If you ever took a moment to think about automation, you must have wondered how are the poor and uneducated and unskilled going to live going forward?
In just a few years, all across America, a whole slew of jobs which previously provided bread, (if no butter), to the poorest, least educated and unskilled Americans have been wiped out by automation.
This is in addition to the factory jobs which had earlier disappeared and mining jobs which had also dwindled as a consequence of outsourcing and changing environmental attitudes.
Supermarket cashiers, toll collectors, Fewer bank-tellers, Librarians, secretaries, typists, executive assistants, and so much more, those jobs have disappeared, or, are all but gone from the economy.
As the population increases and jobs which requires manual labor becomes fewer, the situation inexorably becomes direr.
We are once again in an election cycle, and as candidates jockey for position in front of the cameras, not a single Democrat save one, (Andrew Yang), a virtual unknown or the right-wing extremist in the white house has broached the subject of what do to about this inevitable train wreck.
This economy has been on an upward tear after President Barack Obama averted a collapse in 2008. Experts of all kinds have predicted that a downturn is imminent.
In fact, the job-growth trajectory under the present occupant of the white house has been lower than what obtained under President Obama’s leadership, despite the lies and propaganda to the contrary.
This period of job growth will not continue for much longer according to many experts.
In 2018 the New York Post, a publication not known to be a bulwark of left-wing ideology, predicted that the next crash will be worse than the great depression. I hope they are wrong.
In May of 2018, (Mynorthwest) warned the next major recession may be just around the corner. A 2020 recession is emerging as the most likely time-frame, the publication warned.
For the segment of the population, which has diversified portfolios or have high paying tech jobs, a potential economic downturn may not be as frightening, as it will be for the poorer less educated in the society.
What that means in a nutshell, is that African-Americans, Latinos and poor whites will immediately be impacted.
As the saying goes, black people are always the last hired and the first fired. Make no mistake about it, the next major economic downturn will be devastating to African-Americans, the most vulnerable in society are always the hardest hit.
As devastating as the next recession/depression will be, it will pale in comparison to what actually awaits the African-American, Latino and yes the poor white communities.
MY SHOCKING PREDICTION
Since neither political party has seen fit to address the freight train barrelling down the track, we are left to conclude that they already have a strategy in place which does not require input from the masses, the segment of the society which will inevitably be impacted the hardest and quickest.
Over the years there have been many conspiracy theories about the intention of the Federal Government as it relates to the American masses. Some people deemed (kooks and crazies) have already built bunkers and have stockpiled food, water, and other necessities they believe will allow them to survive whatever they deduce will be forthcoming.
Some have argued that FEMA, the Federal agency which is tasked with disaster relief coördination, has a secret agenda which will involve hundreds of thousands all herded into camps on the instructions of the government.
Some have pointed to the militarization of the thousands of police departments across the country and the decidedly more aggressive stance the police have taken, particularly in the black community.
Many have scoffed at these ideas and labeled those who believe that these things are possible, [conspiracy theorists].
To others, this is no laughing matter. What if, just what if, this is no laughing matter? What if the strategy is actually to put mass incarceration on steroids?
After the Emancipation of Black people from the oppression of slavery African-Americans were to experience a reign of governmental terror many argue was worse than slavery itself. If one can imagine the indignity of servitude where one can be treated any way or disposed of as chattel or property, the period of reconstruction was more horrific for black people in America.
In October of 2016 writing for the Huffington Post, Aristotle Jones wrote, Slavery was abolished in 1865 with the end of the Civil war and passing of the 13th amendment. The racial caste in the United States should have ended as well. However, the idea of race as a marker of value continued. After reconstruction, the majority of whites during this time believed newly freed African Americans were too lazy to work, which surged legislators to pass the black codes. This was essentially a system of white control. These codes varied from state to state, but were rooted from slavery, and they foreshadowed Jim Crow laws to come. For example, employment was required for all freedman; violators faced vagrancy charges, they were not taught to read or write, and public facilities were segregated. Within Reconstruction and Its Benefits, W.E.B. Du Bois says, “The codes spoke for themselves… No opened minded student can read them without being convinced they meant nothing more nor less than slavery.” Clearly, the black code’s intentions were to treat and see African-Americans as property, not persons. Furthermore, the black codes were intended to secure a steady supply of cheap labor, and continued to assume the inferiority of the freed slaves.
Even with crime going down overall across America the Government has continued to build prisons.
According to the latest FBI report of Crime in the United States, the nation’s toll of serious violent and property offenses dipped in 2017 over the previous year. As compared with 2016, the violent crime rate per 100,000 population declined by .9 percent, including a 1.4 percent drop in homicide (which would have been a 1.8 percent reduction were it not for the act of one individual last October in Las Vegas). Meanwhile, the decline in property crime was even more pronounced with a 3.6 percent lower rate per 100,000 population. (USA TODAY)
According to the [Sentencing Project], The United States has the world’s largest private prison population. Of the 1.5 million people in state and federal prisons in 2016, 8.5 percent, or 128,063, were incarcerated in private prisons.1)Another 26,249 people ‑73 percent of all people in immigration detention- were confined in privately-run facilities on a daily basis during the fiscal year 2017.
And so it’s not like there has not been American precedent for locking up black people as a strategy. The present situation at the Southern border of the United States and the government’s response to it may only be a test run.
Children and adults seeking asylum locked in cages and forced to live in their own feces have elicited no outrage from a huge chunk of the population.
For those people, no life matters unless they are white lives. For the 35 – 40 million African-Americans living in America, a reckoning is coming and it will not be good.
Unfortunately for poor whites, their situation will hardly be any different. As jobs become increasingly more difficult to find, those on the lower end of the economic spectrum will be forced to resort to survival tactics.
Simply put, crime will increase and mass incarceration will explode. That explains the silence on the consequences of automation.
In a 2017 article for the (Intercept) Journalist, Alice Speri writes, “It is not uncommon for residents of America’s most heavily policed neighborhoods to describe their local cops as “an occupying force.” Judging by where many U.S. police forces get their training, the description seems apt. Thousands of American law enforcement officers frequently travel for training to one of the few countries where policing and militarism are even more deeply intertwined than they are here: Israel.“
Read her article here: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/15/police-israel-cops-training-adl-human-rights-abuses-dc-washington/
It is not that both political parties are oblivious to these realities, they do know. The Republican party which is the white supremacist party and the party of the rich and powerful have been building jails to warehouse poor people of color. For them, it is par for the course. The increasing militarization of the thousands of police forces across the country serves that end.
As for the Democrats, they can’t even decide on a strategy on which to contest Donald Trump much less agree that their base, the most vulnerable Americans are at great risk.
In the same way that Democrats managed to lose the so-called blue-collar unionized workers to Donald Trump, so too will the party lose its most loyal base, African-Americans, only this time it will be for keeps.
Yang’s proposal is to provide $1,000 per month ($12,000 a year) to each adult citizen. A core feature of the Freedom Dividend is that individuals would need to choose between their current government benefits and the Freedom Dividend.
This is a concept which has started to take root in western Europe in response to the effects automation and outsourcing has had on their populations.
It is safe to bet that this plan will not fly in America, a nation which did not use its tremendous wealth to uplift all its people.
Not even those to whom it owed a tremendous debt for their hundreds of years of forced servitude, or from those from whom they stole the land.