Jobs of the Future: Canadian Filmmaker Paints a Darkly Humorous Picture

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Commentators, academics and presidential candidates are all quick to offer theories about America's long-term economic prospects. But the truth is, nobody knows what the next 30 years will look like -- and with ongoing battles over federal spending, debt ceilings and tax increases starkly dividing the country, the level of uncertainty is one of America's hardest-to-manage problems.

Recently, Canadian novelist and filmmaker Jim Munroe offered his best guess about where we're headed in the next three decades with his upcoming film, Ghosts With Shit Jobs. Munroe envisions the U.S. job market in 2040 as a deteriorating landscape in which over-educated Americans scurry after the few jobs that Chinese and Indian workers refuse to do. While the job titles -- robotic baby technician, spider silk gatherer, human spam -- are playfully futuristic, the low-level work is strangely reminiscent of marginally legal careers that occupy the edges of the global economy in parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and much of Africa.




Ostensibly produced for Chinese television viewers, the film's trailer takes a tone of concerned condescension that will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched a documentary on PBS or seen Michael Moore's Roger and Me. Described by its producers as a "low-fi sci-fi mockumentary," Ghosts With Shit Jobs will be released online in October.

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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rjoh959287

US disabled their Train,s No decent Bus service no trams almost no Stores within walking distance.Wait till the babyboomers are no longer able to drive.Look at Europ.The old people can stay in their homes{regardless if the town they live in is small or large} walk to the stores or take the bus or tram,a large savings to the healthcare system while increasing quality of life.We the people let this Country become what it is today.Money is more important than a longterm plan to a decent living for everyone.

September 16 2011 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

I think Obama is doing the best he can !!!We need to rebuild towns that will service the local people. Not Huge malls 3 to 5 miles away that force people to drive everywhere. We need to stop urban sprawl every chance we get. Europe did it for centuries. More trains to every destination bring back the buses, solar power providers in every town ! We can use steam energy with all the hot air from politicians

September 15 2011 at 9:15 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

Way too much money is being made by everyone except us. We have our socks made in China because they cost 3 cents. The profit margins are incredible!!!! Why would anyone want to have them made here at $1.00 a pair. Ain't globalism great!!!!!

September 15 2011 at 9:01 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Winston

American workers CAN compete given certain conditions: We must put a tariff on foreign products that neutraiize our cost for being the global peace force and for the protective regulations under which we operate such as child labor laws, EPA, OSHA, etc. but we must ANNOUNCE AND JUSTIFY those tariffs in order to avoid trade wars. Secondly, we must reform our education system and take tenure for teachers out of primary and secondary schools. Students MUST be taught to read by the THIRD grade to stop the epidemic in dropouts. If a poor person in Honduras can be taught to work in a factory, why aren't we building factories in Appalachia, the rural South, Northern ghettos and New Orleans? We have too many "safety nets".

September 15 2011 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Winston's comment
SPQR

we are all on drugs here and no one wants to work. We can follow the chinese model and have dorms for the workers to stay when there is work to be done.

September 15 2011 at 9:18 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Scotty143124

Tenure is not to problem with the educaiton, its the underlying culture of a community towards learning and ultimately a child's parents that have the most say. If a kids does not want or care to learn, there is little a teacher can do.

A teacher is there to teach, but is now also magically expected to raise a child, while paradoxically not having any legal authority or say in how a child is raised.

In countries where students excel, the teacher is considered the boss. While the parent is like a drill Sargent who gets their kids into line -- end of story.

September 17 2011 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SpeedyNutrino43

Ahhhh Speedy...a new low in redundant sentences......try to do better.

September 14 2011 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SpeedyNutrino43

People tend to forget the hard times this country has experienced in its roughly 224 years. There have been recessions and the depression of the 30's. There was the War of 1812, the Civil War, the first world war, the second world war, Korea and Vietnam. Americans will rise up and do whatever is necessary to preserve our country........provided we can get rid of the politicians who've brought the current situation upon us, aided by the citizenry.....all of us. We DID vote them into office after all. The time has come to cull the herd in congress IF there are enough people with the intellectual acumen to elect better officials.

September 14 2011 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to SpeedyNutrino43's comment
SPQR

send me a list of better Politicians please and I will vote for them

September 15 2011 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to SPQR's comment
warrenbent

ANYBODY who recognizes the proper role of central government is limited to creating and maintaining an environment for the free and just pursuit of happiness is better than the carreer political class who imagines the proper role of government is creating and maintaining an environment for politicians theft of citizens freedom.

September 15 2011 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Scotty143124

Get the TEAnutters and Fascist plutocratic oligarchs (GOP) out and that is great start.

September 17 2011 at 3:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Scotty143124

Until we can have a democratic majority in congress, nothing will ever be passed. The GOP is actually campaigning to reintroduce the same lawless policies that brought us this catastrophe in the first place.

Unless Americans wake up like the rest of the advanced world has and stop the wealthy and corporations from exploiting us, we are well on the way to becoming a 3rd world country. We're almost a 2nd country like Greece as it is.

September 17 2011 at 3:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
uniondriv

All these naysayers , this is America ...the best country in the world with the best people. We are just going through changes the same as the great depression. They were all saying the same thing back then and we are still here. Relax and enjoy the ride.....common sense will prevail.
The only thing to fear is fear itself.......go out and have fun, we are only here for a short time. Enjoy life !!!!!

September 14 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tmlbtb

Unless we change our form of government, be it a third party, a Parliament, a better form of checks and balances, get rid of lobbying, complete tax code change, this country has no chance.

September 14 2011 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BERNICE

no amount of education or job skills will pull this country out of the hole without production/manufacturing jobs. somebody, somewhere in this country has to bite the bullet and start enticing these jobs back to this country. we need to manufacture all the military equipment right here in this country. we need to make bic lighters here again. we need to bring companies back. i don't care if we offer them tax free property for a 100 yrs., or only half tax their profits and income. we need those jobs back here. that's the only way we are going to rebuild, rebirth and survive.

September 14 2011 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to BERNICE's comment
vrosen

u r correct, but what really needs to change is the attitude of the workers that do these jobs. people with no skills have to realize that they are being hired, not married. when someone gives u a low level, low skill job, u r not getting free healthcare, free childcare, pay for life, the ability to sue for whatever it is u r not happy about, including "i hurt my back." if u want more jobs in america, the american worker will have to learn to do some work without hiring a lawyer for every complaint they have.

September 14 2011 at 5:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
woodup2

Here is an idea Bernice: quit buying Korean cars, shoes from Italy, Vietnamese sneakers, Jananese hair care products, Indian tech support, etc.

September 14 2011 at 6:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to woodup2's comment
cterry877

That would be easy to say IF you could find some of those products or services in the US and at comparable rates. Let's start with tech support. Been there done that. US Tech support is nothing but a bunch of lazy contractors. I should know. I was tasked with building support for telecommunications and PC's. Sneakers? Union wages with benefits - $200/pr.

September 14 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
SPQR

I bet she does already!! I went to the largest shoe chain in Chicago and I asked if they had any shoes made in America and the answer was no. They had one pair made in Germany. The interesting thing that my last pair of shoes was made here in the US and now the same ones were made in China at the same price. Hmmmmmm

September 15 2011 at 8:57 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
barney

couples are aborting male babies because really how many males will be necessary in the future U.S.
workforce........think about it

September 14 2011 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply