money from the job creators that propel our economy; and pump that money into the very same educational framework that has failed us thus far. History tells us quite clearly that a fully functioning free market economy will ultimately create jobs as entrepreneurs learn how to create the goods and services desired by those who garner wealth–provided those entrepreneurs have access to an appropriately educated and trained labor force.

Additionally, even as the emerging world economies are in the early stages of creating a middle class which is roughly ten times that of the U.S baby boomers, some in the U.S. are declaring that higher taxes, mountains of red tape, and punitive legislation are the best ways to address corporate profits. While it is certain that a new found middle class will demand all manner of goods and services, it is less certain that the U.S. will be a major provider. While these economies are discovering and embracing the economic genius of our founding fathers who delivered economic control into the hands of the people, many in the U.S. are rejecting those very ideals that have made us the greatest economic power that the world has ever known.

Their rejection of these principles simultaneously embraces the (past) failed endeavors of those who now emulate us (or at least who we used to be). The single greatest threat to the future of American jobs is the rising political clout of those who seek government control over our economy. A simple look around and one can determine quite unequivocally that those economies with the most governmental control also create the fewest jobs and opportunity for their citizens; while those which embrace private industry  have provided the greatest upward mobility and lowest levels of poverty. The ruling class in any society, no matter how distributed, represents a tiny fraction of an overall population.

There is simply no way that their creative brain power (no matter how substantial) can match the collective genius of the rest of the population; the math is simply too overwhelming. The key to creating a better life and more robust (job creating) economy that thrives from technological advances rests in the hands of the many, not that of the few. ”


Melissa Annette Ortega

Melissa A. Ortega.

“The challenges and conflicts that can arise in the area of information technology appear seemingly simple even if computers are not capable of feelings or really living.  Business owners are working to survive and thrive in today’s economy.  I think that there is a threat to open business communication that can hinder company performance due to advancements in IT. In today’s economy a company owner is expected to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders in an effort to improve employee’s job satisfaction and prioritize the needs of a growing company.

IT can withstand such problems because there is nobody around to help.  The good thing about computers is that software can be developed that can help improve communications, frame problems and create important dialogue for the working class. The concept is called reframing which is a powerful tool in a tough situation and can help a manager lead employees out of problem areas throughout the work day.

Nowadays, the fate of information technology and the digital age is left to the politics aspects of the company. Organizational politics, culture and diversity can affect daily business operations as well as the performance of employees. Personalities and feelings can surface when politics at a company are not managed responsibly. When politics are managed appropriately; a company can succeed and employees are much happier at work.  So, a large amount of time and money is spent on planning in this area for the primary purpose of increasing organizational effectiveness and bottom line results.

An important area of concern that is encouraged by advancements in IT is parochialism. This is the belief that there is only way particular way getting the job done.  A computer can definitely help a company overcome difficulties in cross-cultural communication by helping people but I do not think IT will ever be a better working model than a human being. Yet, IT does improve the productivity levels for a company in important mass communication areas such as: Emails, messaging, processes, procedures, guidelines or other types of human communication.

IT should improve on the problems that can happen from the non-verbal communication at a business. If a company owner fails to recognize the importance of employee satisfaction and careful allocation of scarce resources many problems can occur including economic fallout. The important external stakeholders whose jobs are at risk as IT changes the position of the employee are also thought to be the backbone of America i.e. suppliers, customers, government, and the community. Leadership is an important topic in the global economy.  Are we failing in business daily due to tyrant control over industry to include information technology? Are we leading with the latest technological advancements or are information systems leading us around?

Leadership is important as a manager will be expected to guide employees through areas that may be complex and obscure to be sure. The political aspects of a company may allow employees to accept differences, introduce new ideas, communicate effectively, and also plan for the future. I think that computers may alleviate an incredible amount of daily stressors that adversely affect many managers and employees; however, I do not think it is in the best interest of anyone to lead like machines. Computers can not understand diversity on a supreme level.

IT does not shape the cultural values and norms that affect the human condition. Domestic or global cross-cultural influences can positively or negatively affect the results of the organization’s political strength strategy. Cultural ethnic groups retain distinct cultural patterns and have different sets of values that help them survive and maintain an economy. The organizational culture of a company is based on their mission, vision, and values system and characterizes the work environment. Organizational culture is relied upon to help people understand the underlying principles at work that must be assuaged in an effort to help people get along at work.Important to remember is that responsible leader should work to evoke change by understanding that diversity sometimes reveals the need to be unique in an effort to be a good citizen, IT is not citizenship.

A strong business needs to always be ethical.  Ethical conduct can help a company more readily absorb panic and shock.  Ethical conduct can also help a company become more resilient. Company values will shape the behaviors the organizational ethical practices of constituents.  Leadership must work to develop a style that is appropriate to the front line results of a company in an effort to help employees denote right from wrong.  Computers do no understand right or wrong they only receive information.  Human beings are the judges and thinkers on this planet who plan and negotiate.”


Catherine Haig.

