Robots taking jobs - Social Revolution



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The Government failed U.S. workers on Global Trade and Democrats lost the Election.  It must do better on Autonomous, AI, Robotic technology.

 Self-driving vehicles will  disrupt the economy by replacing 3.5 million human drivers.

New inventions that are imminent will transform the lives of billions of people yet should be for the better.

But, as we see in the 2016 U.S. election campaign, and as we have seen in Europe and elsewhere, rapid change has a dark side. If too many people are unable to adapt quickly and successfully to these changes, they will push back – blaming trade or immigrants or the elites (or rightfully, politicians ) – and demand a reversion to a simpler time.

  Greedy, Outsourcing Corporations , (insensitive to the needs of their US workers), where there is no:
• minimum wage,
• unions,
• healthcare,
• workers comp. ,
• EPA environmental standards,
• work standards,
• legal recourse,
• controlled currency.

The task of governments is to help people manage these transformations so that they benefit many and do as little harm as possible.  In the United States, governments mostly failed at that task during the era of Globalization;  -- they will have to do much better this time around, especially with a President and Republicans that wants to get rid of Common Core and might even eliminate the Department of Education.

Many people lost well-paid manufacturing jobs to import competition from Outsourcing, and the U.S. government has made little effort to stop it, even in worker retraining. Most of the recent jobs increases are low-paying service jobs. In 40 years there won't be that many jobs left - other than technical and creative.

Today, the United States spends a smaller proportion of its wealth on worker retraining than any of the other 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development except for Mexico and Chile. Yet more than half of the workforce will be INCAPABLE of doing the remaining jobs -- no matter how much training they get

Too often, the attitude of the U.S. government has been deeply irresponsible, assuming that markets would simply sort everything out for the best.

We know well in advance exactly what is coming.   Driverless trucks can run 24 hours a day and won’t demand overtime pay.  There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, and an additional 5.5 million jobs in related industries –  one in every 15 American workers.  They could perhaps go to work for UPS or deliver pizzas, but many of those delivery jobs will be lost to robots, eventually (and maybe drones).

The “automation bomb” could destroy 45 percent of the jobs in the United States,  about $2 trillion in annual wages. 60% of occupations could soon see machines doing 30% or more of the work.

bullet90% of what welders, cutters, solderers and brazers do.”
bulletIn food service and accommodations, 73% of the work could be performed by machines.
bulletIn retailing, 53% of current jobs could be lost.
bullet66% of jobs in banking and insurance could be replaced by AI and APs.


bulletPersonal-care robots will increasingly replace home health-care aides, and
bulletself-checkout machines are already replacing retail-store clerks;
bulletsoon they will be flipping burgers;
bulletthese are jobs that filled some of the gap left by the disappearance of manufacturing jobs to global competition, but they, too, will soon be under siege.  Automation is even hitting law and education.

These vulnerabilities necessitate something that too often was absent in the era of Globalization: good public policies:- 

bulletAnd one of these needs to be something like a UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME !

Much more than Globalization, Technology is going to create upheaval and destroy jobs.  This can be for the better, helping us create new and more interesting jobs or freeing up time for leisure and creative pursuits.  But unless we find ways to share the prosperity and help Americans adapt to the coming changes, many could be left worse off than they are.  And, as we have seen this year, that is a recipe for an angry backlash—and political upheaval -- and revolution. (maybe even Arab Spring or Cambodia style ! )

Unless we strengthen social safety nets and retraining, there will be far too many losers in the labor market.  Corporations, implementing and profiting from robots, need to help pay for this !!! There is no way to avoid the huge impact that technology will have on employment; we have to prepare for it and help those whose skills it antiquates. But it's not possible to turn everyone in the US workforce into some high tech worker.

Edward Alden is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy.

Keep UTILITY COMPANIES in business (or nationalize them) as solar and wind take over and stop them from slowing progress, essential to fixing Climate Change.