How pathetically limited is our self-obsessed Brexit election, not only do we look at the UK and what will happen to it, we also omit to look at the EU and what will happen to it, but much worse, is that we seem to have lost the chalk altogether when it comes to looking at the future. We seem to be sluggishly waking up to the environmental issues but what about the changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
What really matters is the incomes of our people looking forward, how many people will be employed and our GDP. The great elephant in the room which everyone seems to be ignoring is the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is happening before our very eyes. There’s none so blind, as will not see!
An automated society is staring us in the face yet no one seems to notice. The consequence worldwide is the loss of many jobs and the increase in casual or part time labour. Casual, off piste, non-taxable, earnings are already at £200Bn and this sector is rising fast and is expected to more than double very quickly to £455Bn. 50% of companies will trim their workforce in the next 5 years and all those laid off will need re-training. No one as far as I can see has made this a major issue in our present election campaign.
There is an unquestionable move from a majority of poor, to a majority of the middle class, and Asia will account for a huge proportion of this, in short order. This means a fantastically major change in market demand. Again, no one seems vaguely interested in this in our present election.
Automation will replace 11% of female jobs and 9% of male jobs in the next 20 years. The growth will be in information and communication technology where key jobs are so far male dominate world-wide by a ratio of 4 to 1. This is despite 50% plus of university undergraduates being female. Something needs to change!
In the past thirty years one dollar invested in digital technology has increased GDP by a ratio of 20 to 1. Whereas other non-digital investments have yielded lass that 15% of this. By 2025 it is estimated that close to a quarter of global GDP will come from digital technologies including artificial intelligence etc.. This does not include the value of intangible assets of networks, data, and other services.
By its very nature the Fourth Industrial Revolution will run counter to current thinking in that it will generally have a deflationary effect i.e. Loss of low skill jobs, increase in gig/part time work economy.
Should we therefore amend the way we measure GDP, in more qualitative terms, In the Fourth Industrial Revolution we will need to take account of the intangible benefits which are presently zero priced such as Google Maps or innumerable free knowledge based information sources.
Change indeed! When will politics catch up?