C. Bonjukian Patten

“Interesting question for which I have no answers; only more questions but…

Machines need people to create them. It would behoove our society to make more strides in promoting jobs that work with machines to high school seniors and or college students studying only liberal arts courses. In order to maintain a working relationship with machinery there must be people involved to maintain these machines and repair then when broken.”



George Mapp.

“According to The Chopra Center, Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life [Ayur= life,Veda= science or knowledge]. Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit. What if we take the premise of Ayurveda and apply it to the macro-economic model of the American economy or even the world’s economy. Would the American or the world’s economy be in balanced integration between ourselves and our environment? What about the U.S. standard of living, is it in balance or is it unhealthy? Not only would I say that the U.S. economy and the standard of living are both unhealthy but are both falling off a cliff. I believe that the exponential technological advances in the last several decades are soon going to hurt the U.S. economy and standard of living. As an American and as a human being, I am extremely concerned that the advances in technology, if not managed effectively and efficiently, will cause damage and harm that will drastically outweigh the benefits.

Out of curiosity, I checked the national unemployment rate from last month which is according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, stands at 7.3%. Just for a number I went back approximately 25 years. According to the same source, in 1990 the national unemployment rate was 5.4% in January 1990. I also checked the poverty levels in the U.S. According to the Wikipedia, “In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty in the United States, including almost 20% of American children.” According to the U.S. Census, “the number of persons below the official government poverty level was 36.6 million in 1990, representing 13.5% of the Nation’s population.” If you target specific areas, demographics and / or states the current rates of poverty and unemployment are much higher than the national average.

Jaime Ortega in his introduction to his question mentioned Walmart. How they are using intelligent scanning machines as opposed to humans thus putting people out of work. What makes this an extremely scary scenario is that Walmart happens to be the world’s largest public employer. Many of the worlds leading corporations and retailers follow and mimic what they do in order to compete effectively in the market place and sometimes just try to stay in business. Walmart has been criticized numerous times for its low wages and hard-ball pricing polices to its suppliers. They are so huge and powerful that they have the ability to dictate their terms to their suppliers, in other words they tell them what they are going to get paid.

I have also observed over the years that many of our youth and young-adults can not do basic math but instead rely on what they input into the register or more times than not what they scan, then the computerized register will calculate the change for them. That is in the fraction of cash transactions, mostly items are scanned and a credit card swiped and a few buttons pressed. Also, spelling has become a non-issue with auto-correct and spell check now prevalent in almost any electronic communication we use in this country. Another disturbing trend that I have noticed is that many teens use text-talk. A jargon of abbreviations and short cuts to words, basically another language that many older adults wouldn’t be able to understand. Not only have I noticed a decline in language skills but communication skills appear to be suffering as well. I have some younger friends that almost exclusively text instead of talking. In fact, I have a few friends that I have never spoken to on the phone.

Despite the huge and magnificent technological advances in healthcare and science, we as a nation are poorer, sicker, more obese, more dependent on pharmaceutical drugs and underemployed than say about 25 years ago. Technology is eliminating jobs from almost every facet of the U.S. workforce. From Wall Street to Main Street. I saw the impact on electronic trading first hand, I was an international equity trader on Wall Street for over 12 years. Electronic trading dried up the volumes in the Over-The-Counter market [people placed trades electronically as opposed to dealing directly with market-makers like myself] as well as the spreads narrowing drastically. The spread is the difference in price between what a market-maker will pay [bid] for a stock as opposed to what he is willing to sell [offer] it for.

Just think to yourself how difficult it is to get a real person on the phone when you call customer service at your phone company, your bank etc. Often times you will hear a foreign voice. That is another disturbing trend of U.S. corporations outsourcing jobs overseas for cheaper labor that takes away even more jobs. That compiled with the increasing number of jobs being eliminated by machines it is quite scary. From a CEO or shareholders perspective they all probably agree that machines do not call out sick, do not go on vacation, nortake lunch breaks and don’t need pensions or healthcare insurance?

But eventually and unfortunately it appears that it might be sooner rather than later, the economic model will become unbalanced and things will fall apart. Basic economics of supply and demand teaches us that if supplies increase much faster than demand then the prices must come down to compensate. Eventually if we as a nation continued to outsource jobs, eliminate jobs to computers and machines the majority of Americans will be unemployed and buying solely food, water and other necessities and less ‘widgets’. If that scenario plays out then eventually many corporations will also fail thus exponentially increasing the unemployment rate and result in an economy in free-fall.

I am of the school that if a loved-one, a son or daughter, spouse or parent has cancer I want to cure the cancer and make them healthy so that they will live. I feel the same about the country in which I was born in, I want to fix it, make it healthy. Both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have been around for over 5,000 years and both treat and cure illness not simply medicate the symptoms. In our society, nearly the entire medical profession is predicated upon taking pills to relieve a symptom of a disease almost never to treat or cure a disease.

