Where will the new jobs come from?

It is fashionable to be gloomy amongst leading commentators and economists. One of the things many of them are now worrying about is what new jobs will emerge to provide alternative employment, as the robot and artificial intelligence revolution gets into full swing?  My message is they should relax and study a little history. Past tidal waves of innovation have destroyed many jobs, only to create many others. Most  people tending horses and running horse drawn services lost their jobs, but it didn’t end the need for transport workers. Many of the jobs in factories moving parts to the line, assembling parts and testing the products have been replaced by robots already, but replacement activities have mushroomed as the society gets richer from automation.

Sometimes a new method does not extinguish all the old  competition. The advent of the Channel tunnel did not end the ferry companies who fought back well. Whilst robots can make cars, the rich often want a different product that is much more hand made. Robots could cook and serve a meal in a fast food outlet, but that will not end the demand for silver service restaurants.

Today some worry that we are near the time when professional drivers are replaced by automatic vehicles. This is a strange worry for now, as the opposite is happening. There is more demand for commercial drivers, as internet retailing surges in importance. This requires many more delivery vans and drivers to take goods to people’s homes that they would have taken  there for themselves on the old model. If we do get to automatic vehicles in the ascendency then there will be all sorts of jobs controlling, maintaining and instructing those vehicles, and doubtless plenty of jobs in regulating and policing them.

One of the features of a higher income economy that is growing is the shift in consumption towards more items requiring higher levels of service. When people have enough goods for their home and a decent wardrobe of clothes, they have money to spend on events, leisure, eating out. They might want to buy an expensive coffee in a shop instead of making an instant at home. They may want a Sunday lunch for the family in a restaurant rather than round the kitchen table. They want better haircuts or beauty treatments. All these things have a higher employment content than buying more goods made in robot controlled factories.

I see technology as generally positive. The internet is extending our options, keeping prices down and changing the way business works. It need not herald an unemployment problem. The way you get unemployment is from governments and Central Banks that destroy credit, push up rates too high  and impose damaging taxes, as we saw in 2008-10 in the west. Or you can get it like Venezuela from a government that does too much and taxes too much, killing off enterprise and private sector investment and innovation.

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109 Comments

  1. Mick
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    I’ll tell you were all the jobs should come from Security guards with guns at all our boarders around the country
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/913872/calais-migrants-violence-send-troops-protect-UK-drivers
    If these migrants have guns then how many have sneaked through our open boarders with guns, time to stop being soft on these people and when caught in the back of a truck or van then shipped straight back across the channel back to Europe and not taken into custody to start there cussy life here because they are not wanted

    Reply I assume you are referring to the small minority of criminals, not to migrants in general.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Anyone breaking through a fence or advancing without the correct papers is a criminal.

      Unless forced here at gunpoint they are not victims but criminals.

      • hope
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        No mention of immigration again JR. Govt should be improving education through grammar schools , tech colleges and universities. Not providing free university for EU students while saddling UK citizens with a life time of debt. No wonder Labour appeals to UK young.

        NHS: Funding should match per head of person. Therefore in real terms spending per head has vastly declined. When set up 70 years ago the population and those entitled to receive care totally different. Imagine after the war the UK made it known all persons in European countries and the common wealth were entitled or able to access free health care at the expense of the British taxpayer! Do you think the NHS idea would have got off the ground? No. Asking people on entry have you lived here for more than a year and expect them to say anything other than yes is a stupid test that only Hunt could be responsible for? Get the basics right first, cut immigration, stop health tourism, provide funding and staff to cope with the volume of people using it. Not hard really. But when you try to hide immigration as a factor you are never going to solve the problem of the NHS becoming a third world service to the world. Stop or reduce our taxes so we provide health care for our selves

      • zorro
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/29/albanian-gangs-control-uk-cocaine-market-says-agency

        Look at these beauties! The control of foreign national gangs over large elements of criminality within the UK is extremely worrying.

        zorro

      • Hope
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        It is certainly not a transition, it is an extension on worse terms than we are on now. A vassal state.

        Davis needs to be questioned very firmly. His reply to Priti Patel does not bode well for him or the taxpayers in our country. Lords stated we owed noting, from davis’ rep,y he accepted the U.K. Owed £100 billion from which he deducted the U.K. Assets and cash to arrive at about £39 billion! No this cannot be. We need a full honest list of why the EU claimed the £100 billion owed and a full list of U.K. Assets and cash.

        After Davis’s performance during interview at the select committee he cannot be trusted.

        • NickC
          Posted February 3, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Hope, Since we will be paying the full membership fee up to the BINO date (Mar 2019) the maximum amount we could possibly owe for the remaining 21 months of the EU’s MFF period is 1.75 x c£10bn (our approx net annual gift to the EU) = c£17.5bn. Mrs May has capitulated on giving the EU twice that (£35bn-£39bn) already.

          • Hope
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            May and Davis have also given up asking or demanding our assets back. Davis figures do not add up even from his own comments! Printing Patel needs to pursue this line. We the taxpayers demand the honest figures of EU demands, liabilities and UK assets. I simply do not believe Davis. Phase one demonstrates the political cowards the govt are.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      What are the laws on guns in France? Why haven’t the French sent their armed forces in and/or provided transport home for illegals and why are the French wanting to make this our problem, we aren’t Macron’s bestie mate Merkel who wants more cheap immigrant labour in Germany, we’ve said loud and repeatedly we’ll take our share of immigrants and those we need for skills shortages, why aren’t the French assimilating them? The Germans asked them to come waving banners in English so they could read them, the British government should provide the free train tickets to Germany.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Reply-reply.

      Have you ever crossed the Channel at Calais John, and seen theses so called refugees in action, cutting security fences, cutting lorry sides to get into vehicles, putting obstacles in the road to stop traffic whilst they try to break into lorries, caravans, cars or anything else which is travelling to the UK.

