Dr Alf’s critical question is in some ways superseded by events and powerful forces which no politician in Europe has touched upon except for Boris Johnson in his recent fairly heartless speech made in a different context.
The problem in Continental Europe is not education and training but lack of growth.
Europe has not created a single net new job in the last 30 years because it has not produced the 3% growth needed to permit full employment.
Germany has been producing 2.6% through exports but uses a lot of Turkish labor to do the work which ordinary Germans do not want to do so even though they are doing better than the rest of Europe and even control it,there is still not enough growth.
The UK is uniquely troubled because its education system is 44th in the world and is producing students who cannot read, cannot write and cannot communicate (John Cridland -Director General of the CBI).
We have lazy and unproductive workers and too many parents who are themselves lazy and unproductive (We are 16% below the average for the G7 and 20th in the world) and who have no concept of the value of education and self-discipline for either themselves or their young.
In the Far East, parents drive themselves and their children to value education and teachers in those countries are paid on the basis of how well they perform and can be summarily dismissed if they fail.
Beyond what Boris Johnson likened to a “violent centrifuge”, hurling off the unintelligent and those “who cannot compete”into a nether world of poverty and indentured servitude to his audience of “the Gordon Gekko,s of London”(Hedge fund managers ,bankers and people with money) there is another “Elephant in the Room” in the form of job destruction through automation, robotics, expert systems and AI(artificial intelligence).
We see this in Japan with robots acting as supermarket checkout girls,parking robots and expert systems which can control 10 supermarkets at a time with human intervention needed as a sense check with 1 manager per 10 supermarkets.
Boston Dynamics in conjunction with DARPA and the Pentagon are working towards a battlefield populated by drones,fighting and storming robots, automated killing machines, and no human soldiers within 30 years from now.
Care assistants will soon not exist in Japan or Germany(replaced by robots who can lift, turn patients, wash them, toilet demented Adult Social Care recipients, serve food and clean).
Surgeons, lawyers and even GPs are all eventually replaceable with expert systems and with Google Glasses one will not need typing skills or large call centers.
In short, work is being destroyed faster than even competent Governments can create it .
Clearly robots and expert systems lack bank accounts and do not constitute a marketplace but if we carry on as we are we are going to end up with vast swathes of economically useless people with nothing to do.
What are the choices:
1) Pay people to stay at home, study and become consumers and control future population growth through family planning and life extension
2) Remove the unintelligent and the economically useless from the equation via a “Logan’s Run ” solution by rationing healthcare as happens with the NHS, bringing in euthanasia or terminating with “extreme prejudice” anyone over a certain age
4) Using “environmentalism” as a way to curb future population growth,travel and personal carbon footprints to engineer out of existence the Middle Classes and return us to feudalism
Of these I would prefer (1) and a redefinition of capitalism and the whole concept of work as the most humane way consistent with Judeo-Christian ethics and the “golden rule” to deal with the problem but at the moment 2,3 and 4 are the methods being used although no-one is owning up to it.
- Lame-duck leaders in the US, UK and France? – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
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- Opinion: Cameron orders examination on how to force water companies to cut bill ex Guardian – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- Opinion: Infographic-Oecd health at a glance 2013 ex Irish Times-John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- Opinion: Labour must step in to rescue a generation of doomed youth – Mary Riddell ex Telegraph – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- Opinion: Watch out for the rise of a European Tea Party – Gideon Rachman – FT.com -John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- A Hard Look at the Implosion of UK Healthcare – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- Increasingly Tory MPs must worry about life after the next election – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- The 2008 financial crash, Google’s tax evasion and the elimination of the traditional middle class – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)
- UK Decline and EU Membership: Response to Lord Heseltine – John Gelmini (dralfoldman.com)