Remember the Guy Who Predicted The Internet Wouldn’t Last? Well, He’s Been Trumped

March 28th, 2017

Ok. This is a big one.

The Trump administration has said a lot of things that are not in line with my understanding, thinking, feelings, or beliefs but this one just pushed me over the edge. We have new and more data coming out practically every day which speaks to automation’s growing threat to jobs.

The statement in this article from the Treasury Secretary speaks to a level of ignorance and denial that is only Trumped by the climate change deniers. And to make this statement on the same day that  a new study from PwC estimates that 38 percent of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years, makes it even more laughable.

Does this administration really think that Uber, Lyft and all the trucking, busing and taxi companies will continue to employee humans once autonomous vehicles are fully ready to go. Humans get sick, go on strike, get tired, drink alcohol, do drugs, make mistakes, complain, are incredibly expensive, need insurance, and most off all cause costly accidents. That is between 2 and 4 million professional drivers that will be displaced in the next 5-8 years.

How about the night watch people who patrol empty warehouses and outdoor spaces. Think robots can’t do those jobs better for a fraction of the cost? Puuleease. That is another million people AND we haven’t even started on the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.

These guys really need to re-evaluate statements like increased automation is “not even on our radar screen” as the problem is “50 to 100 more years away…I’m not worried at all. In fact, I’m optimistic.”

This will go down in history with statements like this one from  1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.

If you like this article, you might enjoy reading Politics Is Causing People to Slack Off at Work