Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Hey, Trump supporters who want your jobs protected. Say hello to the REAL threat to your livelihood.

Think he's cute? Wait until you see how cute 
he gets when he steals your job.

Trump lied to you. The jobs aren’t coming back. Coal isn’t coming  because it’s being replaced by natural gas, solar and wind. Factory jobs aren’t coming back, because the Chinese and Mexican workers who are driving you so crazy aren’t really the problem.

The problem is robots.

Call your bank, your credit card company, even the entity you ordered your unspeakable sex toy from, and lotsa luck getting through to a real person. You’re talking to a bot that generally not only asks questions but understands your answers and often closes sales. The “Art of the Deal?” That’s just another algorithm. 

Bots have already taken thousands of jobs on production lines away from people, and more thefts of your work from machines are coming.

If a bots can drive, as they seem to be doing, in a couple of years down the road you’re finished as a cabbie or a truck driver. Or a fork lift driver. Or, in all probability a backhoe or derrick operator. The time is likely not far off where a skyscraper construction site will be staffed by one human being and a bunch of walking, or crawling, or climbing, or rocking, rolling, rattling robots.

And wipe that smug grin off your face, Mister White Collar know-it-all. You’re royally screwed, too. Just as surely as cash machines stole thousands of once-plentiful bank teller jobs, bots are coming to the point where they’ll be able to make programmed decisions and ask programmed questions, that will take away the necessity to employ you as a beat newspaper reporter, a school teacher, an attorney, many kinds of doctors, and a buh-zillions other forms of once-human employment. We don’t need no cops. Cop robots will be able to do much of the work, with fewer police-involved deaths.

These days there are even bot con men. Or at least bot con women. One bot keeps calling me, and when I say “hello” a couple of times,  the bot tells me in a giggly-girly voice, some variation of, “Oh sorry, my head set slipped and I didn’t hear you.” I hang up on Ms. Bot before she can launch into her sales pitch. 

That doesn’t bother her in the least. She just calls an hour, or a day, or a week later with the same girly routine and the same imaginary slipping head set.

Oh sure, there will still be a handful of employees around with collars of different colors to un-stick the machines when they get stuck, or to politely brush off people like me who go ballistic when a phone bot won’t give me what I’m asking for.

And there will always be some CEO at the top, reaching into the corporate cash flow and pocketing fat wads of cash that once had to be distributed as payroll among the working stiffs. But the rest of us are done for.

So what are you going to do about it? Because Trump isn’t going to do it for you. He’s one of the money grabbers, not one of the problem solvers. Getting rich at other peoples’ expense is how he got any richer than the fortune his father left him in the first place.

Smash the machines? A man named Ned Ludd inadvertently started a movement to do just that back in the 18th Century. It didn’t stop the weaving machines, and it didn’t stop any other kind of machine. 

So again I ask, what are you going to do about it? Because, if you do nothing, the extreme likelihood is that you, and most certainly your children, will starve to death, or freeze to death in the gutter.

For openers, we can demand a 20 hour week, necessitating two workers for every job that now requires one worker for a 40 hour week. 

And how will all those workers get paid? To a great extent by limiting the compensation of the CEO and board members, even stockholders like me, and putting the money back into the payroll. Since human “productivity” will go down, it’s also inevitable that prices will rise. But at least there will be paid workers in this nation to pay the prices. Think of the alternative.

But the 20 hour week alone won’t do the job because sooner or later — and probably sooner — there will be hardly any jobs of any kind, except for CEO. So what then?

Well, the government had better find ways to keep us fed, clothed, housed and occupied. For example? 

Free colleges or other forms of classes, but with mandatory attendance and the attendees getting paid for being there. A growth in the arts — the very thing from which Donald Trump is now busy cutting funding — to make life beautiful and to get more of us participating in both its creation and its enjoyment. More beautiful parks and public lands — the very thing Trump is intent on ravaging for commercial interests — for us to enjoy.

The truth is, by doing nearly all of the work, robots ultimately have the potential to turn the earth into a Garden of Eden. Or, if we go down Donald Trump’s road, a Garden of Hell.


bowtiejack said...

It's probably politically incorrect to mention it, but apparently that Marx guy was right about Capitol. As was Piketty.
Oh well, there'll probably be some servitor and minion positions open for personal security and manning the walls of the gated communities for our rentier overlords.
On the other hand the US does have more guns per capita than anyplace except Yemen . . .

The New York Crank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor said...

The solution?
Medicare & Welfare for all!

And, we need to really slow down our reproduction, if we're to survive as a species.

Also, too - with our planet getting hotter, we really need to drastically cut CO2 emissions!
But, if we can't - or won't even try, which looks like t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin's "plan" for America's role - then the people we really DO encourage to reproduce, are those whose genes are best adapted to very warm climates - tropical/desert peoples. *

* Note:
This last one will never fly!
'Cause Caucasions ain't the folks best adapted to those climates.
And I can't say how I know that - all I can really say, is that that's just my (rather ample) gut feeling. 🤗