Sunday, January 22, 2017

Robots are taking your job

Trump Can't Deliver the Rust Belt Jobs He Promised Because Work Has Changed by Joseph Bien-Kahn.

Robots are taking your job. No one is planning a solution to this.

Not everyone's, but people just like you. White collar workers are where blue collar workers were 20-30 years ago on this, watching it begin and sitting with their heads in the sand saying "It can't happen to me, a robot can't do my job." I think Moore's Law, or some corollary, means that they don't have the same time before their job prospects are in ruins at least as much as those of a skilled blue collar worker today.

Maybe a computer can't literally do your job, or most of it, in practical terms, ever. But what about the people around you? How many of them can be replaced, at some theoretical future point? How many people around you have jobs that involve a large amount of their efforts being put to supervising those people whose jobs could be replaced? If your job isn't replaced by a computer, the competition around the office could still get awfully stiff.

This is why the Democrats solution of more education, as touched on in Listen, liberal, is nearly as useless as the Republican solution of... pretending this problem doesn't exist?

We already live in a world where this issue is having a major effect on the employability and income potential of a very large, and quickly growing, number of Americans. The fact that it isn't already a political issue says a lot about our power structure and the people making the agenda.

I don't see how this will be addressed until we come to a crisis. The sharp reduction in livable wages for people with the kinds of skills that used to ensure a Middle Class income in previous generations has not even brought it to the table for public discourse. I don't see any real action being taken until the country is littered with Hoovervilles filled with displaced but qualified and eager workers, which will leave a lot of people left behind while nothing happens.

I know the problem. The only solutions anyone can think of are pretty explicitly Socialist.

Mind you, I'm not saying there's no other solutions. I'm not saying those solutions aren't much better, more reasonable, more fair, closer to what Americans expect from their republic. Whatever else you can say.

I'm just saying that whatever that solution might be, no one's talking about it, so the rest of us are left thinking about the problem and our little brains only come up with solutions that can't be discussed in public, and the problem gets worse, while our leaders all completely ignore an enormous problem that everyone sees coming.

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