Friday, July 13, 2018

World Bank President Weighs In on Future of Work

Morneau and Trudeau may be fine with consigning young Canadians to a future of "job churn" and a precarious, paycheque to paycheque, existence but that's because they're not willing to look for anything better.

Canada's working classes are also facing employment upheaval arising out of automation, robotics. Nobel laureate economist, Angus Deaton, argues that robotics is a greater threat to working classes than globalization.

World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, however in an essay introducing a new bank report on the future of work contends that there is much that nations can do to position their workers to prosper from automation. The key is investing in human capital.
...the skills needed for work are changing, literally, every day. New jobs will require specific skills—a combination of technological know-how, problem solving, and critical-thinking skills, as well as soft skills such as perseverance, collaboration, and empathy. That means countries must invest much more – and more effectively – in their people to build human capital. 
Investing in human capital is the key mechanism to ensure that the next generation is ready for the changing nature of work; however, too many countries are under-investing in these critical areas—especially in the early formative years of childhood, when the ability to learn new skills quickly is decisively molded. When countries don’t invest to build human capital, it puts successive generations – especially the poorest – at a severe disadvantage, exacerbates inequalities that already exist, and threatens to create instability when rising aspirations are met with frustration instead of opportunity.
We should ensure that opportunity, like talent, is distributed equally throughout society. One of the primary ways we can ensure this is to protect people through social assistance and insurance systems that fit with the changing nature of work. The current model is broken in most developing countries and looks increasingly out of date for most advanced economies as well.

Social contracts are also about inclusion, which means that the wealthy have to pay their share of taxes. With insufficient tax revenues, governments can’t deliver the current social contract. Countries in every region must do more to stop tax avoidance, and the only way they can, in the words of leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, is to “put an end to the divorce between the location of profits and the location of real activities.”
The bank president's prescription makes eminent good sense. So, how do you think your government is doing to meet these stated requirements? 


Toby said...

As you say, the bank president's prescription makes eminent good sense. Morneau and Trudeau and most of our political and governing classes just aren't listening. Worse, teachers make good targets for financial cuts to please the elite who send their kids to private schools.
Here in BC it took a Supreme Court decision to force the government to hire more public school teachers.

Ben Burd said...

Simple answer - tax the robots, if they replace humans, they should pay for human relocation costs.

The Mound of Sound said...

They aren't listening, Toby, and there's no reason to expect that to change so long as we still ensure a Conservative or a Liberal will continue to govern us.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ben, in the previous post I mention the suggestion of progressive economist, James K. Galbraith (son of John K.G.), that we need to accommodate AI/robots two ways - shorter work weeks and taxation of robotics. Galbraith considers "paid work" a vital component of any consumer economy. Some may see short-term windfalls to be had from robotics but that won't last long because robots don't buy running shoes.

Purple library guy said...

The world bank is weird. They're always saying sound things and publishing studies that say sound things, and then actually doing the opposite.

Trailblazer said...

PLG; you got it!
With the world bank it's my way or the highway.
Heaven( or the world bank) forbid that you wish the people to own their own resources.


Lulymay said...

Why do you think all these young bucks are running for politics these days: politics pays well, politics gives them power, politics provides a great pension plans with very little coming out of their pocket to pay for it. Win! Win! Win!

Why do you now see those politicians sitting on the other side of government these days, i.e. no access to power or coin, rumbling about running for local mayor this fall? Can't keep their hands off the public purse?

Anonymous said...

Lulymay nailed it.
The ruling cabal also known as an establishment is only interested in the preservation of its domination. The only way to change the system would be a full PR voting system with a low (~2%) threshold) or a revolution. Do not see either of them coming soon (enough ;-)