I’ve posted earlier discussions with the author of Rise of the Robots before (Australia ABC radio, Sept 2015 and NPR, May 2015) but the latest has a timely dialogue about jobs and the incursion of smart machines.
The automated workplace is a huge and basic threat to the economy when the social contract of payment to workers for tasks performed becomes more broadly undermined. We seem to be seeing the beginning stages now in the jobless recovery, which is partially caused by businesses turning to machines to survive the hard times of the recession:
Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.
These forecasts are rather alarming and seem worthy of attention in Washington. But the people’s representatives are asleep as the future economy is headed off a cliff.
Government needs to wake up and smell the technological unemployment — something that has not happened in Washington, where the same old prescriptions are dragged out with no understanding of the new age of automation.
There are no easy fixes, but certainly the first thing to do is slash immigration severely, because America won’t require foreign workers for the mythical “jobs Americans won’t do” — citizens will need those jobs.
Today, robots are increasingly handling many jobs in manufacturing that were done by human hands not more than 20 years ago. This sea change has affected a variety of industries, and it’s one reason why the jobs recovery of the past few years hasn’t included as many manufacturing jobs. Those jobs weren’t just destroyed — they were lost to smart machines.
But while we’re living in a time when computer programs already dominate Wall Street, and when driverless cars and delivery drones are moving from science fiction to mundane fact, those developments may be just the tip of the iceberg. Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, recently appeared on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111 to talk about how the robot revolution has affected businesses in a host of industries, what it means for jobs in the years ahead, and what other surprises might be on the horizon.
An edited transcript of the conversation appears below.
Knowledge@Wharton: We’ve seen these changes going on. Where does your concern lie for the future?
Martin Ford: It’s really across the board. Traditionally, robots have been in factories, but I think that over the next 10 to 20 years, automation in the form of robots, smart software and machine learning is really going to invade pretty much across the board. It’s going to start impacting jobs at all skill levels. It’s not just going to be about low-wage people who don’t have lots of education. It’s really starting to impact also professional jobs.
Knowledge@Wharton: For years, when you did have robots involved, they were viewed as a supplement to the workers, but that clearly isn’t the case now in some areas. From what you’re saying, we’re going to see this even more going forward.
Ford: That’s right. I really think we’re in the midst of a transition where in the past, machines have always been tools that have been used by people and made those people more productive, but increasingly, the technology is really becoming a replacement or a substitute for more and more workers. That’s going to be a huge issue over the coming decade.
Knowledge@Wharton: Based on the level of adoption by businesses so far, what has been the effect on the economy? It’s probably somewhat marginal at this point, but it’s certainly going to be growing.
Ford: That’s right. Clearly, we have not seen actual massive unemployment as a result of this. That’s obvious. But what we have seen is, for decades now, wages have been stagnant, and even now, as the economy has been recovering and we’ve seen the unemployment rate falling, we haven’t seen anything in terms of wage increases. I do think that technology is probably one of the main forces that’s driving that stagnation of wages. It’s important to note the way that stagnation is happening — even as, over the long run, productivity has continued to increase. We see this decoupling of productivity and wages that really points to this transition that’s unfolding.
Knowledge@Wharton: You work in software development, so this is an area that you have focused on professionally for quite some time. How quickly are we going to see this continue to grow? I was watching a segment on a TV show earlier today where they were showing off a driverless pick-up truck. That technology is getting closer and closer to being a part of our everyday life.
Ford: That’s right. All of this is subject to a continuing acceleration, and for that reason, it’s going to unfold at a rate that may surprise us. To take the example of driverless cars: It’s just a few years ago — really, back in 2009 — that I wrote my first book on this topic, and I never imagined at that time that driverless cars would be feasible any time soon. It seemed like an almost impossible task, even to me. Yet now, virtually every auto manufacturer, as well as a whole bunch of companies that haven’t traditionally been in the car industry, are working on this, and it’s looking like it’s going to be feasible within 10, 15 years, at least. So it’s pretty amazing how fast things are moving. Continue reading this article
Tuesday was International Women’s Day, but European women aren’t feeling very empowered since the continent has been opened to misogynist Muslim barbarians. Normal standards of safety have been wiped out in months by gangs of allah’s enforcers who want Islamic sharia law forced upon Europe. Under Muslim rules, women stay home and out of public spaces because they are believed to be subhuman. Free western women who act like citizens are seen as whores who deserve to be raped.
