There has been a lot of talk lately about automation and what it will mean for jobs. While all this talking has been happening I’ve been doing some deep thinking…
The future is here now. I’m more certain of that now than ever before. Corporations in this country first shipped away blue collar jobs to Asia and Mexico in order to avoid paying living wages, healthcare, worker’s comp etc. Now those same corporations are looking at ways to cut white collar jobs. The way they plan to do that is with automation.
For years white collar worker’s have told themselves that corporations can’t possibly replace them. After all, doesn’t it take a certain amount of intelligence and analytical ability to be a mechanical or computer engineer? Sure, they can get this intelligence from some guy in China and pay him a third of the salary you make here in the USA while expecting him to work 15 hour days without any type of benefits you receive in plush Silicon Valley.
Still, white collar workers told themselves this wasn’t likely to happen because they believed corporations wouldn’t risk facing social and political backlash from Americans…the consumers who built these company and keep them in business.
Needless to say a lot of people were wrong.
A few weeks ago one of the power sharks (read: Billionaire) in Silicon Valley had no issue telling Americans that American workers in Silicon Valley are spoiled, entitled, and overpaid. In his opinion, things like maternity leave and work life balance are outdated concepts that do nothing but keep him and folks like him from enslaving employees and putting more money into his pockets.
The billionaire stated point blank the guy in China is more than willing to work 15 hour days without seeing his kids who are raised by grandparents or the nanny. In his mind this made the Chinese a better choice as an employee.
I don’t know why anyone was surprised by this rich white man’s comments (and notice it’s only rich white people who say this type of crap). After all, America was built on top of Native Americans and on the backs of African Americans. Quite frankly, if corporations could get away with paying Americans nothing and enforcing slavery again they would do so in a heartbeat.
Then there are the corporations who want to do away with workers period. These companies are replacing workers with technology and robots. Jobs that used to require a thinking/functional human being are being snatched by robots, technology and automation.
You see it all around you. When I go into my local Wal-Mart I only see a hand full of cashiers now. Why? Because their jobs have been replaced by self-service scan and go machines. I see the same thing in Home Depot.
And it’s not just low income jobs that are on the line. I have read that lawyers, engineers, insurance underwriters, a list of medical professions, and a whole list of good paying white collar jobs are on the line as well. How? Well let me show you…
I work Monday-Friday at an insurance company. Outside of my window at work I can see a building that has a sign that reads IBM WATSON. This sign appeared about a month ago and I noticed it right away. I think IBM bought the building.
What’s striking about this name is the technology that’s behind it. Over a year ago I began looking into IBM WATSON after seeing a commercial about it. Apparently, this is the world’s smartest computer and it’s design to think and reason like you, me, and other humans. If you have your doubts watch the videos below…
Like I said the future is here now.
When I pointed out our new neighbors to my coworkers they brushed it off. I remember thinking these dumbasses are asleep at the wheel as usual.
My company, like many others, announced they are giving us an extra $1,000 bonus. My coworkers were jumping for joy. Meanwhile, I was thinking how Trump’s corporate tax cuts and said bonus would result in these corporations making more money. Any bonus we little people get will trickle back up to the corporations when we take that money and shop in their stores, pay our mortgages etc.
Four or five years from now when the deficit has tripled, we’re in another recession, and the 1% is holding on tight to all the money they got from the Trump tax cuts (and therefore this money is not floating in the economy or amongst the middle/lower classes) all the folks who were happy about $1k (before taxes) will be screaming bloody murder.
When these same individuals find that their jobs have been replaced by the automation that the Trump corporate tax cuts paid for they will kill themselves, each other, and probably the rich.
Then there is this reality: Whenever something bites white Americans in the ass politicians, the media, and corporations have a way of scapegoating black and brown people for the problem.
They told whites that their wages were stagnant because illegals come to this country and they are damn near working for free which makes them more desirable workers.
They told whites the reason their taxes are so high is because they are supporting all the blacks and browns mooching off welfare and medicaid.
They told whites the reason they can’t find jobs is because companies are hiring black and minorities due to affirmative action.
They told whites the reason they can’t get into Harvard with a low B average is because Harvard is taking in minorities under a quota system.
This list can go on and on, but one is left to wonder who will whites scapegoat when they find themselves losing their white collar jobs to technology?
When they find themselves economically oppressed like the black and browns (both of which are blamed their own troubles) what will they do? Will the narrative change? Curious minds want to know.
As for me, I see the writing on the wall. I’m going to buy some IBM stock because clearly IBM Watson is a game changer and I’m going to work on positioning myself in our future economy. There is no such thing as a safe job anymore. I’m trying to make my way out of the workforce and into self-employment. In addition to this, I’ve become interested in carpentry.
After buying my home and doing some of my own improvements, I have determined that I should seek a trade that allows me to work with my hands. I seriously doubt a robot will ever take the place of a carpenter or a HVAC contractor.