      Two years ago they let loose a dog on the fenced part of the approach road to the Port
      to slow down and stop traffic, it worked, as drivers did not want to run over a loose dog that was in effect fenced in on the road. We were present at the time.

      I see the French news have reported that since Mrs May agreed to take some more “Children” from Calais, another 200 immediately arrived in hope.

      France is supposed to be a safe Country, as indeed are the Countries surrounding it which so called refugees have to transit through, so why is the UK a final destination ?

      We have an asylum system which works on application.
      Will anyone ever learn.

    • agricola
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      By your comment you confirm that you are totally out of touch with the reality of illegal entry into the UK. If they were all heading for Wokingham the truth might dawn.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      MICK

      Amazing how many ardent Brexiteers contributing to so many other comments pages keep spelling borders as “BOARDERS”

      • NickC
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Margaret, Actually both sides make spelling errors from time to time. Anyway, you think the migrants fighting to leave the EU, to come to the UK, are not “boarders”? Haha.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Spot on.

    Technology is hugely positive and it is accelerating away. Every time we get a new development or tool then these very tools accelerate the next break through. The positive feedback through this is huge.

    The first sequencing of the whole human genome in 2003 cost roughly $2.7 billion now under £800 soon to be £8. We will have even more massive breakthroughs on cancer treatments, orthopaedics, heart disease, manufacturing efficiency, material science and so many other areas. IT has huge benefits for education, medicine, productivity, communication – indeed almost every human activity. The new Crispr gene editing system alone has amazing potential.

    It is indeed fashionable to be gloomy amongst leading commentators and economists (and the lefty luddite BBC). People who are actually betting their own money are not gloomy at all however – the US stock markets up about 35% in just the past 12 months.

    The only reasons to be negative about the UK are:- We are hugely over taxed, over governed, over regulated with socialists in charge. The climate alarmist/expensive renewable energy religion had lodged in the unscientific/irrational brains or most of the green loon government ministers. That plus the prospect of a Corbyn disaster soon should May betray on Brexit as looks likely or continue on her socialist SJW path with tax ’til the pip squeak Hammond.

    We also suffer from a mad litigation culture and far too many lawyers doing little of any value. The NHS especially must resist if people want treatment they accept the terms or insure privately. Do we want more doctors & nurses or more lawyers? I even know a consultant surgeon who has retrained as a lawyer to do medical litigation as it was more profitable. The litigation culture (much of it actually corrupt and fraudulent) is another tax on the productive.

    Two excellent articles from the Telegraph in the last few days C Moore and Norman Tebbit.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/02/02/true-sovereignty-britain-must-extract-another-meddling-behemoth/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/01/29/carillion-financial-crisis-executives-thrive-taxpayers-bail/

  3. James Snell
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Technology is great for the economy provided it remains in our control..but if what i fear the PM and government have done a deal with the Chinese to allow them have a big say in the development of high speed rail and power stations..nuclear and others then i don’t think we are doing ourselves any favours in inviting them in..the thin edge of the wedge..and exactly what can be in 9.6 billion in trade? I have my suspicions8

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Indeed so. ‘Open for Business’ means everything in our nation including the soil of our land is for sale. Mrs May went to China with the government’s begging bowl. After all we don’t make many things thanks to government and City spivs so there are not many maufactured goods they can buy.

  4. Prigger
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    True. 50 years ago my remote controlled colour TV had a limited number of channels. Now my bigger remote controlled TV has many more channels. It costs much more of course because formerly I only needed to pay for the licence fee. The modern version is however 10,000 times and more slower in starting, has daily breakdowns of service, sometimes several times per day, and needs constant attention because of ” We need to record another programme, do you wish to stay on the same channel?”

    All this allows me to have a quick shower, consuming fuel, go shopping online, eat sweets as a comfort food waiting , get married, have a child or two and they will consume even more and grow the economy creating even more “Back to Future” lifestyles of utter backward development. More jobs. Most useless in creating natural wealth..

    • Mark B
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      One possible solution. Dump the TV and the spend the Telly Tax on something better ! eg Join a club and meet REAL people.

      • Prigger
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        # Mark B
        Attributed by some to Oscar Wilde ” To give advice is seldom welcome. Giving good advice is fatal!” 🙂
        The TV licence people will not take NO for an answer to “Do you have a TV?
        I got shut once.Persons visited me over many years pretending to be selling alarms which neatly fit underneath “your TV” “Cheap, I can demonstrate it to you on YOUR TV” and other odd persons doing their best to gain access to my home..Also people seen trampling my flowerbeds attempting to look through my windows. There’s progress for you! Jobs as Creeps. Government Agents

        • NickC
          Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          Prigger, I have not paid the BBC anything for decades. It’s so biased it’s useless. Of course the BBC has a stranglehold over other TV providers, so even if I wanted to watch them (eg the rather left leaning Fox), as I would, I am forbidden by the BBC gauleiters, unless I bribe them with £145 or whatever.

          If you don’t watch live content, or the BBC at all (and who would bother, honestly?) you don’t have to pay. So invite the prodnoses to take a walk. You’ll enjoy it.

      • APL
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Mark B: “One possible solution.”

        Yea, Prigger might even hold a conversation with his one or two children.

      • formula57
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        For some the great advantage of modern technology is being able to reduce contact with real people (with unknown consequences for society, mental well-being and culture).

    • Ian wragg
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I suggest you change provider.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The gloom mongers need to read something uplifting such as Matt Ridley’s excellent Rational Optimist Blog or his books The Rational Optimist & The Evolution of Everything. Why be gloomy? Nearly everything is getting better through technology and innovation. This despite the suffocating taxes, bloated, incompetent & misdirected governments and the insane & parasitic litigation culture.