Police in Östersund in northern Sweden have warned women about being out on their own after dark, but the city’s mayor has trashed the idea.
Officers in Östersund first advised women not to walk around on their own at night, during at press conference on Monday, explaining that there had been at least six reports of violence against women in the area since February 20th.
“Now the police are going out and warning women against travelling alone in the city. We have seen a worrying trend,” regional police chief Stephen Jerand told Swedish media.
How is this not an invasion? Millions of foreigners have entered, captured territory (no-go zones) and enforced their culture (sharia) upon citizens of the receiving nation.
America should learn from Europe’s mistakes and forget about admitting unscreenable Syrian “refugees” and end Muslim immigration altogether. President Roosevelt didn’t issue Nazi visas during WWII.
More on Sweden’s anarchy below. It foolishly invited all of Syria to come live there in 2013. Generous liberals should be careful of what they wish for. A society can have women rights and safety, or it can have Muslim diversity — but not both.
“Almost every Swedish woman feels very or somewhat unsafe when they exercise alone in the dark”, finds new research by the Aftonbladet newspaper in the wake of the migrant rape crisis.
Combining a wide-ranging study of attitudes of women towards being outside in the evening on their own and personal interviews, the findings show that the statement of 34-year-old Ellinor Andersson that she carried a bunch of keys in her hand at night, ready to strike out, are quite normal.
Talking to Aftonbladet, the woman said: “I would never go running by myself on a Friday or a Saturday night”. Another said she would never go out alone after seven in the evening.
The survey finds that now 46 per cent of women aged 16 or over felt either very or somewhat unsafe when they are alone in the dark, compared to just 20 per cent for men. Even during the daytime many are uncomfortable, the results also show 43 per cent felt insecure while in a city on their own, and around a third were “afraid” of Swedish cities”.
Many women were so afraid of trying to get home in the dark, they would go to lengths to avoid it. Almost one third said they’d rather stay at a friend’s house overnight than try and get home, should they be caught out by the falling sun. Continue reading this article
The latest analysis of Census data from Center for Immigration Studies hardly needs any words, since the basic graphic tells all:
Obama’s promise to “fundamentally change America” looks moderately successful but really is a late-comer’s claim to have created something that has actually been building for decades: the deed was done by 1965 immigration legislation and the demographic effects have been accumulating ever since. The evil changes Obama has managed to push through have only been possible because the nation is becoming increasingly less American.
It’s useful that the CIS count includes the minor children of immigrants as well as the newcomers themselves: the offspring are a difficult group, being neither fish nor fowl, neither foreign nor culturally American after growing up in an immigrant household. Their split identity causes a number to turn to gang formation, a fact which sociologists have noticed. The same anti-assimilation urge also shows up in jihad activities among young Muslims.
In December 2015 there were 61 million immigrants (legal and illegal) and U.S.-born children under age 18 with at least one immigrant parent living in the United States.
Immigrants allowed into the country legally and their children account for three-fourths (45.3 million) of all immigrants and their children.
Almost one in five U.S. residents is now an immigrant or minor child of an immigrant parent.
The numbers represent a complete break with the recent history of the United States. As recently as 1970, there were only 13.5 million immigrants and their young children in the country, accounting for one in 15 U.S. residents.
Just since 2000, the number of immigrants and their children has increased by 18.4 million.
The number of immigrants and their young children grew six times faster than the nation’s total population from 1970 to 2015 — 353 percent vs. 59 percent.
