What McDonald’s is touting as “America’s best first job,”
won’t be anybody’s job pretty soon. A machine will
do it, and the minimum wage kids can go starve. Thanks
to Garth Hallberg, author of “The Picketty Problem,”
for tipping me off to this video.
Right now we have full employment, thanks to the logical conclusion of policies put into place by Donald Trump’s nemesis, Barack Obama.
But if Trump, or his voters, think that by opening up vast stretches of gorgeous wilderness and relatively unpolluted oceans to oil drilling or coal mining they'll produce more jobs, they’ve got another think coming.
The people digging in those mines, or drilling for that oil won’t be people. They’ll be robots. Already robots are doing clerical tasks. Commonplace example: you don’t have to call the front desk at your hotel and ask for a wakeup call any more. You just press a button on your I-phone and say, “Hey Siri, wake me at seven a.m. The telephone gets the request, and remembers to fill it.
Now your friendly minimum wage hamburger flipper is on the verge of being replaced by a machine that gets paid nothing per hour and doesn’t give a flying pickle about finding a better second job. Or about working Sundays and holidays.
Next come the Trump-voter robots. They’ll do everything Trump voters do. They’ll drive trucks. They’ll dig for coal. They’ll drill for oil. They’ll tend bars. They’ll dispense pills in hospitals. They’ll even trade stocks. In fact, some stock traders already are robots.
The ideal solution, I crankily aver, is to divvy up the few remaining job among more people. Take the profits that robots earn with their tireless productivity and use it to hire three workers where we once had one, each now with shorter hours, longer holidays, and fewer days in his or her workweek. That way everybody makes a living, everybody has a place to go during the week, and we avoid millions of homeless and unemployable people sleeping in the streets.
But I’d almost lay you money it ain’t gonna happen. At least not in the United States where greed is more sacred than holy water used to be.
Instead, the soon-to-come newspaper headline for the reign of the robots will read: “Bots to Trump Voters: Drop Dead!”