Wake Up Call for governments Across the World Part I

The paradigm shift currently underway has more surprises hidden in its bag of goodies than we can imagine at this stage. No doubt, there are so many happy developments taking place across all spheres. Gaining a foothold over the rampant use of fossil fuels with the major gains in electric vehicle technology is one such example. ‘Internet of Things'-based initiatives can be seen as the harbingers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Advances in communication technology, ‘Open University’ concept of education, travel, healthcare, industrial production and so many other related fields are making an impact on life in general. Majority of them shall be instrumental in increasing productivity, hastening the emergency response measurements and cut waste in numerous ways. However, the biggest dangers lie in the redundancy factor concerning manual labor. How fast can the huge swaths of soon-to-be-unemployed individuals gainfully retrain to pursue other professions? The need of the hour is for us to start working in this direction at a war footing.

Here is a brief breakdown of my hypothesis:

  • Do you know how the innovative technology is going to change our life beyond imagination?

  • Are you aware of the massive paradigm shift leaving millions jobless in the next few years?

  • How well prepared are you to tackle the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

  • Can you relate to the first three revolutions that tremendously changed our life?

  • Would you care to learn about the upcoming changes to reap their benefits?

A lot more questions come to mind when we look at all the innovations taking place around us. Some of them have become inseparable like the Smartphone. There are other such devices creating major ripples across industries before coming to overwhelm the consumers.

At the same time, we must also take into account the disruptive technologies that bring within their fold the power to render millions jobless. The trades likely to bear the brunt include Truck Drivers, Couriers, Retail Industry participants, Warehouse Personnel, Most Manual Labor jobs where Robots are slowly taking over, Receptionists, Security Guards, Factory Personnel, even food industry personnel including chefs, cooks, waiters, and waitresses. The list is too long to mention in these pages and continues to grow.

I am not a messenger of doom and as such, I do see a ray of hope in this supposedly catastrophic development. By no means do I wish to suggest that the transition will be smooth. It requires immediate corrective action both in the administrative as well as legislative fields. Easy, affordable, and convenient means of education is the need of the hour, specifically technical education, for the ones facing imminent job loss.

While the impending menace of retrenchment poses a serious challenge, we must not forget that there are much higher numbers of new career fields opening up for those willing to retrain and find better-paying positions, careers, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.

Some of the major developments we shall be watching closely include, but are not limited to, the following

  • ‘Internet of Things’

  • Drones

  • Robotics

  • Bio-metrics

  • Smart Cities

  • Virtual Reality

  • Tactile Internet

  • Cloud Computing

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • ‘Edge,’ ‘Fog’ & ‘Mist’

  • Bionics: 3D Body Parts and so on…

The cumulative total of all the above developments is bound to affect society as a whole, all across the world. It may not happen right away but it also will not take an entire generation. Gradual changes have already started making their impact, especially in sectors like aviation and shipping industries, medicine (Tele-Medicine is a case in point) and National Defense.

Businesses are migrating to the ‘Cloud’ network in hordes as it gives them an invaluable tool to run far-off projects with real-time deployment of all their experts and project teams simultaneously. At the same time, this business advantage is gradually turning into a major headache, as corporations are free to choose and/or move their headquarters to the most favorable tax regime within no time. One direct fall-out of this growth is reduced Tax Receipts to the tune of billions of dollars and continues to grow.

Before diving deeper into each one of the above opportunities, I would touch upon an even bigger threat, knocking at our doors. It is destined to pose a serious challenge to all the community development plans of governments across the world as their revenue is bound to shrink to the tune of trillions of dollars within the next 15 to 20 years. Their income generation will suffer a huge setback in the aftermath of electric and battery-operated vehicles eliminating the use of fossil fuels in their entirety. No doubt, OPEC will lose its relevance, even the Arab countries will face a huge loss, but so will our dollar, unless we took corrective steps right now.

Telecommuting and growing freelance work ethic are bound to shake-up payroll systems across the board. Reduced need for large office space and higher vacancy of commercial buildings means lower property tax recovery. This, once again, translates to lower revenue for the government.

The BIG question is whether we are ready to face the challenge or not.

It is about time the administrative machinery at every level sharpens its pencils and redraws its long-term projections. We need to be aware of the steps various governments intend to take towards replenishment of oncoming loss in revenue. If the answer is a plain ‘No,’ we need to wake up and do something about it before it is too late!

Please watch out for Part II for more insights…

Thank You

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