Does this poll show the Trump effect of freeing citizens from the shackles of political correctness around immigration speech? Elites shout down the little citizens by calling them racist when they complain about open borders and endless immigration, but Donald Trump has changed the narrative absolutely.
Trump may not be the ideal messenger for political ideas, but his outspokenness on topics of immigration and sovereignty has been a needed restorative to the national dialogue.
The article unfortunately veers into typical liberal spin, calling the findings “sour.” Perhaps if journalist visas were passed into law, the Bloomberg author might get a clue.
Sixty-one percent of Americans agree that “continued immigration into the country jeopardizes the United States,” according to a new poll commissioned by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney that revealed pessimism across a wide range of issues.
The degree of concern is remarkable considering that the question was about all immigration, including the legal kind. Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he supports legal immigration into the U.S.
A.T. Kearney gave Bloomberg Businessweek an exclusive first look at the results of the survey, which covers 2,590 respondents and is part of an America@250 study that’s intended to gauge the nation’s direction with 10 years to go before its 250th birthday. The study, which will be posted online later this month, was conducted last October and November by NPD Group. Continue reading this article
Sunday’s Washington Post had a feature about a small Texas town where nearly all the elected officials have been arrested for corruption. Crystal City, population 7190 (2010 Census), is located 35 miles from the Mexico border.
Another important statistic: the town is 97 percent hispanic. The Mexican influence is strong there, given the cultural backgrounds of many, plus the proximity to the border with its well financed drug cartels who pay to have favors performed.
CRYSTAL CITY — Packs of dogs roam the streets in this small town about 120 miles outside of San Antonio, and dozens of vacant homes and businesses have their windows barred or boarded. The city council, which is supposed to run the government, has only one member not facing federal criminal charges, and the city manager, also charged, has been suspended. In recent weeks, the water from some residents’ faucets gushed out black.
“It’s, like, this poor town,” said Tomasa Salas, 55, as she waited in front of city hall to pick up plastic jugs of water. “There is good here, too. You just got to dig really deep to find it.”
The confluence of poverty and suspected political corruption have made Crystal City a national emblem of a small town gone bad, a place where nepotism festered for so long that the FBI had to bring in nearly 100 agents to clean it up.
“If this is a wake-up call for all other towns and cities and other municipal areas, thank God,” said Councilman Joel Barajas, the only council member not to face a federal charge.
The FBI has long waged a war against corruption in small towns across the country, but the problem seems to have grown particularly acute in the southern and western parts of Texas. In recent years, the feds have charged county officials involved in bid-rigging and kickback schemes, law enforcement officers who sold drugs they seized to other traffickers and even a state judge who took bribes for favorable rulings. The FBI’s San Antonio Division launched 23 public corruption investigations in 2012, 51 in 2013 and 64 in 2014, authorities said.
In Crystal City, federal prosecutors alleged in early February that the majority of the council members were engaged in a conspiracy to help one another take bribes from those wanting to do business with the government, and one had an illicit side project: transporting illegal immigrants.
Rob Saale, an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s San Antonio Division, said authorities in southern Texas are battling a “perfect storm” of factors that contribute to government malfeasance. The small cities are close to the border – where Mexican drug traffickers will pay officials to facilitate their trade – and the residents are generally poor. The median household income in Crystal City, according to the most recent census data, is $24,503. When money flows in from traffickers, state grants or other sources, Saale said, elected leaders, who are unpaid for their duties, are tempted to take a cut.
But if the pope doesn’t care about the survival of Europe in a recognizable form, he might think about his personal longevity, since there is a big jihad target painted on his cassock. As Islam scholar Robert Spencer has pointed out, a major goal of Islam, as instructed by Mohammed, is to conquer Rome, meaning the Vatican. In fact, media-hip ISIS hopes to live-stream the beheading of the pope in St. Peter’s Square. Muslims conquered Constantinople (the eastern capital of Christianity) in 1453, and Rome is on jihadis’ to-do list for the near future. For details, see my 2015 blog: Robert Spencer: A Goal of ISIS Is to Conquer Rome in Five Years.
