It is past time for this to stop. It’s over. The past is past. Capture the future.
Instead of taking the racism, sexism, and misogyny coming from Trump supporters at face value, start by seeing much of it for what it is.
It’s a cry for help.
All the alternate careers they might have sought have been, or are being, closed off to them. Want to inherit your dad’s insurance agency? There is an app for that. Think you might own a repair shop? Computers aren’t worth repairing, and computers control other repairs. Did you ever dream about owning a small business? Forget it, people can get that from Amazon for less. How about being your own boss with a big rig, or a cab? No, cars are becoming self-driving. Factory work? Forget it, that’s all going to be done by robots.
If you’re thinking of teaching, that’s about to be destroyed as well. We can deliver the very best lectures in every subject via the cloud, and test with it as well. The only reason teachers are still working in our schools is because we disagree on what should be taught. Once we figure out the answer is to teach all of it, you’re gone. The unions that existed to maintain last year’s curriculum are already going.
The leaders of the tech industry themselves have echoed these sentiments, while doing nothing about them. Elon Musk says robots are going to take your jobs just as immigrants took your kids’ place in the good college and that job you might have gotten in construction. Musk is one of the most successful manufactures around right now. The factory work is done by robots.
Tech has done great for tech’s leaders. Tech has done great for the four corners of the country – for computing in Silicon Valley and Seattle, for entertainment in Los Angeles, for finance in New York and for lobbying in Washington.
The rest of the country has been trickled on, and unfortunately liberals, being big winners in the Obama economy, have been deaf. Too many still are.
The answer to Elon Musk’s warning that the robots are about to take all the jobs is simple.
Create new jobs.
Robots may be able to run most of the economy. They may be able to build and drive the cars. They may be able to take the orders of consumers and fulfill them. They may be able to anticipate orders and economic trends, even building stock portfolios better than people can.
My daughter, for instance, has been trying to get into urban ecology for a decade, but there are no jobs because no one is funding this important function in our society. Have you noticed how many wild animals are suddenly living in even our biggest cities? Coyote, deer, rabbits, hawks, pigs and more are taking over the urban and suburban ecology of America, because their own ecology has been destroyed in our desire for vacation homes.
As a result, evolution is working in reverse and accelerating in that direction because Americans ignore nature’s need for balance, favoring the cute over the useful. We need to study this, we need to educate ourselves, and we need to enforce new policies that will create a balance in the urban environment, between predator and prey, between human and animal, allow all as much space as they can get.
There are millions of jobs that can be created, right there.
Here are millions more. We’re all getting older. While Trump tries to build a wall against foreigners, we’re falling off a demographic cliff. Every day we get older, and every day we don’t die we need more help in getting around. There are millions of jobs to be created in keeping the basic functions of life going as we head into our 70s and 80s. Robots can help in some ways, but they need supervision, adult supervision. Those are the jobs I’m talking about. And those of us who are going through aging need humanity, far more than our parents and grandparents needed it. Provide that. Build a business model for that, a way to get paid for it.
Meanwhile, as we age, there are fewer-and-fewer people available to do what jobs there are. If we want to have a prosperous and healthy old age, we need all those robots to be working as hard as they can, creating wealth that we’ll use in just eating and breathing, entertaining our fraying minds and evacuating our bowels. Not to mention dealing with the common ailments of old age – diabetes, hypertension, cancer, dementia.
I haven’t even mentioned the fate of the planet yet, except tangentially. How are we to prevent this globe from throwing us off like a virus? How will we ameliorate the damage we know is coming, the damage we can’t prevent? We need new, non-polluting infrastructure, and we need it now.
Robots can’t do that. Robots can’t even figure out what’s wrong. Robots, and clouds, must be programmed. The problems you want to solve must be given to them, the instructions written out in code, before they can do anything. Even if they self-replicate, they’re just replicating themselves, they’re not evolving.
We need to evolve. We can. Yes, we can.
What does this have to do with beating Trump in 2017? Many of these problems, like the problem of urban ecology, lack business models. We need to demand that these jobs be done, and we need to demand the money to do these jobs with, on behalf of the people who will do them.
Those people, the essential people of the 2020s, are the people who now make up Trumpistan, the people who are lost in racism and misogyny because they lack hope and see no future.
Demand they get a future. Demand they be given those careers, even if people like Elon Musk must be taxed for those careers to happen.
From the war between TechLand and Trumpistan, it is time to create a more perfect union. That is the political task or our time.