    Even if, for some unforeseen reason, such as war, meteor impacts, invasion by green men from outer space it does not get better (as it has done for many years) then being gloomy won’t help anyway.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Everything may be getting better. However the more I see of technological advances the more I see of manufacturers and their “planned obsolescence”. Recent examples being updates that slow down your mobile phone so you are encouraged to buy the latest model. Laptops and tablets where it is fiendishly impossible to replace the battery yourself and so you have to resort to an expensive repair or a replacement model. And do not get me started on computer controlled cars which again stop an enthusiastic DIY mechanic doing a repair/service herself and require an expensive trip down back to the dealer.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Some truth in this “built in” (or even remotely switched on) obsolescence. Perhaps some regulations here would perhaps make sense if done intelligently but it rarely is. Built in batteries that only last a year or two and then cost a fortune to replace are surely a racket.

        Software they stop supporting just after you have got use to it or printers that need ink costing about the same as gold and will not accept alternatives by design too.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Technology in medical science does make life not only better, but longer. Think insulin for diabetes sufferers. But technology for technologies sake, or having the latest gizmo, does not. You will be surprised how much better a simpler life is without having to conform to consumerism and the rat-race.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        It is consumer choice, they do not have to buy or use them.

    • Nig l
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The same Matt Ridley that chaired Northern Rock until its demise.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Indeed and the reasons for that is to do with the collapse of the bank inter lending markets. This mainly due to appalling bank regulation and failure of liquidity under the Labour government and the BoE

        It does not affect his judgement on other matters. I find I tent to agree with nearly every stance he takes.

      • mike fowle
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes, he made an error of judgement, along with most other people. He has apologised for it. It does not invalidate everything he says.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?

      A couple of hundred year back people might have worked a full day to buy a candle yet now we can afford to illuminate a room for 8 hours just by working on the minimum wage for a couple of seconds. (This despite the government dopes idiotically pushing up the costs of electricity).

      Some people will never be happy or optimistic.

  6. jerry
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Of course if the Govt. were to declare that anyone working for more than one hour per week, for the NMW, is in full time paid employment the problem as far as the statisticians and headlines is sorted – on the other hand the number of people grossly under employed has not, with obvious knock-on effects on retail and the service sectors.

    You are correct, the Luddites were wrong, mechanisation of the mills did not cause mass unemployment because people were needed to built and maintain the new machines but today we have robots making robots, how long before robots are mending other robots too?

  7. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    We have a government currently which is replete with robots (programmed by unelected EU officials) who nod their heads collectively whenever they are given instructions by their European masters.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Mrs May’s speech at Davos being the best example

  8. Pragmatist
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I confess, although being in employment for the last twenty five of my years before retirement, I did not create one penny of genuine wealth for my Country. Nor did the large financial institutions who employed me nor that part of a Local Authority in which I was employed.
    I say this because… obviously if I had never been born no-one here would have been out of pocket as a result. Worse, if my companies and workplaces had never existed, absolutely no wealth would have failed to have been produced.
    Many jobs nowadays, here in the UK, are fictions given the scheme of things.

    Technology has created jobs for those people needlessly updating my computer systems for example and thus preventing them from being extremely annoying and counter -productive in Manufacturing thus creating wealth by their absence.

    • acorn
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Praggers, I presume you were being paid while you were being a total waste of space as a passenger on the economic ship of state.

      If you were being paid by the public sector then no worries. The government was simply using you to inject additional spending power into the private sector economy, at above unemployment / welfare rates. No different to the government paying people to dig holes today, and fill them back in tomorrow.

      If you were being paid by a private sector, (currency using) organisation, the outcome would have been the same; except, you were burning that outfit’s cash profits. The (currency issuing) government, could have carried on paying you for ever at no cost to itself. At some point you would have to switch from government pay to government pension, but that would be irrelevant to the government in aggregate welfare terms.

      You see, you have made a contribution to expanding the net fiscal assets in the economy 😉

      • acorn
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        And so, for the time being anyway – for it surely can’t continue forever – Brexit Britain limps along with a terrified, mauled zoo keeper chained to a snarling, feral beast; each reliant on the other, but each loathing the other. At one moment the keeper lashes the beast spitefully with her whip; the next moment the beast lacerates the keeper savagely with its claws. Each time, a little blood is drawn but they remain manacled together because they have manacled themselves to each other. Meanwhile the rest of us, and the rest of the world, look on in horror, dismay and disgust at this revolting spectacle. (HT: Chris Grey Royal Holloway, University of London)

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          It’s what happens when you ignore a referendum result.

          • Anonymous
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            It turned out the ‘beast’ was not a sideshow curiosity but the majority of the votership.

            The Tory party is unfit for purpose.

  9. Mark B
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Or you can get it like Venezuela from a government that does too much and taxes too much, killing off enterprise and private sector investment and innovation.

    I do not think you have to go as far as Venezuela to see that. I have read in the press recently that people who let spare rooms via sites such as AirBnB are to be taxed via registration by some LA’s. It seems that the LA’s have cottoned on to a nice cash-cow.

    People are much better at finding ways round things than governments and will adapt. If people do not have the money to buy nice things such as new cars, then they simply will not be made and the robots will sit idle. There will always be a balance.

  10. sm
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Most of us innately hate change, but if we had our way humankind would still be living in caves.

    As methods of warfare changed from bows and arrows to guns and cannons, the fletchers and bowmakers must have been distraught. I’m old enough to remember when there was a farrier working full time in North East London, and it seemed pretty normal!

    The innovators need to respect the concerns of those who will be left behind by development, but concomitantly, we must recognise how much we benefit from the innovators: modern medicine, mobile phones, the ability to share the knowledge of the whole world!