Despite the immediate horrific threat that Islam poses to the West, the pope worries about a shrinking population in Europe even if the empty cradles are filled by Islamic babies rather than Christian, according to DW:
Europe risks becoming an “empty place” by forgetting its history and neglecting cultural exchange, said Pope Francis. The pontiff lashed out at the rise of populism, saying ideologies are the “poison of politics.”
Pope Francis said Europe must not neglect its historical roots of cultural exchange in reference to the wave of migration from the Middle East to the EU, in comments published on Friday by the Vatican’s official daily Italian-language newspaper “L’Ossevatore Romano.”
“If Europe wants to rejuvenate itself, it must rediscover its cultural roots … But forgetting its own history, Europe weakens itself. And that’s when it risks becoming an empty place,” the pope told Jean-Pierre Denis, editor-in-chief of the French magazine “La Vie.”
“Today, we can speak of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact,” the pope said in response to a question on why he believes Europe risks becoming an “empty place.” He immediately added that anyone looking for a “‘great change’ — those dearest to the far-right — will remain disappointed.” Continue reading this article
Leo Perrero is becoming the face of the American IT worker fired and then forced to train his foreign replacement or else lose his severance package. A few months after being rudely laid off by Disney Corp, he appeared on a local station in Florida. On Friday, he discussed the issue with Lou Dobbs.
Former Disney employee Leo Perrero after his termination.
Despite calls for reform of the “loopholes” of the H-1b visas, the cheap-labor pipeline has remained remarkably stubborn against being fixed. After all, the program is a favorite of powerful tech billionaires.
Last week, Leo Perrero discussed the H-1b situation with Lou Dobbs, who is knowledgeable about immigration. Perrero appeared with Sarah Blackwell, his attorney in a class-action suit against Disney over their use of the visa to fire Americans. He sounded upbeat about how events were moving — perhaps unduly so, given the history — but it’s good to be hopeful.
LOU DOBBS: My next guests are embroiled in a battle against the Walt Disney Company, a legal battle, joining us, Leo Perrero, one of about 250 Disney IT workers losing their jobs in Florida replaced by foreign workers with H-1b visas and at lower wages and forced to train his replacement. Also joining us as Mr. Perrero’s attorney, Sarah Blackwell. She’s filed a federal lawsuit against Disney and two global consulting companies. Sarah, great to have you with us.
Leo, I have been covering the issue of outsourcing and offshoring, but IT becomes insourcing, if you will, of firms like these consulting companies that have become shells for the outsourcing of American middle-class jobs. How did you react when you were before Congress and you’ve known this battle has been going for so long and so little has been done?
LEO PERRERO: Well, on one front I’m really excited about the progress has been made over the past year with Sarah and few others that are banding together. IT workers getting together, we are making a difference. We’ve had three bills introduced by Congress; we have a state now that is proposing its own rules.
DOBBS: What state is that?
DOBBS: Which companies have been stopped?
PERRERO: Well, Disney stopped 30 other IT workers from being displaced in New York by ABC. There are also probably countless others that hopefully have been stopped that we just haven’t heard about; and there are some ongoing companies doing this right now as we speak. We have senators that are going after those companies as well. Continue reading this article
There’s no better way to “fundamentally change” America, as Obama promised, than to open wide the gates to historic enemies, in particular to Muslims who have been at war with Western civilization for a millennium. Why else would he welcome hundreds of thousands of foreigners whom FBI Director Comey says cannot be screened?
The proposed increase is no surprise though: last September Secretary of State Kerry announced the US “will significantly increase our numbers for refugee resettlement in the course of this next year and the year after.”
President Barack Obama has been quietly pushing new plans to bring thousands of additional Syrian refugees into the country, despite the concerns of state and county officials and the outrages committed by welfare-dependent migrants in Europe.
