By LtCol Forrest R. Lindsey USMC (ret), staff writer
Hardly a day goes by without some new article describing the very rapid advance of automation in our lives. As it is right now, more and more manufacturing is done using computer-controlled machining and robots doing the assembling and even testing. We can’t call for customer assistance anymore without going through a battery of mechanical voices asking us which option we want while directing us away from any hope of human interaction. Machines are accurate, dependable and they never sleep. They don’t belong to unions and they never complain about working conditions and best of all for the Captains of Industry, they are relatively cheap: after initial acquisition, all they cost is the power to run them and the minor costs of upkeep and upgrades.
The problem that emerges is where that puts people. We all have some children who are nice, average young men and women who are capable of putting in a good day’s work but aren’t gifted with vast intellect or inspiration – in a word, average. We would consider ourselves lucky sometimes if they could find a good, solid blue collar job. Except those jobs – and many so-called white collar jobs – are disappearing.
Beside mechanization, the big money companies are outsourcing like madmen to cheaper labor overseas or in some cases, importing overseas workers to fill the spots that our sons and daughters would have filled. We even have news that Disney, that paragon of fresh-scrubbed American values, has been busily replacing American with foreign and then, after the displaced Americans are required to train their replacements, the fired Americans are prohibited from seeking other employment with Disney. Wow. Sure makes me want to go out and buy that next movie!
Between the rise of machines and the jobs lost to non-Americans, where will our children go? Is it our government’s intention to turn them into the next installment of the permanently unemployed, to receive a payment each month just to sit there and not riot? What are our leaders doing to address this situation – coming up with vast international treaties to finally finish the role of American workers once and for all (along with our national sovereignty) but, fortunately keeping those corporate bottom lines in the black?
The solution has to be some sort of plan for the future that recognizes the value of all of our children and helps them with specific education and directions to use their individual talents. There are some things that no machine can ever do and we need to identify those positions and aim accordingly. We also know that we have no real future as a nation if we keep rewarding companies which completely automate out American jobs or replace American with foreign workers.
And we certainly don’t need crazy, behemoth, top-secret treaties (like the Trans-Pacific Partnership) that throw away our American jobs along with our independence. Anything too secret for the American people to read ahead of time is most likely treason. We need to reward companies that continue to use Americans in American jobs and punish those that don’t. Call your Senators and Congressmen, make them listen.