Could those of us who spend a lot of time writing about offshoring be missing the boat when it comes to employment trends?
That's what the author of a new blog claims. Consultant Richard Samson argues that the displacement of workers by technological advances is a bigger deal than the shift of tasks to lower-wage countries like India. He dubs the tech-eats-jobs trend "offpeopling."
"Offpeopling has much more impact than offshoring or outsourcing," he says. "Yet it's not in the headlines or on TV."
He may have a point. After all, a recent Merrill Lynch study suggests that offshoring isn't taking off at an astronomical rate. And Samson isn't alone in talking about technology trimming jobs. The head of a group that studies Silicon Valley recently said continued job losses there stems in part from productivity increases that in turn come from technology.
Another interesting feature to Samson's firm, EraNova Institute, is a faith that tech could lead to a utopia of abundance, in which people will work "based on their interests rather than economic necessity."
Utopian visions often fail to pan out. But give credit to Samson and crew for at least dreaming big.