This is what robots mean for the economy | World Economic Forum

In this fascinating WEF article, John Lewis explores the implications of automation and robotics on the economy, by taking a historical perspective.

Source: This is what robots mean for the economy | World Economic Forum

The argument is fascinating but masks the evidence of winners and losers from automation and robotics. For example, look at the the trend of US blue-collar and clerical jobs, which been replaced have either by machines or offshoring.

The challenge for young people is to develop niche skills in tomorrow’s premium markets. For example, in my own career, I saw that general managers and CFO‘s were becoming commoditized, so I took an applied doctorate, learned languages and worked in foreign markets, then tailored my market facing offering to niche skills in high demand.

Do you have any unusual insights into automation and robotics?

An anatomy of inclusive growth in Europe | Bruegel

This report from European think-tank Bruegel is a recommended read. It highlights that contrary to many perceptions, income inequality in the EU has fallen over the past two decades. and in the EU as a whole, and in most EU members, absolute poverty is rare and income inequality is low. It notes that strong welfare states have offered protection against inequality. However, it’s necessary to read to report because there are significant exceptions.

Source: An anatomy of inclusive growth in Europe | Bruegel

Surprisingly, more children of low-educated parents obtain a high level education in the UK & Finland than in rest of EU. I worry that pumping people through higher education should not be an end in itself. Education and training needs to be matched to demand. More importantly, the quality of tertiary education must improve against international benchmarks. Sadly, politicians have often meddled and not followed a robust strategy, so there remains enormous waste in public spending on education – it is too bureaucratic and under the influence of left-wing & liberal educators, and of course, powerful trade-unions resist change and reform.