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Editorials

Poverty, The Poor and Automation

Poor people were not a huge factor in society until the days of the Holy Roman Empire.  Most prosperity was based on land ownership and poverty wasn’t an issue until over the years arable land became scarce. Huge tracts of arable land and forests were accumulated by the upper classes and the less prosperous were gradually frozen out and became what we describe today as “the poor”.

One of the strengths of Christianity was the movement’s appeal to the poor.  Some contemporary theorists look upon Christianity as one of the first successful wide-spread anti-poverty movements. All the aphorisms attributed to Christianity so familiar to many of us today were utilized to appeal to the masses.

The point is that poverty and poor people are not a recent development and have been with us a long time to varying degrees. The problems related to poverty have always attracted various moves to counteract the negative effects of the tricky situation on the general welfare of a nation or group.  The problems today, that should make us re-examine the complications creating poverty, have changed dramatically. With the advent of computers, automation of work is, perhaps, one of the more perplexing developments facing the modern world.

A few years ago I read “Being Digital”, a very interesting book by Nicholas Negroponte who was head of the MIT’s computer department.  He stated (and I paraphrase) that “if you think automation of work is a problem for the unemployed today, it is nothing compared to what it will be like in ten years.”

Interesting – The publication date of “Being Digital” was January 6, 1996.

Copyright 2018 by Charles Loomis[amazon_link asins=’1461115450,B004S81N2E,B00X3PF0T0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’fb4dcf88-2ebc-11e8-a505-511691722d4d’][amazon_link asins=’B00X3PF0T0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’3b5f7c1d-2ebd-11e8-b5d5-d303eed875dd’]

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