There was demographic information available about rioting in the UK in 2011. ABout 1300 people were arrested for rioting in the summer of 2011 in North London. Statistics confirmed that the accused were overwhelmingly young, male and often unemployed. According to the data collected 66% of those who have appeared in court are aged under 25 – with 17% aged between 11 and 17. Only a very small number in our data were aged over 30. More than 90% were male. The majority of people who have appeared in court live in poor neighborhoods, with 41% of suspects living in one of the top 10% of most deprived places in the country. The data also shows that 66% of neighborhoods where the accused live got poorer between 2007 and 2010.
If we assume that technological unemployment will be increasing and structural unemployment will increase then how can societies best manage this situation with less violence and more stability ?
In Silicon Valley there is age discrimination. This is where older workers are shoved out in favor of younger workers. Younger workers will in general work harder and for less money. In Europe there is a lot of Youth unemployment. There have been cases where the problems in Europe have led to rioting in the UK, France and other places. The United States has had the Occupy movement and there was some violence at times.
Older workers tend to have families and houses. They have more to lose if they were arrested for serious criminal offences.
Old and sick people are less able to mount a violent revolution. The US policies tend to screw those who will not be effectively violent. Ideally society should work to achieve better policies that achieve higher employment and more productivity. However, if the system is breaking down then it needs to do so in a semi-controlled way where violence is minimized.
Technological Unemployment Background
For four decades, even in stronger economic times, USA wage gains have not kept pace with economic growth. Wages and salaries peaked at more than 51 percent of the economy in the late 1960s; they fell to 45 percent by the start of the last recession in 2007 and have since fallen to 42 percent.
Various reports indicate that automation and process changes are enabling greater productivity with fewer workers.
There is more coming with self driving cars and improved natural language understanding and better artificial intelligence. New categories of jobs will replace workers or reduce the demand for workers.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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