Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

My Thoughts

Get Ready for the No-Jobs Future

Many experts agree that the no-jobs future is almost here. Therefore, most of us will need to adapt to a world without jobs.

For instance, the Brookings Institution forecasts; “By 2030, some 25 percent of U.S. employment will have experienced high exposure to automation, while another 36 percent of U.S. employment will experience medium exposure, and another 39 percent will experience low exposure.”

Thus, one in four Americans runs a high risk of losing his or her job to a machine in the next decade. Ominously, Brookings’ brains think robots threaten many menial jobs long believed resistant to technological unemployment.

For instance, Brookings estimates 76.9% of waiters and waitresses, 84.7% of dishwashers, and 91.4% of food preparation jobs are vulnerable to automation. Under those circumstances, even menial work could be hard to find.

AI is Coming for Your Job

Nor is education likely to be the job protector it is today. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already filling jobs traditionally filled by college graduates.

The Associated Press already publishes some stories written by AI, Student Voices notes. Meanwhile, IBM’s Watson is already diagnosing cancer, Bloomberg reports.

Plus, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is researching the possibility of replacing store managers with AI. AI even threatens cardsharps’ “work;” the artificial intelligence Pluribus easily defeats human poker champions, Market Mad House reports.

Disturbingly, digital robots have already wiped out many human jobs on Wall Street. In 2017, algorithms accounted for 90% of the trading volume on Wall Street, Data Driven Investor’s Renato Zamagna writes. Moreover, the first AI-run Equity Trading Fund (ETF) went into operation in 2017.

 AI can perform many management tasks. For instance, the iCEO AI management platform can hire gig workers, send emails, manage projects, and even write a 124 page research report, Hacker Noon’s Brian Wallace claims.

The bottom line is no job is safe. Therefore, many of us could live in a society where a job is a privilege reserved to the few.

How to Prepare for the No Jobs Future

Therefore, the time to prepare for the no jobs future is now while jobs are still fairly plentiful.

Steps you can take to prepare for the No Jobs Future Include:

  •  Get in the habit of saving money now. Try to save between 10% and 25% of your income. A great way to do this is to use an automatic savings plan. Plus, check with your employer, many organizations offer employees the option of automatically depositing part of their pay into a savings’ account. That way you will have cash available when the jobs become extinct.
  • Learn to live below your means. Ideally, only spend 80% to 90% of your pay each month. You can achieve that goal by eliminating luxuries; learning how to be frugal, doing things yourself, saying no, and simple living. In particular, forgo big-ticket expenses like vacations and new cars.
  • Get out of debt. The only thing worse than unemployment is being in debt with no job. Therefore, pay off all your debts now while jobs are plentiful. In particular, payoff student loan debt which you cannot eliminate in a bankruptcy.
  • Stay out of debt. Importantly, avoid big debts like mortgages and student loans and stay away from high-interest instruments like credit cards. The less debt you have the easier life without a job will be.
  • Develop sources of income besides jobs. Possibilities include rental properties, stock or Forex trading, cryptocurrency trading, speculation, royalties generating artworks like video games, advertising, websites, e-commerce, small businesses, writing, ride share driving (Uber and Lyft), franchises, side hustles, stocks, bonds, annuities, and freelance work to name a few.
  • Remember, some income is always better than no income. Even income sources that pay far less than a job can help you survive in a no-jobs economy.
  • Try to monetize many aspects of your life. Do you have hobbies or interests that you could turn into a profit making side line? Art you could sell online or marketable skills? Can you monetize your living arrangements, perhaps you could buy a large house for roommates or AirBNB rental? Are there lessons you could give? What about your garden? Are there vegetables you could sell for a few bucks?
  • Develop fallback job arrangements. Could you get a teaching certificate, for example? There is a teacher shortage that could continue in the foreseeable future. Therefore, there will be lots of steady, taxpayer financed work in the public schools. Remember, most teaching jobs at least come with decent health insurance. Even if you do not teach now, it could be handy.
  • Develop additional job skills that AI is unlikely to perform anytime soon. For instance, you could learn plumbing, or air conditioning repair, now. Those jobs are not glamorous but they always pay and are usually in demand. Other skills to consider include hairstyling another chore people always need. 
  • Invest your money now. With savings accounts paying dismal interest rates you will need to invest. Smart people will invest part of the money they make now in higher-paying investments like stocks.
  • Other investments to investigate include government bonds; not glamorous but always secure, stablecoins, cryptocurrency; some people including Mark Zuckerberg think it is the money of the future, and real estate. People will always need a place to live, so rental properties could be a wise investment now.
  • Get additional education, especially free or low cost education. Organizations like FreeCodeCamp and CodeAcademy teach computer coding at no cost.
  • Learn to find meaning in life without a job. Far too many people rely on jobs for fulfillment, meaning, purpose, and a social life. Learning how to find these things without a job is the most important survival skill of all.
  • Live a rich life with many interests outside your job. Devote time to faith, pets, family, study, romance, children, causes, friends, community involvement, volunteer work, political involvement, hobbies etc. Develop many interests and activities, so you will busy and fulfilled without a job.

All of this advice will enrich your life, if the job-free future turns out to be a paranoid fantasy. If the technological jobs apocalypse comes, and I think it will, you will be ready.

Finally, the most important survival skill of all is to learn how to live without a job. If you master that skill you will thrive in the jobs free future.