As a prologue to the headline topic, macro trends are often overlooked for their potential impact on our industry. Further, polarized politics can dim the understanding of an issue.
Let’s draw a bright-line distinction between those voting for ‘progressive’ causes, and their leaders.
There are also leaders who may seem ‘conservative,’ but whose business or political postures are harmful to those whose rights they claim to protect.
It’s necessary to clearly differentiate between the mass of voters – or non-voters – and specific titans or leaders of business, tech, and finance who influence the direction of the politicos of the two major parties.
Thoughtful Daily Business News readers will glean why the distinctions between voters – certain leaders with their spin – and macro trends are all critical to this rapidly emerging issue.
How the following impacts housing professionals will become clear, and will be underscored later below.
Anti-People Business, Policy Practices
There are business, tech, and political leaders who essentially – or de facto – are harming, opposing – or one might say, advancing hateful policies with respect to millions of people.
> Walmart, Sam’s and Costco are among those stores using job eliminating self-checkout.
> Sam’s Club introduced an app that allows members to scan and go, skipping checkout entirely.
> Several restaurants are testing tablets and other kiosks to avoid a human order taker or checker.
> For years, banks have been using ATM machines.
> Human operators or phone room caller positions have been eliminated by numerous companies in growing numbers over a decade.
> Uber is among those pursuing self-driving cars to replace human drivers.
> How many trucking, taxi or other companies might follow Uber’s lead?
> An airline is said to be testing a self-flying plane.
> There are estimates that perhaps some 86 percent of all jobs could be done by artificial intelligence (AI), robots or other machines.
What all the above have in common is that they eliminate people from jobs. Other examples could be added, but the point is made.
Previous Industrial Revolution vs. the Current Automated Revolution
On the one hand, in the past industrial revolutions, devices such as sewing machines or bull dozers enhanced the performance of humans. People were still needed to operate those machines.
But in the current automated revolution underway, people are being replaced. This is unlike farm workers moving to cities to find work in factories or shops. Now, there are no serious plans for replacing the human roles of tens to hundreds of millions – or billions? – of people.
The moral, business, economic, and political problems with the above or related ‘anti-people’ practices in society are numerous. What will be done with those millions of souls whose work is eliminated? Will certain elite…care?
Elon Musk’s Warnings
Consider these trends through the lens of Elon Musk’s warnings about regulating robots, which MHProNews was the first to spotlight within the Manufactured Housing Industry’s trade media.
There are economic, security, and other risks that arise – due to the possibility of the mass hacking of electronic devices. These are mentioned in Noah Smith’s economic viewpoint, see that report – linked here.
Selfishly beyond those issues, you can’t sell a house to a robot, can you?
Does self-checkout, ATMs, or driverless vehicles need housing?
When the working or middle class makes up much of our industry’s current base is further squeezed economically by such developments, how will millions be able to buy a home?
Is your job needed if the emerging trend outlined continues and accelerates?
If you aren’t the biggest in your field – as the larger firms automate, won’t your business rapidly be placed at an economic disadvantage?
While some like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are promoting policies that call for “universal income” – others for a $15 an hour minimum wage – these are among the issues that MHProNews has uniquely spotlighted within the industry’s trade media. These policies have or could have serious impact on business and investments.
One reason in recent weeks and months the Daily Business News has been demonstrating the fallacies behind those concepts, is precisely to lead up to points like today’s. Such proposed plans may sound appealing to many, but so would $100 or $1000 an hour minimum wage.
Promises like “free college” – or “free” anything – may cause people to vote for someone, but in practice don’t work as promised. See those prior reports – and the economic liberty report below – can be read at their respective links.
Or keep in mind the old high school adage, “TANSTAFL” – “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Someone always pays.
There will be a high cost to these trends in replacing humans with automation if it isn’t rapidly – and successfully – addressed.
MHProNews editorially is far from being alone in raising these concerns.
The Drudge Report has tracked this troubling pattern for several years. Thank God for Matt Drudge and his team’s thoughtful work, as they scour the nation and world for trends that impact daily economic, political, moral, and social life. Part of the genius of Drudge is that it spans the left-right media divide daily in its coverage.
Most estimates of the AI/Automation/Robotics trend are in the 35 to 40 percent range of human jobs ended. Other are north of 80 percent of all jobs and careers. Those higher percentages would include roles such as mangers, stock traders, and CEOs which could be eliminated by machines, robots, AI, and apps.
Isn’t it time to draw a line in the sand, rather than plant one’s head in it?
Is it time to start with something simple, like a Boycott of Self-Checkout?
To insist on dealing more with people, rather than machines?
Not Advocating Returning to the Stone Age
This column isn’t suggesting that you toss your computers, smartphones, or tablets.
It is suggesting that Drudge, Musk, Smith, and others are making a powerful – urgent – point.
Isn’t it time to create people-first protecting policies?
President Trump has indirectly addressed this in a variety of ways.
But Mr. President, could you formalize and address your specific plans on the above issues for tens of millions of threatened workers, please?
Americans, seriously – this isn’t a time to wait. Whichever group grabs the nation’s trust on the above, will swing businesses, professionals, investors, and workers lives for generations to come. There are leaders who could care less about “We, the People.” They are sadly ‘hateful leaders’ in the purest sense of the term.
A Baby Step You Can Take, Starting Today
If you told the manager of every store you shopped that you:
- will not use self-check-out,
- to bring in the additional cashiers needed,
- do so politely yet publicly, where other employees can hear,
- then urge your friends to do the same — don’t you think they would respond?
We know from first hand experience that this can work, because we did so at a local Sam’s Club. Employees that overheard, thanked us. Customers also stepped up and did the same. The next time we shopped, more checkout lanes were open, with humans managing the registers.
Isn’t it urgent to consider the consequences of inaction? (Cf. Dt. 30:19.) ## (News, analysis, commentary.)
(Image credits are as shown above, and when created by third parties, are provided under fair use guidelines.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.