So do we need a “big beautiful wall to keep them out?”
The fact is that human immigrants are not stealing jobs; 99% of the jobs they fill few US citizens want to do or even will do. But today I am not here to debate this moot issue, rather I want the reader to reflect critically on the possible real impact of robotics and AI (artificial intelligence). I don’t want to look far into the future, but rather just conjecture on say the next 10 years.
Robotics (and AI that controls them) are the new immigrants. THESE new immigrants will take jobs from citizens, yet where is the outcry and concern except from other than a handful of very smart people, Andrew Yang for instance (and myself of course…LOL).
There is no wall that can be built to keep out these agile minded “guys.” They are coming in caravans and hoards. Beware.
There are few jobs, especially ones that follow a rather narrow script of activities: from factory jobs to call centers, that will not be impacted. Of course call centers largely have been shipped “off shore,” to India and Mexico and Jamaica, et al. But AI will bring the cost down to the point where multi-nationals opt to just connect you to the big AI help desk in the sky. So it is not only the United States that will be challenged by these pesky AI creatures, but rather much of the first and second worlds.
If you are in any job that frankly is “low wages,” you really need to be thinking about what to do after you get your notice. What can you do? Train in HIGH technology is one option: smart people first have to make robots and initialize AI programming for these immigrants to perform. So you can train to become one of the “technologists” or even better, a “keeper,” as I call these new classes of human workers. Because of the profits from relegating low wage jobs and benefits more and more to the pile of obsolescence, like mining coal for instance, there will be no stopping the tide of robotics and AI, so YOU must RE-INVENT yourself!
This may require MOVING physically to locations where smart jobs are or will be placed, which for now are cities like Austin, Texas for example; to get the type of training you will need you also will likely have to relocate, for a lot of the low wage jobs now are at factories and facilities sited in the heart land of America, plants that will use robotics soon if not already, but who will NOT be offering any education to employees: they will turn to the universal pool of people who have the knowledge they need, and not be altruistic in retraining their current employees. (I realize some are, but consider fully where that training may lead. Think BIG PICTURE, LONG TERM.)
So what will be a few of the potential societal impacts of this flood of new immigrants? There will be effectively created a new age stratification of our society: an increasing very low income level at the bottom of the economy, increasingly highly dependent on “welfare” (or crime), and sadly, those of color will be triply effected due the present enormous inequities of capital and income; and right above them will be the Technologists, able to sustain and increase incomes to some extent, but forever locked into the “middle class” state; above these techies will be the “Keepers” of the robotics and AI, highly educated and specialized people whose incomes far surpass those below…..these are the new “doctors, lawyers and engineers” who even today are seeing their heyday wane; then at the very top are the owners of all the robots and all the AI. These people, mostly people and families who already control most of the capital and wealth in the world, will have incomes that are light years ahead of all others.
The mobility of human workers to move up from the “welfare” class to say the “keepers” level will be close to impossible. Most everyone will be captive in their respective classes. But is that much different from today’s scenario? Not really, but the future does not bode well for a reduction in the number of people and families at the two bottom levels of the hierarchy. This is why, if you are smart, you will do everything you can to determine what education or training will help you to the next level, and get that training now, no matter what it takes. The future of yourself, your progeny and theirs depends on conscious decisions you make in the next 18-24 months.
Now there are other choices, if you don’t want to “play the game.” You can choose to live your life without worrying about income, and be a free spirit, a free agent even, using your common sense, inventiveness and native creativity to enjoy life as it comes. Become the antithesis of this robotic world, a 21st century hippie, finding novel ways to stay afloat, being aware that within you is the power to live your life unfettered by “intelligence.” That is not a bad option really.