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Once, most Americans were farmers and ranchers, growing and herding their own food sources. But during the Industrialized Revolution most Americans went to work in factories, becoming dependent on jobs to purchase their food. Then those factories were outsourced to foreign countries for cheaper labor, forcing many into unemployment or low-paying jobs, and becoming dependent on food stamps.

Today in the United States, immigrant farm workers are now doing the "jobs that Americans don't want to do", because they are treated and paid as slave laborers.

Now with the Technological Revolution, H-1B visas are being used to displace higher skilled and better educated Americans into unemployment or low-paying jobs, and who are also becoming dependent on food stamps.

Eventually, the American jobs that once went to factories overseas will gradually become more automated with robotics, and will eventually displace the more expensive (but cheaper) labor abroad. Foreign engineers and workers will produce and maintain the robots.

Soon, the people in China, as well as most Americans (and other peoples of the world) will no longer be able to go back to growing food or herding animals, because they will no longer have the means or the necessary land. At the current pace, and with the current trend, over the next 40 years, almost 7 billion people may not have a means by which to feed themselves. They will no longer be capable of purchasing or growing food.

Maybe, a few isolated patches of humanity living in the jungles of South America and Africa, who were not touched by the Industrialized or Technological Revolutions, might have a fighting chance for survival. But by that time, what becomes of the rest of us?

Will the corporations only maintain a certain supply of humans to cater to their executives, who will build their homes and skyscrapers, grow their food and raise their livestock, and build and maintain their robots? Will they also maintain a certain supply of humans for a police force to protect them, and maintain armies to fight their wars? Or will robots also be used for all those things as well?

Or maybe, robots might also eventually replace the CEOs too, when nanotechnology rules the planet, after human beings have finally outsourced themselves into extinction.

And when "food" is no longer needed, robotic historians might one day call this new era in Earth's history The Nano Revolution.

*NOTE: If you think my scenario is far-fetched, then why does the United Nations wants us to eat insects? http://www.fao.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Words In Action, cynndara

    If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

    by Bud Meyers on Tue May 14, 2013 at 11:50:50 AM PDT

  •  Nit, Americans Have Always Wanted to Do All Jobs. (6+ / 0-)

    I guess I'll have to get out my photo diary of white along with some Black Americans in my town digging ditches, doing framing and roofing, landscaping and paving work that they "don't want to do" in other parts of the country.

    It's not tough jobs Americans don't want, it's slave wages for tough jobs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 14, 2013 at 11:53:54 AM PDT

    •  Relevance???? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't understand the relevance of your comment to this post. My great-grand parents were farmers --- and my relatives and I have worked in the aforementioned jobs that you have listed. So what exactly was your point?

      It's been mentioned uncounted times, by many other people, that farm jobs are considered to be "jobs that Americans don't want to do". I was only referencing that opinion, not declaring unequivocally that the statement was true or not. Farm jobs are hard work (fact) and low-paying (fact) and many immigrants do this work (fact) and many of them are abused (fact) and so I'll also assume that many Americans most likely would prefer not to do this type of work (not if they had other options).

      So therefore, these farm jobs might be considered as  "jobs that Americans don't want to do".

      If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

      by Bud Meyers on Tue May 14, 2013 at 12:38:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  technological changes have always served (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Bob Love

    to destroy certain kinds of jobs. But they always create others.

    There's a reason cars were initially called "horseless carriages"--the internal combustion engine put horse breeders and trainers out of business. The few that survive are a boutique sector, catering to the much smaller demand created by those who want horses for racing or recreational equestrianism.

    Did that lead to economic collapse? No, because entire industries grew up around the automobile, providing a lot of employment. And the automobile made transportation across wide distances much more feasible and thus stimulated a great deal of economic activity that would have been impossible without it.

    Fuck, if you really want to go back to prehistory, the wheel virtually eliminated the need for human porters to carry things around. Does that mean we should not have invented the wheel, in order to keep those porters employed?

    The premise of the diary is silly and uninformed. Human labor will not be rendered obsolete by technological advances; we will co-evolve along with these advances and develop new areas of activity that could only exist with those technologies, which will keep people employed.

    The question is not to undo or block technological advances; the question is to make sure those gains in efficiency from technological advances are shared in a reasonably equitable fashion.

    Human history is the history of cybernetics--of our shaping and being shaped by our tools, and so it has been throughout human history.

    The great error of most economists is to assume that the economic laws governing labor are independent of the state of existing technology. They aren't.

    Talking of "jobs" or "full employment" in the abstract is useless, trying to set employment policy without knowing what kinds of jobs people can reasonably be expected to do is useless. And you can't know what kinds of jobs there are, without understanding the technological context.

    The state of technology influences which types of economic activity are sustainable and can support large numbers of employees, and which types can't.

    Technology in itself is neither good nor bad; only the uses to which it is put are good or bad.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue May 14, 2013 at 12:20:23 PM PDT

    •  Tsk, ts, tsk (0+ / 0-)

      You say my diary is "silly and uninformed" --- I'd like to think it's "abstract and thought-provoking". It wasn't meant to be an historical study of technology and it's affects on the labor market, but a more far-reaching look into the possible future of its applications, no matter how extreme (as I just presented it).

      But I won't insult you, but only thank you for your lengthily comment.

      The United States is now well into a de-industrialized, information age in which the economy is not producing enough good jobs to sustain a strong middle class. That's a well-documented fact, not my personal opinion. There have been numerous studies, reports, and op-ed articles on this subject.

      Tell me how you think American workers have shared in the increased corporate profits that automation has provided for the last 40 years. Do we have too many high-paying jobs? Do prices keep going down too low? Can we buy too much with far less of the too much we're earning? No, no, and no. Only wealth inequality and wage disparity has increased, and is exponentially increasing, in both gap and time.

      The argument about "horseless carriages" is as obsolete as carriages. But I agree with you...technology in itself is neither good nor bad; only the uses to which it is put are good or bad.

      CEOs use technology to increase corporate profits --- to increase executive paychecks, not to hire more people and pay them higher wages. To believe THAT might be even more "silly and uninformed".

      If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

      by Bud Meyers on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:19:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another reason neoliberal economics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass

    and corporatocracy won't work for the 99%.

    When the government exists to serve business, there's no one left to graft ethical functions into marketplace and/or provide them directly to the people.

    Nothing but government would think to deal with the business's declining need for labor. There's plenty of work to be done, it's just that the skill needs will continue to evolve and most of those jobs wouldn't be considered profitable enough for business. So either they are government WCC-type jobs or the government pays some private company an exorbitant amount to do them. On our current trajectory it would be the latter, but only if the plutocrats can completely avoid paying for it.

    From here on out, no one can escape the havoc wrought by the unmitigated Class, Climate and Terror Wars.

    by Words In Action on Tue May 14, 2013 at 12:21:20 PM PDT

  •  There is a very short road from... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Player Piano to The Terminator or Elysium.

    Throw in global warming and all bets are off.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue May 14, 2013 at 01:26:17 PM PDT

  •  Robots are great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Brian B

    They never call in sick.
    They never get tired.
    They don't take bathroom breaks.
    They don't need vacations.
    They don't worry about dangerous working conditions.

    There's only one teensy little problem with them:

    THEY DON'T BUY ANYTHING

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue May 14, 2013 at 02:12:25 PM PDT

  •  Is this how technology improves our lives? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes

    There are those that claim the poor people in America aren't REALLY so poor...after all, most households have a TV set and VCR. They like to point out that 99% of all U.S. households use a refrigerator, although, maybe only half actually owns one. And most refrigerators are manufactured overseas.

    Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the United States. According to Fortune's recent ranking of America's 500 biggest companies, Wal-Mart replaced ExxonMobile at the top of the list in 2012, posting revenues of $469.2 billion.

    Since the official end of the Great Recession, low-wage jobs have grown nearly three times as fast as better paying jobs, according to the National Employment Law Project.

    According to a recent report by the Working Poor Families Project, nearly one-third of all working families in the United States earn what the report defines as a low income, up from 28 percent in 2007, the first year of the recession.

    (Like I've always said: "entitlements" are really "wage subsides" --- and companies like Wal-Mart benefit the most.)

    SOURCE: Working Moms At Wal-Mart
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Income inequality in America is wide and widening. While income stagnated for the middle class, the average annual income of the top .01 percent of U.S. households from 2002 to 2007 rose by 123 percent -- a gain of $20 million each.

    Corporate profits in 2012 took the largest share of national income for any time since 1950, while the portion that went to workers fell to the lowest point since 1966. While making those huge profits, corporations weren't creating jobs. For those who do have jobs, wages fell.

    There are 46.2 million people living in poverty, the highest number in the 53 years that the U.S. Census Bureau has collected this statistic.

    SOURCE: The Downtoning of America
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    So technology has improved our lives, because most of us has a refrigerator. And one day they might all be built by robots, so long as humans still need food.

    If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

    by Bud Meyers on Tue May 14, 2013 at 02:17:03 PM PDT

  •  Trite. nt (0+ / 0-)

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue May 14, 2013 at 03:30:29 PM PDT

    •  Today from Mother Jones (0+ / 0-)

      "Welcome, Robot Overlords. Please Don't Fire Us."

      This is a story where computers keep getting smarter and smarter, and clever engineers keep building better and better robots. By 2040, computers the size of a softball will be as smart as human beings --- plus they're computers: They never get tired, they're never ill-tempered, and they never make mistakes.

      http://www.motherjones.com/...

      If people won't go protest in the streets, then they'll end up sleeping on them instead.

      by Bud Meyers on Thu May 16, 2013 at 01:46:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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