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Work and be financially rewarded. Work for a greater purpose in life. Work hard to play hard. All common recipes for success, right? Not anymore. Today we are influenced by technology and automation, and corporations wield more power than ever. This has disrupted just about all traditional models of work. So, if that's the current state of work, what does the future look like?
For some the future is bleak. In the United States, despite high levels of education, and more hours individually worked, real household wages have remained stagnant over the past five decades. According to Elizabeth Anderson, author of "Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk About It)", employers now determine what we wear, our hours, what we say, or don’t say. Some say corporations are becoming a threat to equality, freedom and even democracy itself. And that employees are guaranteed to fail because of new systems that are being set up within our existing systems. For example, the practices of subcontracting or hiring temp workers.
But for others, the future is brighter, and automation might be the key. Vivek Wadhwa, author of "The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Technology Choices Will Create the Future" believes we are heading towards post-work societies - most jobs will disappear, but artificial intelligence will help improve human decision-making. Some even believe financial considerations will no longer be a significant issue. We will use our extra time to enjoy freedoms and make choices.
Who gains, and who loses in these scenarios? How do you see the future of your work? We'll discuss all that, and more, on the next episode.
Joining The Stream:
Sarah Kalloch @sarahkalloch
Executive Director, Good Jobs Institute
Sarah Jaffe @sarahljaffe
Author, "Necessary Trouble"
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.