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The Zero Marginal Cost Society

The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Von Jeremy Rifkin
15 Minuten
Audio-Version verfügbar
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism  von Jeremy Rifkin

The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014) lays out a strong case for the self-destructive nature of capitalism, demonstrating how it is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. But in its wake, a new, collaborative, democratized economy will materialize – one made possible by the internet.

  • People who are interested in the future of our global economy
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the personal and social impact of cutting-edge technology
  • Committed capitalists

Jeremy Rifkin is one of the most popular thought leaders of our time. In addition to advising leading companies, heads of state and even the European Union, he is the bestselling author of no less than 20 books, including The End of Work and The Empathic Civilization.

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The Zero Marginal Cost Society

The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Von Jeremy Rifkin
  • Lesedauer: 15 Minuten
  • Verfügbar in Text & Audio
  • 9 Kernaussagen
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The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism  von Jeremy Rifkin
Worum geht's

The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014) lays out a strong case for the self-destructive nature of capitalism, demonstrating how it is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. But in its wake, a new, collaborative, democratized economy will materialize – one made possible by the internet.

Kernaussage 1 von 9

As new technologies replace human labor, companies may find themselves in trouble.

Ever since the process of automation began, people have asked themselves: Will there come a point when machines do all our work for us? It’s an appealing thought, for sure. And in our capitalist system, companies have indeed embraced technological innovations in order to cut costs and improve productivity.

But as this trend continues, we have to ask: How will the automation of labor affect our society? Is there such a thing as too much automation?

Well, if the current state of affairs is any indication, things could get pretty dire. As sophisticated technologies such as software and robotics replace human workers, unemployment rises. And this has a cascading effect on the rest of the economy.

For instance, in 2011 alone, the sale of robots grew by 43 percent in the US and the EU. Companies like Walmart and Costco are already employing self-checkout terminals, and Walmart alone installed another 10,000 terminals in its stores in 2013.

By 2050, hundreds of millions of people will have found themselves out of a job, having been replaced by robots or software.

But this isn’t some far-off future. It’s already begun: although global production increased more than 30 percent between 1995 and 2002, twenty-two million manufacturing jobs disappeared around the globe in the same timeframe.

Nor is this limited to unskilled labor. Even highly qualified workers with immensely specialized knowledge, such as radiologists, may end up being replaced by pattern-recognition software over the course of the next few decades.

And this sudden upsurge in unemployment will have serious consequences for the economy, because people who earn less also consume less.

If companies produce more thanks to automation, then they’ll also need customers to buy more. But, of course, unemployed people have less money to throw around. So if more and more people become unemployed, then fewer and fewer goods will be consumed.

In essence, these cutting-edge companies may end up shooting themselves in the foot!

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