The biggest assumption people make in discussing the way automation will disrupt jobs is that we won’t create new jobs that incorporate technology — yet we always do. The telephone operators were put out of business through automation — but we created new jobs like social media communication roles. The biggest challenge that capitalism has faced as technology disrupts the workforce is the belief system that adults can’t learn and develop new skills and grow into new job fields. Once you graduate from college, our system tends to expect you to stick to the degree you have earned and we make it extremely difficult for a full time worker with a family to fund the time and costs of graduate and new career development programs. We even frown upon people who in the 50s go back to school to get a medical degree or computer science degree with these outdated ideas that only young minds can learn.
We need to stop worrying about arm chair philosophy ideas like determinism and focus on practical ways to change our beliefs around lifelong learning and embracing our fluid selves.