Nov, 5 2008
Effect computers have had on society
Computer’s, looking back through all of history’s record’s on these machines there are still those that would argue that computer’s have ruined society. I’m here to both argue this point and in someway defend it because I do believe it to be true to a certain degree.
For instance what effect have computer’s had on the job market. This is probably the most discussed concern about computers in particular. Technology in the workplace leads to greater efficiency and productivity. The downside is that fewer workers will be needed for the same output. If technology puts people out of work, won't unemployment increase at an alarming rate? David Bowen of the interdisciplinary division made a great point of this in his 94’ report on a related topic “First, here is how technology can reduce employment in a given industry. One of the quantities that economists talk about is "labor productivity." There are other types of productivity -- investment productivity, for example -- but labor productivity is the most common, and is often shortened to "productivity." Basically, this tries to measure how much labor it takes to produce a given product. I haven't actually seen it defined, but I suspect it is units of output divided by hours of labor to produce that output. Many economic statistics are defined so that the basic value is 100, and productivity is defined this way. If it takes one hour of labor to produce one VCR, let's call that a productivity of 1 VCR divided 1 hour of labor, times 100 (we will use "*" for multiplication), so that (1/1) * 100 = 100, so the productivity is 100. Now, suppose an improved assembly line is installed, and it now takes half an hour of labor to produce a VCR. The new productivity is (1 VCR divided by 0.5 hours) * 100 = (1/.5) * 100 = 200. The productivity has doubled, from 100 to 200.
Now, what effect will this have on employment? If the same...