[courtesy Google Images]
Here’s an 8 minute video that has nothing to do with the law and–at first glance–not much to do with the economy. But it has lots to do with the economy because it demonstrates that, thanks to computerization, automation and robotization, the need for truck drivers, chauffeurs, deliverymen, etc. , is going to shrink and perhaps disappear over the next few years.
Caterpillar is automating trucks the size of your house and eliminating their drivers. So long as the technology works, it will undoubtedly be safer, more reliable and less costly than using trucks that include drivers.
But what’s going to happen to the drivers? Will they be trained to become systems’ analysts, rocket scientists or medical doctors? Or will they become permanently unemployed?
There’s a fundamental problem with robotics, automation and computers. The first people to be replaced by robots will be those who are least intelligent and who have heretofore had fairly menial jobs. But, as menial occupations are increasingly filled by robots and automation, where will menial workers find new jobs?
Increasingly, they won’t find new jobs. The first jobs taken by robots will be from people who lack the intelligence to get better jobs. Then what? They don’t have to work? They just live on welfare? I guarantee that the people and companies who own robots will scream about the injustice of having to pay high taxes to subsidize the people who can no longer compete with the robots. The people who own robots will be rich. Congress will listen to them, cater to them. Congress will pass laws to cut welfare payments to former menial employees and may even seek to pass laws to eliminate the “menials”.
The menials will suffer, riot or even die.
Read the rest of this entry »