Wealth Disparity and Automation

Ahmad Zaidi
3 min readJul 20, 2021
Humans are no longer needed

Automation is a good thing for a business owner as it could increase production while keeping the cost low. In 2020 Honeywell Intelligrated Autonation Investment Study reveals that 66% of e-commerce, 59% of grocery, food and beverage, and 55% of the logistic industry are willing to invest more in automation. As good as it sounds, this survey is only conducted in the US without involving another country.

A big industrial country such as the US is one of the leading countries in automation. Top automation companies such as Emerson Electric Co. could provide automation solutions for the willing company. More than that, advertising based companies such as Google and Facebook could also automate your marketing process through their platforms. This condition could create a high paying job in the US. At the same time, it might leave the low paying job in the developing country changed by automation. As a result, John, who lived and was born in the US, could get a chance at a high-paying job nearby. While somebody in developing countries couldn’t even know what programming is.

In this scenario, big countries with a strong automation industry could get richer while developing countries are left behind. There will be a massive wealth gap between wealthy countries such as the US and China with the rest of the developing world in the future. So, what could be done by these developing countries to not be left behind by these wealthy countries?

The first fundamental thing that could be done shortly is changing how developing countries educate their youth. The young should be taught the current condition of the world in this so-called industrial revolution 4.0. The fundamental of Programming, AI, Machine Learning and another automation method should be included in high-school curricula. With these adapted curricula, it is hoped that each country could have their own automation company in the future.

Then secondly, there’s a “doomsday scenario” where all job is done by automation. UBI or Universal Basic Income could be a well-suited method in the scenario. UBI is an unconditional condition where a citizen receives a certain amount of funds unconditionally from the government. With this fund, it is hoped that they can develop their own business or provide funds for daily meals if they don’t have jobs. There’s also some opinion where some expert says it will just make people lazy. This is still a concept, and it should be studied further.

Automation and wealth disparity should be understood by every person. With more automation, there will be jobs where humans are no longer needed. We should be aware now of how to create balanced automation while considering wealth equality for the people. The foundation could be built by suitable curricula in the school. While most jobs require no humans in the worst-case scenario, UBI could be an appropriate solution to reduce the wealth gap.