About 20 years back, having a graduation degree was a hallmark of excellence in academia. A graduate had a specialized knowledge and it was fairly easy to land up on a high paying job. As a matter of fact, it was quite common to first start on with the job and learn about the role subsequently in those days.
Believe it or not, few months bank i got to know about an individual who has a masters degree and working as a janitor. When he was awarded with the degree, his ambitions had no limits. He wanted to do something meaningful in his field and attain financial, social safety and security. To his dismay, he is struggling to make ends meet and ambitions almost faded from his memories.
What changed? About a 100 years back, lots of people were displaced from work owing to the advent of industrialization so how is this any different? The real difference is in the numbers, in the population itself. The graph below shows the population growth statistics over 12000 years.
Advances in health science, high availability of nutritious food & environmental safety has catapulted this high growth of population. Sadly, the job creation & market growth has not been able to keep pace with the population growth. This has dispensed tremendous powers in the hand of the employers. They can now select best fit individual by screening over 100 potential candidates. They can squeeze the employee, put unreasonable expectations ultimately having them work over time.
Survival has become an imminent challenge and the pursuit to put food on table, a never ending journey. Most of us are spending a good 60 – 80% of our entire lives trying to stay afloat. If an individual works for 60 – 65 hours a week (9 hour a day) and spends lets say another 8 hours sleeping, 1hr for for washroom activities, 2 hrs a day in commuting to work (to and forth) and 2hr to prepare and eat your meals. Only 2 hours a day will be left for everything else that you can think of i.e. 700 hours per year for all other activities that constitute of you living for yourself.
An Australian study conducted last year found that people who work for more than 39 hours a day are putting their health at risk. In Japan, there is a term coined “karōshi” which means death caused by overwork. The number of employees working over 100 hours unpaid overtime in Japan are a staggering 12%.
With giant leaps in the technology sector especially with AI, the future looks quite miserable and grim. If machines start outperforming humans, a lot many people will lose their jobs. They will resort to protest that will culminate into violence. The powerful forces on the other end (corporations & government) would react heavily with all its prowess.
People will fight and create classes amongst themselves on basis of creed, culture, race & religion. Civility & rationality will be a thing of the past.
Governments will switch the narrative of the discussion by pinning the blame on other powerful countries in the garb of protectionist policies. Thanks to our marvels in nuclear science and sophisticated weaponry, we might end up in an apocalyptical end of humanity or world war 3 in best case.