When I last left off I was talking about the impact of globalization and the “new economy” on the surge of racism in our country, but let’s not forget technology and the automation it’s spawned. Just as we talk about humankind losing control of our technology, robots and all of that, we’ve already lost control of the downstream impacts of that technology.
What is a substantial portion of the population that increasingly lacks a job, along with their self respect, supposed to do? There’s endless talk of “retraining,” but there simply aren’t enough good jobs to be trained for. More importantly, we need to acknowledge that a lot of people don’t have aptitude for jobs in the “new economy.” People have different skills and abilities, and everyone isn’t suited to be a tech wizard, this 19 th century boy included!
The government statistics may show less than 4% unemployment, but who are we kidding? Everybody with a lick of sense knows the situation isn’t as rosy as that. The old jobs that used to support a family are gone. Many people aren’t making nearly as much money as they used to, and a substantial number are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. These unfortunate victims of the new economy like to hope that in time—and seemingly through the magic of President Trump—their circumstances will improve. But despite the President’s silly promises to bring jobs back to America, we all know it isn’t going to happen. Even if the President were sincere and well-intentioned, which he most certainly isn’t, globalization is long- since out of the bag, and even if it wasn’t, automation and technology are the far greater culprits. More about this sad state of affairs next time.