AI versus Worker

This article reflects Blue Titan Capitals own views, with a references to an article published Popular Science Monthly Volume 84 May 1914, Labor and Capital by John James Stevenson here


Seems we have been here before!

This is what John James Stevenson wrote back in 1914 "The manual worker is not left in ignorance respecting his rights, his wrongs and his importance. In season and out of season he is taught that the world owes every man a living and that he should receive wages enough to support his family according to the American standard; that his labor makes value and that his share of the profits is withheld; that capital, all-powerful, is consumed with passion to enslave helpless labor; that he can secure his rights only by compulsion, since the interests of capital are antagonistic to those of labor. These matters deserve consideration.

The world, that is, the community, owes no man a living; it did not bring any man into existence and it is under no obligation to support the children of heedless parents. One must emphasize this truism, because there is a rapidly growing tendency to believe that poverty and vice are due to the rapacity of employers and to insist on the responsibility of the community, en masse, for continuance of the evil conditions. During a so-called investigation by a commission of the Illinois Senate, an official of the Illinois Steel Company was asked to tell what he regarded as a fair living wage for a man with a wife and daughter. At a hearing before a Massachusetts commission it was shown that the wages paid are so small that one employee, in order to support himself, his wife and their eight children, was compelled to do outside work—and the heartless corporation was duly flayed in headlines. But it must be evident to any thoughtful man that wife and children can not be considered in connection with the relations of wage-earner and wage-payer. The only question concerns the worth of the man's services. Introduction of other matters would so increase the uncertainty of business affairs as to make them little better than a lottery. If a man's services are not worth enough to secure wages which would support a family, he should not marry. He may not complain because the community is unwilling to have him gratify his desires at its expense."

Office workers

What´s the takeaway here

The fear of a fair society and providing but meaningful work, will always exist. In a rapidly transforming society of 2021 we face some of the same dilemmas as was the case in 1914.

Thanks to a much fairer society and open world versus 1914, people are afforded many more opportunities. Change however is too fast for many.

In 1914 a skilled worker, faced a lot of risks related to his daily work in that there was very little safety net or workers rights available, let alone medical care in case of work related injuries. The same worker in 2021 faces other types of challengers, as manufacturing is changing so rapidly, many workplaces are changing forever and some skills are becoming redundant. To keep pace, the skilled labourer has to constantly develop in sync with the machines.

Lets talk more about AI and skilled labour in our next blog post and how digitalisation and robotisation of everything will force rapid change

What can we do?

Our next Blog post will continue the discussion above, as this is a long train of thought.

In the immediate, visit our solutions page, where we describe in depth what services we bring into a fundraising and where our focus lies.


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