    • James neill
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      SM..we’ll have plenty of time to contemplate these things as soon as we leave and fortress britain comes into being- come to think of it I myself knew men who were farriers and others coopers, thatchers etc all when i was growing up..maybe we should start training our young people in essential skills again before all is lostj

  11. Epikouros
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Indeed istory does tell us that automation, innovation and technological advances increases jobs. The irony is that it also changes working practices as new jobs are created and some jobs are lost. We learn to live with this as it improves our standard of living and the nation prospers. In fact the very same that occurs when tariff free and unregulated trade is introduced which has exactly the same benefits with the same job implications. Yet we do not allow it to happen unless it is highly regulated so as to lose the most of the benefits. As we do allow being a member of the EU which is regulated and concerned with unity and politics as to make it useless to the UK and in fact a liability.

    Something we overlook when we all demand the creation or protection of jobs is that jobs are not actually a benefit they are just another cost. Indeed who would want to work if they could enjoy a decent standard of living without doing so. I would suggest very few. So in the unlikely event that automation and AI did away with jobs then that would be a blessing for most of us not a curse. As the cost of employing people would be removed goods and services would fall considerably in price and as long as the extra prosperity was distributed fairly no one loses everybody gains. It is not beyond human ingenuity to ensure in a jobless society that no one has to suffer poverty and all enjoy the financial benefits.

  12. Richard1
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    You’re right, we cannot forecast where new jobs will come from as a result of technological and other developments. But what we do know is, in order to maximise the chances of good new job creation, it’s essential is to have flexible laws and regulations and competitive taxes to allow innovation and encourage entrepreneurship.

    Leftist thugs attacking Jacob Rees-Mogg’s speaking event is a reminder of the dark forces waiting in the wings – it is the Marxists who have taken over Labour who are the real threat to the U.K. economy now.

    • rose
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      This behaviour has been going on since the eighties. The Left don’t recognize democracy and don’t recognize free speech or thought. It went on recently all through the Referendum and it goes on in America and on the Continent. It is extremely alarming and takes us back to the beginnings of Nazi Germany. Yet Mrs Rudd and Mrs May seem undismayed by it, concentrating instead on obscure little groups no-one has heard of. Consequently, we are in for a Frau Merkel style censorship and policing of our thoughts and speech on the internet and elsewhere. When Frau Merkel’s latest restrictive law took effect, the very first person to be arrested was the deputy leader of the de facto opposition. That should have alarmed everyone. Perhaps it did, but it went unremarked.

    • jerry
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      @Richard1; Thug(s) attacking someone’s (speaking) event or meeting is a reminder of the dark forces waiting in the wings, unless some of us start to tone down our political rhetoric – what ever ones politics, what ever ones religion, what ever ones creed…

      “it is the Marxists who have taken over Labour who are the real threat to the U.K. economy now.”

      The right wing needs to take heed and stop alienating the majority then, people are not voting for -in your opinion- “Marxists” policies because they really want policies ever further to the right, really want ever more ‘winner takes all’ capitalism etc.

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, “right” and “left” are now meaningless epithets. The real difference is between statists and libertarians. What you don’t seem to understand is that the takeover of Labour by various factions of socialism (but all statist) doesn’t result in their being honest about their statism. In fact they disguise it, as the glossy Labour leaflet put through my letterbox makes clear. But only if you know what to look for.

      • Richard1
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        ‘Marxist’ is a reasonable characterisation of the current labour leadership – in fact it’s one they’ve owned to themselves in the past. The studied ambiguity of their declared policies should not be allowed to hoodwink people into voting into power a gang who clearly have little respect for parliamentary democracy, for traditions of free speech and open debate, and who of course are in denial of the huge benefits which capitalist liberal democracy has brought to people in the U.K. and around the world. They are a threat to our way of life, to our prosperity, and even to our liberty.

        • jerry
          Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          @NickC, You have it the wrong way around, statists and libertarians are the meaningless epithets, both terms can be used to describe followers of the left-wing or right-wing.

          There are Socialist libertarians who reject the idea that the “state” is even needed, preferring localised direct democracy based on decisions being made by localised citizens groups or workers councils etc, whilst the far-right can all to often be very statists, were the nation state (the autocrats) become more important than the citizen.

          @Richard; Thank you for your opinions

          • NickC
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Jerry, Indeed the lack of clarity and meaning is part of the reason that the terms “left wing” and “right wing” have become literally useless. The other is that both terms are used as epithets.

            Both “statist” and “libertarian”, as words, are good descriptors because they make clear where people actually stand. Of course it is to be expected that some people, like yourself Jerry, are uncomfortable being exposed in this way.

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

            @NickC, Did you actually read my comment before replying, you quite obviously did not as you have not actually replied to the point I made!

            Let me try again, both “statist” and “libertarian” can be used to describe followers of the left-wing or right-wing policy. Both get used by those wishing to hide their true extreme political views.

  13. PaulW
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I read in the Telegraph where the holy trinity Boris Fòx and Gove are lining up to thwart any move by PM and the Chanceller to look for a CU deal with the EU following brexit. Of course there is some power ploy going on here but hard to know what it is also hard to know why since the PM reafirmed all of the UKs red lines when she was interviewed in China..just wonder why all of this stuff about confrontation in cabinet is still going on because as far as I see the only deal that can be reached now is some deal like the EU has with Canada and that will take years to negotiate. Meanwhile when wr are out and all of the foreigners have slipped away there should be plenty of job vacancies happening for the home grown alythough not too sure what part technology will have to play in any of this? Will probably need a few thousand at least to secure the Irish border..then hundreds more for the Customs and Immigration service??

    • NickC
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      PaulW, It could be that we voted Leave and Mrs May is giving us BINO? You know, Occam’s razor and all that?

  14. Bob
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Trying to talk to someone at HMRC employers helpline you first have to go through a voice recognition robot, supposedly to establish your credentials and route the call to the appropriate person.

    When you finally get through to a human you get the feeling you’d be better off talking to a robot.

    When the human decides to suddenly cut the call short you are returned to a phone survey where the questions are

    1. Ir this the first time you’ve called about the matter?
    2 Did the human resolve your issue?
    3 Would you recommend this service to a friend?

