An interesting article in Salon, Your iPhone Kills Jobs, maintains that iPhone, Android, and other smartphone apps kill some jobs and makes other jobs worse. The vast majority of the jobs affected are those populated by the underclass of foreign workers abused by companies like Foxconn, and American workers in the low end jobs largely populated by workers like single moms, undereducated workers, and unemployed people who once had better jobs. These people are trapped because they need the work and yet their jobs are in such demand that individual employees are disposable. Better not rock the boat.

Another thing smartphone technology does is take low-wage workers we often had to see into situations where they work behind the scenes and out of sight.

Once again, technology eliminates some jobs and makes other ones worse.

Is there any way to fix this?

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Just one of the benefits of capitalism.

I disagree. the smart phone is a tool nothing more. Yes you can order food and many things on it. It however is mainly another means of communication. Nothing more. You can do very much the same from a computer.The job market is a result of bad economy and lack of a real education system. wages are a joke have been for years. the concept of minimum wage was based on living wage which we haven't had since somewhere around the late sixty's .

I'm sure the writer of the article would admit that the problem he identifies with smartphones is also generated by computers. Smartphones have simply expanded the problem. You can't deny, however, that it's easier for someone not to give a tip when they don't have to face the person who made or delivered their food face to face, and that these new technologies have moved low wage workers further out of site into a kind of technological backroom or basement.

Sadly, most people are going to scream, yell, and kick to go back to, "how it used to be".

Google alone has killed entire industries. This simple link: http://www.google.com/+/business has made it possible for a single individual to now have complete control over everything that makes a business successful in today's world. The kicker? Most of these services are free. You just can't compete with free. Need to make a phone call inside the states? No problem! Google Voice is free. Need to attach and send a 200mb+ file? Free. Or need a word editing suite? No problem! Google Drive. All free. Need driving directions? Google maps for your phone. Free.

Ten years ago all of this tech would have cost thousands of dollars.

When a huge company says they are unsure about the future for hiring new employee's what they really mean is that we can do more work with less people. It's really as simple as that.

The solution we need is to end the tax havens with companies like google/apple/facebok/walmart/amazon/all of the billion dollar companies use to dodge US taxes. Sure it's so easy to say, "BOYCOTT THAT COMPANY TILL THEY PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE! But until the gov does something about it, it won't matter in my opinion. People are generally... lazy and say, "Fuck it I want that product!"

Right now the gov is trying to cut services that should never be cut.

What people forget is that small businesses don't have an army of zombie lawyers to dodge taxes. So they (small companies) have zero chance of dodging that 35% tax rate every year. It's really hard to compete as a small business when google pays 2.4% in taxes.This lost tax revenue is what really hurts the states. In my opinion, until the tax loop holes are figured out we are rotting out the states and the world.

George Carlin sums it up perfectly. "They don't want people that are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table to figure out how badly being fucked by a system that threw them over board 30 fucking years ago."

I wonder if this huge trend toward more efficiency and more and more things for free, if the "job" of most people in the future is going to be being unemployed? and is all of this making some form of socialism a pending necessity? I don't see how capitalism can support a majority of the workforce if things keep going the way they are.

As it is, one of the reasons the job numbers aren't going up is that many of the jobs lost in the downturn will never come back. Why? Businesses (a) worked hard on efficiency and succeeded in streamlining their processes and (b) they are working the workers they have harder. While paying overtime now and then or even regularly is expensive, it's less expensive than taking on another employee.

Excellent points Matthew and very important to be raised.  Unfortunately things will not go back to the way they used to be its just a simple fact of reality. 

But I think you can compete with free.  When considering to acquire a product, price is not everything. Quality is.  I myself use the most expensive computer money can buy, an Apple iMac (it has served me well after 7 years its still running very well). Now I could have purchased a Dell Laptop for much cheaper. But I didn't buy this product for price, I bought it for reliability, durability and functionality.  The same goes for the services Google is offering.  If other companies expect us to pay for their services, they better do everything and anything they can to make those services a thousand times more reliable, more durable and more functionally than Goolgle's services. Sometimes the free option is not the best option.  And if something goes wrong with it, do we have the right to complain? In my opinion I wouldn't say no. And I'm not saying this would be easy, its not; incredibly hard I would argue. 

Now I'm sorry that the government is cutting all these services that smaller companies supply.  The only thing that can be done about that is to give the government a reason to why it is economically worthwhile for them to be spared. 

And yes, its unfair, its harsh and in many case heartbreaking.  But the reality here is, we are in a global recession still and tough calls are going to have to be made. Industries will die, jobs will be cut, taxes will go up, wages will decrease etc. 