Obama’s special assistant to the president for immigration policy, Felicia Escobar, recently announced plans to increase America’s intake of migrants, according to the Washington Examiner.
“We want to make sure that we can increase our numbers of refugees that are able to settle here,” Escobar said. “The need globally is so, so, so massive right now, given all the displacement and conflict around the world, but we also know that we have to do it in a way that’s smart.”
Federal law already allows the administration to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees a year, but many states and local county administrations have complained that once the Obama administration places refugees among them, few resources are available to deal with them.
Things are moving along expeditiously in Sweden. As is often the case, the spin is designed to distract from eventual job destruction. The garbage project is touted as a “fun thought experiment” about the future of automation rather than a long-term scheme to get rid of expensive human workers. The robots will be helpers and make the job easier for the humans! Don’t worry, little workers!
The research appears quite serious: it is a partnership of the Volvo company, three universities (including Penn State) and a waste recycling company. The Volvo Group found a fresh young student, Daniel Adolfsson, to explain what’s up with the robot project — so unthreatening:
As it happens, garbage collector can be a well paying job, given the right union representation. CNN reported on February 24 about The $100,000 job: Garbage workers. That’s on the high side, but the job normally pays decently because of its physical unpleasantness, including terrible hours and stinky materials that must be handled. And it doesn’t require graduation from high school.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2014, 115,170 persons were employed as Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors. The mean annual wage is listed as $36,030. A posting on unpleasant jobs puts the average California wage at $16.04/hour but notes that in some places, the overtime can bring a tidy $60K.
Cost-cutters would love to see those wages go away. Automation looks nice on the budgetary side when incoming cash is decreasing and economic growth is slowing, but part of the reason for that shrinkage is because ”Smart machines mean slowing the creation of jobs” according to economist Peter Morici. A robust economy requires a strong market, and that means workers getting paychecks.
There’s not a lot that can be done to forestall the automation juggernaut, but Washington can at least end the importation of millions of immigrant workers. They are not required now or in the future. America needs ZERO immigrant workers, because citizens will want the remaining jobs.
We recently wrote about ROAR: RObot-based Autonomous Refuse Handling. The vision for the project is to eliminate the need for humans to perform heavy-lifting during garbage collection. The system has two main parts: robots that can transport trash bins and a connected garbage truck where a garbage man controls the robots on a dashboard.
Now, the results are in: The proof of concept worked. Students from three universities collaborated with the Volvo Group and the waste recycling company, Renova. The company recently unveiled a video testing the project.
Here’s how this system would operate in the real world.
A drone on the roof of the refuse truck scans the area and assists the robot to find the bins:
It picks up your garbage, and it takes it to the truck.
The robots don’t look like humanoids, but this is just the prototype testing phase. The purpose of ROAR is to demonstrate how we, in the near future, will use smart machines to assist with a broad range of activities in society. This technology can be applied in many areas. The collection of waste is just one example.
The German project of welcoming more than a million Middle Eastern refugees and moocher illegal aliens has been a huge mess and portends a continent-wide disaster in coming years.
As it turns out, Muslims as a group aren’t nice people and they certainly don’t want to assimilate to European values of freedom and order. The latest symptom of Islam’s innate hostility is the attack on Christian Iraqis housed in a refugee center, who were apparently minding their own business when Muslims proceeded to beat them up just for being Christians and reading the Bible.
Do Germans realize what vipers they have brought into their midst? Do Muslims understand that in relocating to Europe, they have placed themselves in societies that are built on Christian history and culture? Even people who don’t go to church and study the Bible still retain the cultural effects of a millennia of society based on practicing Christianity.
This can’t work out well.
NEWSPERSON: Beaten because they read the Bible. Right here in Germany. Hoping for peace, six Christians from Iran fled to Germany. Now they are being attacked here as well for their religion. In their refugee home.
CHRISTIAN MAN: The Muslims came to our room, and they beat us because we are Christians.
CHRISTIAN IN PLAID SHIRT: I wanted to mediate, so they beat me too.
