Holes in a Bucket
In the American Marketing Association Journal, Byron Sharp discusses the leaky bucket theory. He suggests that companies are always losing customers, so to maintain share, they have to win an equal number of new customers to keep the bucket full, so to speak. To grow share, they have to be especially good at new customer acquisition, or you have to slow the leak (Sharp, 2015). This theory currently represents the workforce. Losing employees to technology and then asking them to get reeducated for possible reemployment or recruiting new employees for lesser pay but qualifying skills to adhere to the new demands of the business.
One of the biggest concerns today is finding a well-paying job. With technological innovation growing faster than anyone could have imagined, there is a lot of uncertainty how it will continue to impact the job market. The Economist article “Automation and Anxiety” quoted James Bessen, an economist at Boston University School of Law argues, “Rather than destroying jobs, automation reduces costs and boosts demand thus reallocating jobs rather than displacing, requiring workers to learn new skills (The Economists, 2016). Rifkin differs in opinion, stating that in the past when new technologies have replaced workers in a given sector, new sectors have always emerged to absorb the displaced labor but in the blue collar i.e. agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries millions remain displaced (Rifkin, 1995).
Being born in the eighties gave me a sense of love and respect for technology and but it also made me aware that education was critical. Furthering my tech education would be a requirement if I wanted to go far in any career. I saw a lot of people get discouraged in the workforce because of their lack of technological education, especially my father. It didn’t matter how many years they were with a company or how much experience they had; tech savvy was now a requirement. If we are honest, the lack of tech savvy is where ageism thrives. Ageism is largely defined as being prejudice or discriminating against the elderly. Older workers are being displaced because of the lack of pace to keep up with technical know how. Not to say there aren’t people in their sixties, seventies, or eighties that haven’t kept up with the times especially since many are putting off retirement due to rising living costs. If they are transitioning into another career, their age is an unspoken reason why it takes them longer to find employment.
Conversely, everything comes with a price. Even with the new technological progress and educational advances, seemingly the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Rifkin stated that while some new jobs are being created in the economy, they are in low paying sectors and generally temporary employment (Rifkin, 1995). Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argued the same principle in “Why Workers Are Losing the War Against Machines.” They contended that even as overall wealth increases; there could be, and usually will be winners and losers. And the losers are not necessarily some small segment of the labor force like buggy whip manufacturers. In principle, they can be a majority or even 90% or more of the population (Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2011). I am certainly not a psychic but gone are the days where jobs are in surplus and pay is equal to the quality of work. Seemingly we are living in a day where you take what you can get or don’t take anything at all.
Sharp, Byron (2015) “The Hole in the Leaky Bucket Theory” in the American Marketing Association Journal Retrieved from http://blog.ama.org/the-hole-in-the-leaky-bucket-theory/
Rifkin, Jeremy (1995). “The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era.” 1st trade paperback edition New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2004. p. xvii, & p. 4
Brynjolfsson, Erik & McAfee, Andrew (2011, October 26). “Why Workers Are Losing the War Against Machines.” Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/why-workers-are-losing-the-war-against-machines/247278/