But I do very much agree with your stance of Google pay so little taxes.  This is indeed a very serious flaw with the economy; the rich should be paying more tax and not less.  This is an issue the government needs to be pressured about. 

This piece is from techdirt is talking about file sharing but I feel this can also apply to hardware quality as well.

Not only can you compete with free, you must compete with free or you're going to lose out. If you don't offer a legitimate alternative, people will flock to the illegitimate ones. Yes, some people will always infringe, but over and over again we see how legitimate services pull people away from file sharing and towards paying -- if they provide enough value at a reasonable price.

This is exactly what apple has done on a fantastic level, "If they provide enough value at a reasonable price." I would agree with you about macs. I have grown up with a mac and out of the 25 years or so I have been using them only one had a hardware problem that was easily fixed.

Also I would like to mention a fantastic point from one of the creators of super meat boy when it comes to downloading things for free and sums up exactly what my first quote from techdirt says.

“I think I can safely say that Super Meat Boy has been pirated at least 200,000 times,” he wrote. “... As a forward thinking developer who exists in the present, I realize and accept that a pirated copy of a digital game does not equate to money being taken out of my pocket. Team Meat shows no loss in our year end totals due to piracy and neither should any other developer.”

People who pirate videogames may or may not buy those games if they couldn’t pirate them, but there is no actual way to calculate that lost revenue, Refenes argued. “It is impossible to know with certainty the intentions of people. With the SimCity fiasco and several companies trying to find new ways to combat piracy and stating piracy has negatively affected their bottom line I wonder if they’ve taken the time to accurately try to determine what their losses are due to piracy.”

Refenes affirmed that retail stores such as Kmart are able to calculate their losses precisely because their stock consists of physical items that can counted and valuated. But “in the digital world, you don’t have a set inventory. Your game is infinitely replicable at a negligible or zero cost. [... ] Digital inventory has no value. Your company isn’t worth an infinite amount because you have infinite copies of your game. As such, calculating worth and loss based on infinite inventory is impossible.”

“You cannot, with any accuracy, state that because your game was pirated 300 times you lost 300 sales. You cannot prove even one lost sale because there is no evidence to state that any one person who pirated your game would have bought your game if piracy did not exist.”

Refenes then questioned the logicality of using expensive DRM solutions to reduce the intangible losses caused by piracy. “You spend $X on research for your new DRM method that will prevent people from stealing your game. That $X is a line item in accounting that can be quantified. Can you then say “This $X we put into research for our DRM gained us back $Y in sales”? There is no way to calculate this because it is not possible to quantify the intentions of a person. Also, there’s no way of accurately determining which customers would have stolen the game had there not been DRM.”

In addition to the R&D costs required to develop new and more effective DRM solutions, those solutions usually lead to direct and quantifiable losses due to refunds and loss of customers. “I’d take any amount of pirates over one return due to disappointment any day,” affirmed Refense.

I want to write more but I have to go for the day. Good discussions so far.

If other companies expect us to pay for their services, they better do everything and anything they can to make those services a thousand times more reliable, more durable and more functionally than Goolgle's services.

I'm fairly sure that if a company does something so much better than Google that people will pay for it Google will snatch it up and it will be free. Isn't that what's been happening. I could site Google's antispam filter, which is as close to magic as anything in the real world can be. I'm pretty sure they bought it from someone who otherwise would have been selling it.

As for taxes, while it seems unfair that a company like Carnival Cruise Lines pays just .06% and GE pays none, but I wonder if taxation actually works at all anyway. Who ends up paying a well-run company's taxes in the end? Isn't it their customers? And yet, what is the alternative? A government has to have money to operate.

Which tax havens would you like to see closed, and how would you do it?

Any tax havens that lie outside of the country, because that's literally money walking out the door. In house tax loopholes like donating to charity could be acceptable, provided that a cap be placed on how low tax rates can be sunk, and making sure that companies and rich people are not in anyway involved in the administration of the charities they donate to. It doesn't count if you're basically donating to yourself.

Yes people need to adapt to the modern age and the current climate.  If there is no demand for the job you are currently in or have been let go due to lack of need of your services in a particular are.  Go back to education and get yourself qualified in something else. 

I worked in retail for 8 years (I'm still there), but there is no hope for me to progress in this industry in my current company. The budget isn't there and the demand isn't there, there are too many people looking for these types of jobs.  I'm still a part-time sales person but I've gone back to collage to study web-design. 

Computers is where all the money is at people, face this reality or you will be left behind. 

If a person is already holding 2 jobs to support their child and a babysitter, it would seem she's in a corner she can't get out of. 

I'd be interested in your reply to Morgan Matthew's post, which is just above yours.

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