VOICEOVER: Violent conflicts, not an isolated incident in the refugee home in Tempelhof in Berlin. But the fact that it’s not always about waiting in line for food is often being swept under the carpet. More disturbing, this current case. A small group of Iranians are in fear of their lives, when according to their own estimations, about 70 Muslims attack them, all because as Christians they read the Bible and wear a cross around their neck.
CHRISTIAN IN PLAID SHIRT: I was sleeping and suddenly the Muslims were in our room, and they started to beat us.
CHRISTIAN MAN: I was afraid for my life as they pounced on me, and I thought, this is it for me. I thought, how am I going to get out of this here? Continue reading this article
Earlier this month, Politico described the struggle: Jeff Sessions Torn Between Trump, Cruz, noting his comment then: “I don’t have any plans. I have no agenda to make any announcement any time soon.”
But now the Senator from Alabama has made his choice, and unlike most political endorsements, this one counts for something, particularly among people who reject open borders and economic globalization. It is a major rebuff to Ted Cruz, his partner in the Senate on important legislation. Also, I take it to mean Sessions thinks the country is very deep in a hole and needs someone outside to corrupt system of legal bribery, where the wealthy oligarchs buy political representation. Will Rogers called America’s legislature “the best Congress money can buy” and it has only gotten worse in the decades since.
Donald Trump, for all his rough edges, is a free man because he is rich. He doesn’t need to scrounge cash with strings attached from the powerful to finance his political campaign. The elites like the billions of dollars they are making from looting the corpse of the American economy, but the little citizens have had their pockets picked in the process and they are angry about it.
TRUMP: When I talk about illegal immigration and all the problems with crime and everything else, I think of a great man and I want to just introduce you to him for a second. You know who I’m talking about — who am I talking about?
Nobody knows right now because we’ve kept it a surprise. Senator Jeff Sessions!
[Crowds cheers loudly.]
SESSIONS: Wow, what a crowd this is. I told Donald Trump this isn’t a campaign, this is a movement. Look at what’s happening. The American people are not happy with their government. Though some say you just need to let the people calm down a little bit, they’ll forget it then they’ll let it all go. Will you forget it? No, we should not. There is an opportunity this year — Tuesday. And we have the opportunity Tuesday, and it may be the last opportunity we have for the people’s voice to be heard. You have asked for 30 years, and politicians have promised for 30 years to fix illegal immigration. Have they done it?
SESSIONS: Donald Trump will do it. You the American people have known for years these trade agreements have not been working for them. We now will soon have a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama trade and it will damage America. It will create a commission and undermine our sovereignty, and it should not pass. Donald Trump, when he gets elected president, will see that it does not pass.
This movement — it doesn’t take money from political groups and lobbyists he is committed to leading this country in an effective way. You know nobody’s perfect , and we can’t have everything want, Mr. Trump, but this time in my opinion in my best judgement, this time in American history, we need to Make America Great Again. [Sessions puts on Trump hat]
CROWD: USA, USA!
SESSIONS: Thank you all. I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for the Presidency of the United States. I believe there is a movement afoot that must not fade away. It has the potential to have the American people’s voices heard for a change. The bosses are you. The people in Washington are the public servants; they serve you. And we haven’t had enough of that.
Here’s snapshot of the new Germany after it has been invaded by foreign savages: in the northern city of Kiel, three high-school-aged girls were having an early dinner in a harbor-area restaurant and were mobbed by hostile foreign men. Two Afghans had filmed the girls and sent the videos to their like-minded associates via social media, and soon 30 men showed up to threaten the German girls.
Muslim illegal aliens may be enormously barbaric toward women, but they are not stupid when it comes to using technology to navigate their way through Europe. In fact, the smartphone has been an essential for finding resources for the successful invasion. Now the aliens are using social media to press their demands for sharia values in the territory eyed for total conquest.
What’s next? Muslims kidnapping German Christian girls, as happens in Egypt and Pakistan?
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