    My answer to all three was 2 (no).

    • jerry
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      @Bob; You and people like you who object to paying taxes should be very pleased with yourselves then, having got rid of almost all the local HMRC offices in an attempt to cut costs and thus taxes!

      • NickC
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, If you haven’t noticed the waste in the NHS, local government, national government and nationalised industries then you need to talk to the workers. Then you wouldn’t spout such monumental nonsense.

        • jerry
          Posted February 3, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; Talk to real people, they do not see waste in the NHS, they see underfunding of it. Get out more, use the services you compliant about, then you wouldn’t spout such monumental nonsense.

          • NickC
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            Jerry, My daughter is a GP and two other relatives also worked in the NHS. I do know what I’m talking about because I’ve talked to them and others. Talking to the actual NHS workers out of the glare of politics is what politicians should do – like mystery shoppers. The principal complaints are about government “targets”, government reorganisations, the ineptitude of the NHS management, the increase in demand from massive migration, and so on. Throwing money at the NHS won’t cure its problems.

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            NickC; “My daughter is a GP and two other relatives also worked in the NHS”

            Sorry but I do not believe you, if they did you wouldn’t spout such monumental nonsense about them, their colleagues and their employers!

            Throwing money at anything is not a cure for anything, nor is anyone asking for money to be thrown at the NHS, even more so when the problem is the fundamental capitalist market forces and thus the for-profit motive that have been installed within the NHS over the last 35 odd years but that doesn’t mean that the NHS should be underfunded either – Mr Hunt and others can tell us that the NHS has “record funding”, but 3.5% of little or nought is still little or nought…

      • Edward2
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Bob didn’t complain about paying his taxes.
        And it’s a bit unfair to blame Bob for the Govt closing local tax offices.
        As far as I’m aware Bob wasn’t the person who thought up the policy.

      • Bob
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Jerry playing his silly straw man games again (yawn).

        I upload the FPS to HMRC’s computer showing exactly how much tax and NI is due to them each month and that’s the amount I pay into their account. They don’t have to lift a finger, the money just rolls in.

        They then say that I have underpaid and that they will charge interest on the underpaid amount until it is paid.

        I ask them why they think I underpaid and they can’t say. It’s a simple case of addition and subtraction Jerry.

        • jerry
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          @Bob; Your original rant was about the automated phone-line and then call centre, have you considered that the person at the call centre is almost certainly not looking at your original files return but just extracted data, now if you were able to go to a local HMRC office with the the cop[y of your TR that you made…

          I merely pointed out that had there not bee cost cutting within the HMRC, it is no me who builds straw-man arguments but those who do not wish to look in the mirror – you might be happy to pay your taxes, but would you be happy to pay more tax to keep such services open?

          Also why does the HMRC think that people who are without a computer, never mind the internet, can access the HRMC website to download and print off the paper return as they suggest in the letter advising people they need to file a tax return – again if we still had local HMRC offices such people could simply walk in and collect a paper return. Someone at HMRC need to be give their P45 for sanctioning such a crass letter.

          • APL
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            jerry: “Your original rant was about the automated
            phone-line and then call centre, ”

            But NOT about paying tax nor paying too much tax.

            So once again, you’ve been caught out misrepresenting
            what others write in order to mischaracterize that
            person’s comment as a rant. A frequent tactic of yours,
            which frankly is tedious and adds no value to the discussion.

            You then, have the audacity to play the victim when called
            out on your infantile behaviour.

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            @APL; You seem to think that govt expenditure grows on a magic money tree, you seem not to understand that the HMRC is funded by the tax payer, better services will thus cost the tax payer more – or mean even further cuts in other areas. HMRC local offices and paper tax forms have been abandoned to save tax payers money, so how ever much you complain there is a link between the low taxation many if not most on this site wish for and poor ‘customer’ services from govt. departments (such as the HMRC) and their contractors that Bob complained about. You seem annoyed at my pointing out the home-truths that are now starting to affect those who voted for ever lower taxes and ever lower govt. expenditure, wonder why…

            As for the rant in your third and fourth paragraph, try looking it the mirror, indeed your behaviour is very infantile.

          • APL
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            “You seem to think that govt expenditure grows on a magic money tree ….. ”

            Nothing in your diatribe is related to any aspect of the post of mine you to which you are attempting ( unsuccessfully ) to reply.

            Neatly illustrating my point.

          • jerry
            Posted February 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Sorry, but your (poorly formatted) drivel lead me to believe you had failed to understand my original point, thus my comment had everything to do with Bob’s original comment about not being able to get the help he needed via the HMRC helpline. What ever….

        • NickC
          Posted February 4, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Bob, Jerry appears to be merely a reactionary because he makes sweeping assertions without providing evidence, or even having experience apparently. I think he dreams of returning to the 1950s – “safe” nationalised industries, “reliable”auntie BBC, all-seeing civil-servant “experts” – a cosy comfort blanket of statism in his world of limited horizons.

          • jerry
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; I believe in ‘returning’ to what works, not the ‘Flying by the seat of your pants economics” you and so many on this site do, with all the associated bubbles that keep forming and then bursting. Whilst I might wish to return to the 1950s you seem to want to return to the early 1700s and that South Seas Bubble!

          • Bob
            Posted February 4, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            @Nick
            He might prefer life in China or North Korea.

  15. Long Live t' Plastic
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Anyone young who has not been shackled with student debt and a newish mortgages will if they are truly intelligent, other things being equal, be flitting abroad for some time at least to test it out.
    Even complaining about remoaners here is itself moaning.
    The fact is there is an increasing number of people here in the UK who will not accept democracy..a simple vote.
    Intelligent people if they can, will not wish to live among a highly educated but culturally backward people here, who amount to 40% of the total . The crowning piece of recylable will be Corbyn becoming PM.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “Protest is when I say I don’t like this.Resistance is when I put an end to what I don’t like.Protest is when I say I refuse to go along with this anymore.Resistance is when I make sure everybody else stops going along too”

      Ulrike Meinhof

      Could we be heading back to the continental style activism of the late ’60s and 70s?

