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Tucker Notes Automation’s Effect on Need for Immigrant Workers

On Tuesday, Tucker Carlson had a rapid-fire interview with billionaire Mark Cuban who thinks he might challenge President Trump in the 2020 Republican primary. Cuban bragged on how he can use his technological expertise to solve government problems, but he shrunk into nonsense at an automation question with an obvious answer:

MARK CUBAN: We need to find ways to reduce the cost of those entitlements while maintaining the same level of care. I’m a tech guy, and the reality is I would focus on creating technology solutions. I have investments that I see myself where it can have an impact. I think there’s a way that we can reduce the size of government, the size of bureaucracy that deals with healthcare but it’s going to take somebody who understands technology that can introduce technology to find those solutions, and I think it can happen relatively quickly.

TUCKER CARLSON: You definitely understand technology and you’ve been one of the people, to your great credit, who’s been sounding the alarm about automation’s effect on employment: you said robots are basically going to kill a lot of jobs; I think you’re right. Given that, is allowing about a million low-wage low-skilled workers into the country every year legally is that a good idea? Is that the right level of immigration?

CUBAN: You know what, you can argue both sides of that, Tucker, I’m not, I don’t have all the data to make the final decision, but on one hand you can say that it takes jobs away from people who need them the most. On the other hand, because of the demographic trends you can say we need people to fill certain jobs, you know if you look at agriculture, there’s jobs that are going unfilled, so you know there’s arguments for both sides. I’m not ready to come to a conclusion.

Wait, this guy is presenting himself as the successful tech expert and he thinks that America still needs Mexicans to pick crops [1]? Hardly, at least not in the near future. Advances in agricultural robots make immigrant farm labor obsolete [2].

The future of agriculture is automated.

And if Cuban really is familiar with automation-caused job loss, he must certainly be aware of expert projections about the topic which are rather grim. Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable [3] to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years [4] humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025 [5]. The consultancy firm PwC published a report earlier this year that forecast robots could take 38 percent of US jobs by 2030 [6].

At least Tucker Carlson is connecting the dots between automation and the alleged need for immigrant workers in the automated future.

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