Automation Catastrophe?

First Day. Air temperature quite high for February, even here in Alibam. Gym sparse and the podcast episode, one of the CBC’s “Besy of Ideas” on senses, was neither obviously flawed nor adequate engaging. Rather like grits. 

Thus I had time to think on a couple of current subjects. One is the transition to robotic motorcars and the other is the impact of automation on employment. The impetus for considering the first was a TIME periodical article. This was a rather up beat, simplistic article – what else from Amerikan journalists? – that portrayed the transition as a simple now-then from human licensed driving to human prohibited driving with no bumps in between.

Wrong. The transition will be messy and nasty as all human social changes tend to be. Thoughts of the Pullman strike come to mind. What I cannot see is Alibam red necks easily giving up their rusted, odoriferous, smoking pickup trucks that they salvaged from junk yards to expensive autocars. For one thing, they haven’t the money. These are people who live off the grid almost, but not quite. Many of them have cellular telephones, all purchased at MalWart and using non-contract plans. I have no idea how they pay.

None of these people pay income taxes. They are always paid in greenbacks and will not accept checks. I doubt many of them have bank accounts nor credit cards. They purchase their petrol at off brand stations. 

And the autocar revolution will immobilize them. What they do for money will still exist as a requirement but they would be unable to practice their craft if they cannot drive their junkers. 

And in places like Alibam that probably means no laws restricting driving. So a massive increase in wrecks and a destruction of the state economy. But the local politicians can all brag of how they resisted Washington.

The second was prompted by an article [Link] claiming that automation will not disemploy half of the adult population. Some of the rationale does make some sense like the continued need for humans in stores. What it ignores is that even those jobs will be hideously underpaid because so many will want the jobs. 

No, this is even worse that the autocars, which are a part. If we continue in the Capitalist mode we are in, we will have a bloody collapse when the disemployed take thins into their hands and create civil war. Survival wars are nasty. No one cares how many of the enemy they kill. No prisoners are taken unless they have intelligence potential and they will be killed once their information expires.

The future is bright?