  16. alan jutson
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Afraid you cannot stop progress, you have to go with it, whilst at the same time trying to manouvre and control areas where it can cause harm.

    Innovation has always been this Countries strength, but on too many occasions we have not followed through on our inventions, and others have reaped the financial rewards.

    Government has a role in encouraging innovation and business start ups with sensible policies on tax and regulation.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    There is a close relationship between automation and leisure ; this ought to be good news to the work force !. Leisure activities embrace many forms of labour intensive work as does the increasing age population . In any event the growth and success of our service sector shows where the young and aspiring should be heading ; this ought not to be at the expense of the manufacturing sector who will , in the future , require more advanced knowledge and skills . Our horizons need to expand and take advantage of the many opportunities and markets that do exist ; it will be a very long time before humans are extinguished .

  18. a-tracy
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Automated vans ! Ha we can’t even get a decent alternative to Diesel vans we are stuck with mainly affordable French vehicles, maybe outside the EU we can begin to source hybrids from Japan and other lower cost vehicle manufacturers with the innovations for lower fuel use they’re putting in cars at the moment. When something is going well any government just taxes it more to choke it.

    Enjoy your new gig economy because they don’t generate taxes like the businesses they’re choking off now.

    There’s plenty of jobs in health we shouldn’t have to import Labour in key fundamental jobs that our Countries health depends on, end of.

  19. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Interesting you mention Venezuela. Is that another of your dog whistles? The result of the not entirely implausible sequence: no deal/gvt loses confidence/Corby wins/ economy tanks because of brexit and Corbyn/Corbyn moves to hard socialism (nationalisations, exchange controls maybe worse),. etc. Pretty much like Venezuela.I would guess.

    When are your pals and the moderates in the Conservative Party going to reconcile so that the EU will have someone who can negotiate on behalf of the UK? So far the economists on both sides are doing a bad job. Minford and Sons do not show the transition (just that if you select a long enough period and the right parameters there will be an equilibrium (maybe at a much lower PPP GDP/capita and a higher one in unadjusted Sterling) but no details on the transition, while the BoE and Treasury models are not really useful for long term projections in the first place. It should not be difficult to fit out the BoE’s model with realistic assumptions regarding investment, net exports, house prices and employment as these might be affected by forms of brexit combined with the standard policy response of BoE and Treasury plus the effects of that policy response. That would probably show that having no transition to a no-deal situation would be worst (rather than ideal as is claimed in some parts) and that a transition to a predictable full scale third country status (giving foriegn investors enough time to adapt) would be better than no transition. Also that in both cases adaptation costs would be very large and constitute a considerable economic shock requiring powerful fiscal and monetary policy responses that would, in all likely hood, be pro-cyclical but necessary for longer term stability.

    Briefly: the focus on long term effects by both sides ignores the fact that maybe the short term is so unattractive that no polity would voluntarily subject itself to it.

  20. Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Historically a lot of innovation has come about because of labour shortages rather than the reverse. Lack of agricultural labourers brought the tractor, the combined harvester and other innovations. The cotton and wool mills came because there were not enough hand weavers to meet demand for woven materials. Automation in the car industry was a result of insufficient skilled labour and brought a better product. Supermarket bar codes removed the need to enter prices individually, the list is endless.

    I don’t think anyone should fear automation and progress. However at the same time, it is essential that we ensure that the younger generations are acquiring the necessary skills to be able to design and maintain the latest technology, something that I fear is lacking. How many garages can deal with the computers in modern cars? The alarm system in my car has a problem, but several ‘experts’ called in by the local main dealer have so far failed to identify what is wrong. We don’t more degrees, we need the modern equivalent of technical colleges to ensure we have people who maintain and repair the latest innovations.

  21. Julian
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Whilst I agree that the lessons of history always point to more jobs and the luddites turn out to be wrong I fear “that this time it might be different” with AI & robotics.
    In China there are already dispatch warehouses with almost no staff i.e. a couple of people to keep an eye on things and Amazon have a new physical store with no staff.
    There is an obsession with driverless cars/lorries but the train network which is a closed system could be driverless fairly easily (already ticket offices are almost gone).
    I can see a future where personal deliveries are collected from a depot (as is the case in many places in the world) & those packages could be routed to the depot by drone. And so it goes on. I
    – I hope you are right and I’m wrong!

    • 37/6
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      “…but the train network which is a closed system could be driverless fairly easily”

      Yes. With completely different track, signalling and trains to what we have now. All of it must be brand new.

  22. rose
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Are these people who worry about the loss of jobs the same people who insist on open borders?

    • Prigger
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes Rose, you’ve got it in one. I don’t like labeling people but classifying them as Confused in is in their best interests. 🙂

  23. bigneil
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    You mention “commercial drivers” John. At a stretch I’ll include taxi drivers as they drive for their living. 2 days ago I ordered a taxi to take me to the garage after the annual MoT. The car that turned up had a driver from ??? and clearly had NO idea of where he was going (about a mile) and I had to direct him at every junction. He appeared to be from ……… or wherever. In the short trip he convinced me from his very dangerous driving that this import had no idea of driving safely, should NOT have had a license ( if he actually had one ) and certainly should NOT be driving a taxi or any other vehicle in the UK. He went so wide at one corner he nearly hit other vehicles, then 200 yard later, his phone rang and he tried to answer that – – while we headed straight for a blind left hander where the last lot of flowers had just been removed from the nearby lamppost. He crossed the white line twice while going round this blind bend. Luckily no lorries were coming the other way.

    • 37/6
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

      Similar experiences. Having grabbed the steering wheel once too.

  24. APL
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    JR: “Today some worry that we are near the time when professional drivers are replaced by automatic vehicles. This is a strange worry for now, as the opposite is happening.”