Technology can be also be used to teach us how to eat and live healthier, how to become less dependent on fossil fuels, how to develop more solar and wind technologies, to conserve water, to protect the ozone as opposed to mass produce more and more widgets that mostly get thrown away and become an additional burden on our environment. Ironically I saw a Huffington Post article today titled, What India Can Teach The Rest Of The World About Living Well, here is one excerpt from the article:

India is the fastest-growing destination for wellness tourism, with an average of 22 percent annual growth, according to recent data from Stanford Research Center funded by Spafinder Wellness.”

I have been lucky enough to have traveled to over 35 countries. One country that I lived in was India. That is why I started with a brief intro of Ayurveda. But mostly because the entire philosophy of Ayurveda is built around balance. I feel the same way about technology. We can use it more effectively and more efficiently to make our economy and standard of living better and not worse.

I am convinced that currently we are not using technology for enough positive and productive benefits. Unfortunately I think that if we continue in the same direction we will as a nation continue to suffer and cut off our nose to spite our face. However, maybe to my own detriment I am an optimist and continue to hope that enough people who agree with me will eventuallydevelop more technologies that create more jobs as opposed to eliminating them, technologies that cure disease, that conserve energy and help the environment more than we are hurting it. Hopefully we as a nation will make better uses and smarter decisions.

That same Huff Post article mentions 10 reasons why we should look to India to live well. I’ll mention just a few, They have strong family values, They’re making low-cost health innovations. They have a culture that prizes compassion. They value inner wisdom. They cook with turmeric. Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian cooking, and it’s a superfood that can boost longevity and ward off illness.

The decline of family values in this country in my opinion is the most serious and is at the core of many of the major problems that is ailing our nation. And look at what they put in their food, a ‘superfood’ we put preservatives and chemicals that are slowly killing us. Even India is using technology to make low-cost health innovations. According to a Washington Post article titled, The royal birth cost $15,000. The average American birth is billed at $30,000, it states that: “The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section,” My daughter was born in 2009 in India in a private hospital for less than $500.

Clearly we as Americans can do much better than we have been in utilizing technology. I have no doubt that we can became a productive nation, a healthy nation, an intelligent nation if we make thright choices on how we choose to use the quantum leaps in technology that is available to us. Hopefully not just for me or for you but for my children and your children as well as your grandchildren and for all the children that share the only planet that we have.”


Eric Tham. 

“Technological advances over the past few decades has come a long way. From electronics, to the internet, then to enterprises, the wave that is coming now is enterprise analytics.

This is the use of machines to help humans perform better, and vice versa humans tuning machine to perform better. One of the buzzword in the past year is big data.

This is the velocity and volume of data that come with social media and mobile / internet revolution. Along with it comes data scientist – what the WSJ says the sexiest job of the next century. Presently the author is pursuing a postgrad degree in data analytics, and the glaring reality of using analytics to mine marketing trends, future data is so apparent. A job that is previously done by the travelling salesman is now done by the internet and data visualisation tools.

The worker of the future is now more sophisticated. Technology will create more jobs and displace some. The author’s hunch is that the net effect is negative. Older workers who are not able to keep up may find themselves displaced. There will be a greater divide between the have-nots and haves.

Overall, there will be a temporary structural dis-location in the next 2 decades. What happens after that is too far out in the telescope.”


Jaime Ortega (Editor)

“Technology itself is not harmful, but when greed and technology unify to create a brainchild, then questions in the form of answers emerge with relative ease.

I am all for mobile technologies, and other devices that help us communicate, benefit our health and also give us access to newer strands of information. However I am afraid the promoters of such technologies are not going to design a “Walt Disney world”, so I am doubtful what the agenda might hold, but what I do know is that it will be designed to produce extra wealth and that always edges the boundaries of greed.

Normally, government and multimillionaire dollar industries try technologies first and if they happen to work out well for gain, it gets trademarked to the public who get access. Let’s look at 3d printers! Many 3d printers, have the capabilities necessary  to actually print guns. Is this really a good idea if it becomes a commercial asset?

I am sure the NRA won’t be pleased if guns can be 3d printed. Just as much as the video industry was not pleased with the introduction of bit torrents, files sharing and other downloaded programs. Did Blockbuster and other similar companies lose to new technologies? Yes they did. Did employees lose out to better  technologies (legal or illegal)? Yes they did.

The point is technology is not a great antidote for unemployment. It is easy for a company  to say ‘we should regulate’ when their stocks start to plunge, but looks like these companies only ‘wake up from the dream” when well foreknown problems boomerang back very strongly at them.

Obviously, relevant technologies either sell or mass produce at enormous quantities to benefit users, but other technologies can replace manual production for digital production and that is where I have a serious problem.

There needs to be legitimate regulation on technological advances and devices, just as regulation should be implemented in our financial system that led us not too long ago to our infamous global recession.  Alan Greenspan, said there was no need or regulation when regulation was indeed needed. Was he wrong? Yes. And regulation should be forced in newer technologies.

It’s a fairly basic principal. But corporations that expand need to understand that we’re the ultimate technology. No technology will replace the human race or its achievements. And machines are human dependent, even though, many companies are starting to forget that principal to accommodate to their financial gain.”


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