If you’re like me, some nights it feels like sleep will never come. You just lie there exhausted, but unable to stop thinking. Thinking things like, “how far would some parties go to prevent an adverse Supreme Court decision?” And “why is there a pillow over my face?” Fortunately those are the type of thoughts that don’t linger long, and soon enough you’re thinking other things like “hey, isn’t that Uncle Pete playing a harp?” and “I really hope my autopsy gets to the bottom of this.”
But those trifles aside, another item I occasionally ponder is the rapid advance and deployment of robotics in the labor market. There are currently over 260,000 robots in US factories, with this figure almost certainly representing the very thin edge of what will become a very thick proliferation.
Germany and Japan are already both far more industrially automated, with the latter almost solitary in its bizarre determination to not bolster the labor force with pathological African welfare recipients. Within the last year, China has brought a 90% robotics factory online, and it’s not only manufacturing that will be affected. Even the vaunted Mexican workforce that is responsible for the Mexico you see today will not be spared. Already the tequila-irrigated Field of Dreamers is being supplanted by genteel apple and lettuce picking C3P0s.
Some even predict that in a generation robots will be able to perform a majority of production tasks more efficiently than humans. With 50% baseline unemployment being the natural corollary. Which may leave significant leisure opportunity for unemployed men to court Roxxxy the sex robot.
Though beyond that titillating prospect, some might wonder if an Economy less reliant on helot labor will offer sufficient inducement for the donor class to continue attacking the middle. If native workers have already been displaced by automation, wouldn’t the continued importation of foreigners simply become gratuitous? What is the remaining incentive once you’ve approached the no-employed-American singularity?
Faithful readers of this vanity enterprise already know the answers. Even without a remaining penny to shave from their corporate COGS, we can exhale in relief that tech titans will continue toiling to pry open any still obstinate borders.
There are multiple reasons for this. An ancillary one is that borders necessarily represent commercial friction. An ideal business world is one with a smooth, unified surface and light regulatory burden. Nationalist movements are sand in this, and therefore even more abominable than a capital gains tax. For countries don’t represent nations, but markets. And your son comes after my supply-chain. But occasionally a politician will make a show of caring more about his people than our profits. That’s when we lavish some of the latter to properly reorient his economic philosophy.
Though the primary reason you must subsidize Somali importation is the Universal Business Imperative: growth. Corporate chieftains must sale more shlock in the next fiscal quarter than they did in the last, or the board will find someone who will. And how, for instance, do I go about selling more cable boxes in Q2? That’s almost as intuitive as my Mercedes S-Class: you make sure more people subscribe to cable. And what if the native market of cable subscribers is saturated? Well then it’s time to expand the cable subscriber market, n’est pas? Extrapolate this across the industrial spectrum and business incentives become fairly apparent. More consumers trends toward more consumption. The historically obscene costs of cheap labor are a fringe benefit.
And though I expect the donor class to maintain a practiced insouciance, I do think they are perched on an increasingly narrow ledge with this strategy. Their consumer supplement populations are continually advised that rich white (and whitish) men are the source of their failure to receive the Starz and Cinemax premium package. These soon-to-be-voters, and their multitudinous offspring will produce politicians of their own kind who have been taught similarly. Increasingly diverse representatives will pass unfavorable legislation and seat judges, who will themselves view business balance sheets with less reverence than scorn. The temptation to enact massive rich white to poor brown wealth transfers will become irresistible. And all of it can be exercised by strict due process, nice and constitutional-like.
Of course that assumes donors will only lose the choicest apples from their orchard. But consider a feasible scenario of wholesale ongoing population replacement, boiling over racial antipathies, a vertical class stratification, and massive automation-driven unemployment simultaneously. That is the witch’s brew that spills red.
And it is in such times that cagey businessmen turn minds to not losing the one personal effect they cherish even more than money. Though since there’s currently a bear market in guillotines, Pluto probably wagers the border guards at his gated community will be sufficient to keep head and neck in close proximity.
He may be correct. São Paulo, as an example, has helipads cheek by jowl with outdoor shit buckets, and the only blemish to Brazil’s tranquility is its failure to capture every slot in the world’s most violent cities list. While a bloody Babel isn’t the social template I would personally choose to make out of Franklin’s republic, it probably will feature increasingly mannequin-like sex robots.
And for a shrewd CEO, that’s a solid ROI.