    Yea, there were a lot of horses on the roads when the first motor cars started to appear on the roads.

    Then there wasn’t.

    All it takes is for the first road haulier to introduce robotic automated vehicles, the price advantage that provides, will force everyone else to do the same.

    You are supposed to be a capitalist, you know how this works.

    The point is, I’m not worried about the innovation of driver-less vehicles, but we don’t need to be importing illiterate or uneducated people with few or no skills to drive taxi’s if they are going to be automated.

    We have enough low skilled in our own population to supply any demand.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Empty cabs of lorries or taxis are decades away
      There will still be a person sat behind the wheel its just that the vehicle will need less input from the driver.
      Self steer
      Cruise control.
      Auto braking.
      Yet the human will need to be there to occasionally take over.
      Like planes today.

      • APL
        Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Edward2: “Empty cabs of lorries or taxis are decades away”

        Irrelevant, we still don’t need to import loads of people who can’t read or write English and are pretty much innumerate.

        We’ve got loads of illiterate folk already. We simply don’t need to import any more.

        • APL
          Posted February 6, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          It’s proving strangely difficult to post a Company news article from Suncor about their plan to introduce fully autonomous haulage trucks into their company operations over the next six years. They have been evaluating the vehicles over the last four years.

          Anyway instead of a URL to the company news item, here is the first few sentences from the release:

          “CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Jan. 30, 2018) – Suncor today announced it will proceed with the phased implementation of autonomous haulage systems (AHS) at company-operated mines, starting with the North Steepbank mine. Over the next six years, the company expects to deploy more than 150 autonomous haul trucks in the full program, which will be one of the largest investments in electric autonomous vehicles in the world. ”

          Unfortunately, the jobs that are created making this vehicle will be in Japan, not the UK.

  25. Newmania
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    people tending horses and running horse drawn services lost their jobs, but it didn’t end the need for transport workers

    Yes but they still lost their jobs .Conservatives used to care about the value of social capital skills and above all stability. Cheap imports ended the need for miners and ship builders basic steel manufacturing , efficient container cargoes needed the need for Dockers , the computer ended the need for Printers .Now IT has ended the need for a whole slew of white collar jobs and I could go on .Only unionised and protected jobs are relatively safe , teachers , Lawyers Train Drivers Doctors all of which could be considerable streamlined by IT. Many courses are now on line for example
    The true value of jobs has gone down far more than may appear by the disappearing career with its pensions benefits safety and training , this has implications and the country still has the scars of mishandled change
    So while one feels the Luddites were wrong , not everything about the Industrial revolution was that super .Children commoditised ,death rates so high from disease , Londoners failed to replace themselves in an age of many children per family , debt , exploitation , dislocation, crime and squalor .
    We know about the suffering during a period of general improvement and high employment because Victorian writers were so alarmed as were politicians and a range of protections were installed . Safety Union rights and so on . So whilst I get the while hope changey thing , I don`t think it is th role of a politician to be so blasé about the people who lose their jobs

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Wages only ever went up when the population went down.

    • 37/6
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      Why (how) would unionisation stop automation ?

      It never has thus far.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 2:50 am | Permalink

      But the year is 2018, not 1848 – we have hig employment: nobody in the UK who wants work need go unemployed, which is why millions flock here from less fortunate countries of the eurozone where unemployment is rife as a direct result of economic and fiscal policies framed to suit Germany.

      • mancunius
        Posted February 4, 2018 at 2:51 am | Permalink

        I meant to write, we have *huge* employment.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m certainly not indifferent to people finding that their jobs are disappearing through no fault of their own, with all the potential disruption of their own lives and the lives of other family members; however that is the inevitable price of economic progress in a dynamic society, and provided other jobs become available in sufficient numbers when and where they are needed that at least mitigates and possibly solves the problems.

    I come back to the high level of jobs “churn” in the UK economy as mentioned here:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/02/overseas-firms-back-city-by-signing-for-new-offices/#comment-882347

    which in its sheer annual volume dwarfs the numbers of existing jobs which could perhaps be lost as part of the downside of Brexit.

    “Indeed, the annual creation and destruction of jobs is almost exactly the same scale as the estimated 3-4 million jobs that are associated with exports to EU actors.”

    I would also point out that as far as the EU is concerned with its fundamental principle of the “four freedoms” people are being seen not so much as sentient human beings but more as potential sources of productive labour, a fourth economic input comparable to goods, services and capital and therefore inextricably linked to them.

    The anomaly here is that some Remoaners are unnecessarily concerned that outside the EU the notoriously brutal British may cease to regard animals as sentient beings:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-animal-welfare-sentencing-and-recognition-of-sentience-bill-2017

    but they support an international organisation which regards people as little more than units of labour to be moved around and deployed to the best economic advantage.

    Not, I hasten to add, slavery, or forced labour, or even indentured labour – notionally at least they remain free persons – but an intermediate system in which the optimisation of economic production takes precedence over personal attachments.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      You’re right on the nail about the much-vaunted ‘four freedoms’. The ‘freedom of movement’ is essentially the freedom to be forced by your own country’s poor economic policies to emigrate and work for peanuts in a foreign land – not much of a freedom really.

  27. Jobs Galore
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Jobs at catering at British resorts according to Fake Sky News today are plentiful.It says a special university study has concluded that a 4% upturn in British holidays is because of “Post Brexit Depression” featuring a number of popular all-in holiday venues. The prices. Well you would have to be one lettuce leaf short of a picnic in preferring those prices to ones abroad.

  28. mike fowle
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I think there is not exactly a conspiracy but a consensus among our left wing media to paint things as bad as possible so as to condemn the Tories, Brexit and Trump.

