A jarring recent post in The Atlantic raises that very question. Charles Davi, a New York-based capital- and derivatives-markets lawyer, crunches sets of numbers and comes to this conclusion: "People are becoming less valuable to companies."
Part of his analysis examines the wage-growth differential in various income brackets (the rich are getting richer scenario) but it also looks at Moore's Law and the growth of containerized shipping.
You're familiar with the effects of Moore's Law, but perhaps not so much with the containers. The combination of the two, according to Davi, has been profound over the last three decades:
The freedom of capital to move throughout the world in search for labor has fundamentally changed the balance of power between labor and capital... This dynamic is already exerting sizable, downward pressure on the value of labor relative to capital in developed nations.
We know wages -- even in high-skilled professions such as engineering -- have stagnated for a decade, much of that due to the Great Recession. My sense is that this will improve once the economy improves and that the intellectual rigor required to design chips and boards -- even helped along by productivity-enhancing tools -- will remain highly prized and well rewarded.
But I could be being Pollyana about this.
What's your sense? Is it instead a matter of not if but when we will automate ourselves out of even highly skilled occupations in the electronics sector?
I look at it this way. The same way that hackers are always a step ahead of the security pros, this way the security pros always have a task to handle one way or another. I feel like the cat & mouse game of technology will identically always require humans.
Agreed, but for how long? The optimist in me believes that humans, somehow, will always remain one intellectual step ahead of the technologies they create. But then sometimes I'm not sure sure. We've tied the world together with the Internet. Now we're tying in sensors to that massive infrastracture and we don't have a sense for all the consequences.
Yes, there are more well educated than people without education, unemployment crisis is in every cornet in this planet. Companies cannot handle anymore this situation, even governments cannot help. I don't know how we can surpass this and when .....
Somebody will still have to operate the devices and interpret results but machines are already being prepared for that as well. There are some jobs that may not be taken over by "intellingent agents" for sure, but most of the decision making processes in the enterprise and in the market will likely be handled by computer systems in a very near future.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.