A recent fixture of the business press has been forecast pieces on the increasing role of labor automation. Much of the focus has been on repetitive rather than cognitive occupations, such as cabbies, truck drivers, field hands, and rote assembly. Though advancing prospects for machine learning and voice recognition will also eventually place many white collar jobs in jeopardy.
This technology-driven destruction is not a new phenomenon, as any unemployed scribe, cobbler, or bridle manufacturer could attest. Though we are possibly on the cusp of labor transitions that will dwarf previous iterations in scale, and have dramatic social implications in the process. That our politicians and “elites” will scrupulously ignore or exacerbate the worst effects of this is the sort of thing that will bring great comfort to those craving consistency.
One of the more obvious questions automation should raise is what, precisely, all of those negative SD migrants will presume to do once tasks within their capacity become the purview of westworld cowboys. Historically, jobs dissolved by technological advances have been replaced by others that leverage the new technology. Though with each wave of succession, the required occupational skill-set has shifted incrementally up the gradient from muscle to mind. Blue collar tradesmen are now paid more for what they know than what they do. And while knowing how to relieve the earth of its sugarcane with a machete is admirable enough, it doesn’t actually add value to a modern assembly line.
This presents globalists with a fundamental problem. And those are never solved with fundamental honesty. If robots and embryonic-AI are going to eventually replace substantial swaths of the labor market, and we presume from precedent that the next wave of employment will be in servicing robots and code composition, then (again) what will our Rio Grande-surfing cane cutters do for themselves?
The question isn’t limited only to them.
Rapid technological advancement necessitates similar skills advancement to remain occupationally viable. As automation proceeds those skills will lean increasingly toward the right side of the bell curve. Thus on a macro-scale, modern Economies will require workforces comprised of more brain than brawn. Which makes our present social policy awkwardly sub-optimal.
Practically every prominent economist agrees that labor requirements will persistently bend toward increasing intellectual rigor. Yet every Western country is presently engaged in a frenzied program of national dysgenics. And it is not only a matter foreign input. Our own native stock of Atlantic writers have their abundant fertility underwritten by the arid wombs of high IQ white career women. The entirely predictable results are already starting to manifest in declining national IQ averages.
So financial resources for family formation are being stripped from higher intelligence tax payers to sponsor the proliferation of lower intelligence tax eaters, with the cognitive deficit made up by millions of third-world migrants. That’s an inelegant solution to the problem of needing a more intellectually capable workforce.
Though, as I hope readers understood before now, addressing the needs or even costs of the labor pool is actually quite low on the list of immigration drivers. Not at all insignificant among these is the gratification of feeling morally superior to countrymen you have cheated with foreign ringers. Every liberal sees themselves as a savior delivering brown people from tropical poverty into a safe, clean American voting booth. There can surely be few other frissons so delicious as the merger of moral preening with political calculation.
But there are also economic lures. Each more important than the ballyhooed jobs Americans won’t have to do.
First, there are succulent consumers. Not all corporations are committed to replacing their American workers, but to a board they are committed to growth. And growth means moving inventory out the door. There are slow means to achieving growth, such as increasing productivity and wealth. And there are faster means to achieving growth, such as increasing population. Here’s an example: how many cell phones, refrigerators, and washing machines do you own? How many burritos did you eat for lunch? How many would you own/eat if you were twice as wealthy? Now how many would you and Jose recently arrived from Honduras own if HUD just moved him in beside you? The answer, of course, is more. Population growth means revenue growth. For GloboCorp this, not labor, is primary. And one Somali consumes far more in Minneapolis than than he does in Mogadishu.
Consumption does actually pertain to automation. Specifically, how do farsighted captains of industry plan to put their plastic in the hands of a population who will decreasingly possess the occupational skills to acquire it? Finland is currently running a pilot on the likely solution.
Finland has started a radical experiment: It’s giving 2,000 citizens a guaranteed income, with funds that keep flowing whether participants work or not.
That’s a program both republicans and democrats will come to strongly consider if automation begins to truly drive untenable unemployment among America’s more pyrotechnic cohorts.
In the hands of (formerly) homogenous countries like Finland, such a program would probably be quite benign. Most Finns would continue to do the two things that grew prosperity from the tundra: produce wealth and behave like civilized human beings.
Though in a diverse and dysgenic society, the effects of a guaranteed income on civic hygiene would likely be much more…I’ll say piquant.
It is a truism that Soros finds work for idle hands. If the government provided income sufficient for housing, nourishment, and base appetites, a great many would cease even the modest pretense of effort and civility that pursuing or holding a job generally inspires. Approximately half of black adults are presently employed. Now imagine the excitement of your city streets if that figure were halved or worse. If automation penetrates as deeply as many assert, this will come to be the case regardless. Though the Finland plan would likely accelerate the process.
Another migration impetus impacted by automation is the prevailing social welfare model. In immigration Democrats see virtue and votes, corporations see growth, and governments see a base for entitlements. You almost have to feel badly for the amoral climbers we elect as our representatives. For across the first world they have been saddled by thoughtless predecessors with a transfer scheme that requires a population pyramid to remain viable.
Each new, and necessarily larger, generation pays for the elder care of the generation before. It is structured to work only with significant positive contributor multiples: e.g., 16.5 workers to every beneficiary in 1950. Yet that ratio had shriveled to 2.8 by 2013, and is projected to drop much lower still. At such support levels the program is functionally–as Nixon’s press secretary would have called it–inoperative.
And so what better way to bolster the baseline of payers than by importing millions of takers? As I said earlier, it’s an inelegant solution. Though it does again relate to automation.
Robotics and automation will hugely obviate the logical premise of population replacement in barren countries like Japan. Many physical caretaking chores, food and medicine delivery, and even health evaluations are nearly ideal applications for the advancements coming online even now. I’ll concede a robot may not attend to elderly Asians with the affection and meticulousness of a young African immigrant, but neither will they burn their city down when irritated either. Sub-replacement fertility nations do not require policies that attract Nigerians, but those that attract their own copulation.
Ultimately successful nations will be required to transition away from entitlement programs erected upon population pyramids that never exist into perpetuity. They will also have to transition away from liberal dogma, which cloisters fertile young women in corporate cube-rows. You can not premise social welfare on young workers paying for elderly retirees while simultaneously discouraging women from ever bearing those workers. If you want a cradle to grave welfare state, you must embrace natalism. If you want a career-oriented feminist state, you must embrace eating sawdust in your dotage. Reality again refuses to accommodate our pieties. A fact automation is eternally helpless to change.