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Mike

      It goes further than that, when they get power they still want to keep the workers in and on poor conditions so that the message can continue, “it will be worse under the other lot”

      Just look at the fiasco in London at the moment, where Labour are stopping residential redevelopment in their own Council run area, and sensible Labour Councillors are resigning in disgust, because the militant element now seem to be in control.
      Yet Labour suggest they want to improve housing conditions for all.

      Duplicity on a grand scale, which I am afraid too many will swallow.

  29. agricola
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    How many more responses than six do you need to fail moderation.

  30. Local Lad
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Back to JR’s point, I like the story of the Luddite watching a new-fangled steam shovel.”If it wasn’t for that machine there would be jobs for 100 men with shovels.” An onlooker replied “Yes, or 1000 men with spoons.”

  31. Stephen Berry
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that the latest panic about new technology putting us out of work has been caused by the realisation that work long thought ‘reserved’ for humans can now be done by machines. Long ago, Turing realised that computers were not just glorified calculating machines, but would be able to do things like play chess, recognise human voices, drive cars and much, much more. But let’s stick to the economics of the matter.

    The development of new technology is economically good in so far as it enables us to make goods more cheaply. As these goods become cheaper, we can buy more of them and that is in fact, what has happened for at least the last 250 years. We have consumed more varieties of clothes, foods, books and entertainment and this process seems to show no signs of stopping. Work has always been found producing this increasing variety of goods.

    Suppose, you might say, that people with increasing wealth start to spend a smaller fraction of their income on goods? Won’t that put workers out of a job? If we spend a smaller fraction of our money, then a larger fraction will be saved and this in turns means more investment. With increased investment, living standards would rise more rapidly, working hours fall and we would have more leisure, something which we seem to want more of. Needless to say, all this would merely be the continuation of a long run trend.

  32. Mick
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Forget all the pussyfooting around just sign this
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/201145

    • Prigger
      Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Done!

  33. Mick
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-dominic-grieve-running-out-time-customs-union-boris-johnson-michael-gove-a8193106.html
    How right he is, let’s have another GE so the true patriots of this great country can get shut of all these traitors to democracy, I’ve said it before if you don’t want to live in a free democracy then pack your bags and bugger off to your beloved eu, bye bye you will not be missed muppets

  34. robert lewy
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    All seem to be ignoring the real threat of disruption that AI and Robotics will bring.
    Let us remember that present employment in manufacturing is now only 8 per cent so that is not where there will be a significant hit to employment.

    It has been estimated that 30 to 40 per cent of white collar jobs will be lost

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/28/robots-v-experts-are-any-human-professions-safe-from-automation

    Professor Richard Susskind advises the Government on effect of technology on the legal profession.

    AI has already achieved a success rate in matching GP diagnosis in about 80 to 90 per cent of cases i.e significantly better than the average GP. If you think about it how could it be otherwise? AI has now gone beyond machine learning of past case histories it ow looks for new inventive solutions as has been demonstrated by its achievement in playing Go.

    The challenge that technology represents is how to use the skills of the population and furnish them with new skills when there existing skills are out of date.

    At the same time there will have to be a rethink about compensation. As general living standards improve the expectations of the population rise. This has resulted only recently in first the minimum wage quickly followed by the Living wage. A moment’s thought will make one realise that the destruction of one set of jobs accompanied by an increased cost of employing can only have one consequence.

    [As regards job opportunities for the low skilled in our modern technological world it has been noted in USA that where Amazon opens a new warehouse wage rates normally decline. Why is this? I would suggest that companies like Amazon are in a position to accelerate the introduction of automation in every area in which they are involved.

    The conclusion is obvious. There will be massive change and the beneficial effects of the disruption will take time. This means that governments must start scoping out the implications and how they are to dealt with.

    Care workers instead of retail assistants or supermarket cashiers
    Sports and health assistants instead of drivers (perhaps)
    Leisure advisers , domestic service and hospitality for most others
    No fruit pickers, no supermarket shelf-fillers,

    The time for the Universal Basic Income is close. Many of the jobs
    that will be useful will not pay sufficient for individuals to be able to survive without a basis income that will be paid by the State. Just look at how Care Homes are closing down because of the cost of the minimum and living wage at a time when the “demand” has never been higher. We must now accept that the time is close when the State will need to provide UBI and must also find a way to fund this additional call on the State’s coffers.

  35. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the new jobs will take a different direction entirely and go back to the ground.

  36. Peter Martin
    Posted February 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Generally agreed with everything except the second half of last paragraph. There is no real evidence that low unemployment results from low interest rates. Rates have been higher in the past with lower levels of unemployment and low-paid underemployment. Many savers do deserve a higher return on their savings than they are currently receiving.

    Yes, high taxes can be damaging. None more so than the decision of the coalition government to raise VAT to 20% in the teeth of the worst recession since the 30’s. That was the time taxes should have been lowered to create extra demand. The private sector needs demand more than anything else. There’s no point in opening a restaurant if there aren’t enough paying customers. Government can deregulate all it likes, but that will still be true.

  37. HenryS
    Posted February 4, 2018 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    I’ve said it before Mick, democracy doesn’t count for much in a country like ours ..there is too much of the old class system still about..you know there are those who say we should never have been given the referendum vote in the first place because we were not sophisticated enough to understand the full consequences of our actions..they say all important decisions should be taken only by parliament..and I have to say that in tbe case of Britain and British people that i have to agree..problem is we have never before been allowed to exercise our judgement as a people on very many things in the past and now when it came to the referendum we were all over the place. Well we are where we are..and now government has got to make the best of it, but is not being helped very much by the likes of Rees-mogg and others like Boris, Gove and Fox who seem to be permanently out on manoeuvres..of course all of this has the accumulative effect of greatly underminding our efforts to secure some kind of an acceptable deal with Barnier and the EU side as we will clearly see tomorrow when Barnier has more things to say. But anyway as far as we are concerned all of the red lines are in place so there will be no deal..not a chance in hell…so then no need to fret we’ll be certainly out in March 2019

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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