The Great Divide Part 2: Economy

English: Workers inside the South Brisbane But...

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Yesterday I ruminated about the impact of education on the big division in this country.  The other arena in which I’m pondering options for narrowing the gap is economic.  A huge portion of those who supported Trump are people who’ve been left behind by the job market.

They often seem to blame immigrants and/or Americans of a different color than theirs for taking their jobs.  I, on the other hand, see three main causes: (1) automation replacing jobs; (2) companies seeking lower employee payrolls moving operations to other countries and (3) the tsunami of technology and its shift of jobs into arenas requiring skills most laid-off workers don’t possess.

We don’t have to agree on the cause to agree it’s scary and horrible to lose your job and to have nothing on the horizon to replace it.  Democrats have talked about doing something but haven’t produced.  Republicans don’t even talk about programs to help (anyone ever?).  Deporting a bunch of immigrants isn’t going to change the economic realities.

Companies who are saving money with automation aren’t going to bring back a work force.  Nor are the ones who’ve moved factories to places with cheap labor forces going to come back to pay the high wages required here.  And nothing is going to stop technology’s relentless growth and change and the degree to which it has become the heart of the marketplace.  [Changing the entrenched corporate greed, a topic for another day…  or possibly after a revolution???]

So it seems to me it’s time to figure something out for the workers who have been left behind.  I’ve seen the opinion we can help their children (presumably by training for tech jobs) but there’s nothing to do for the 40-60 year-olds who have neither jobs nor the skills to move to the technology sector.  Surely in a nation as great as this we can do better than that.

It’s not my area of expertise, so I’m not sure what could happen, but surely there are people with ideas who could devise plans, projects, programs, possibilities???  How can we reach out?  Bridge this gap?

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11 thoughts on “The Great Divide Part 2: Economy

  1. Yup, I wrote a blog post about this awhile ago. A long while, but in 10 to 15 years automation will be everywhere. I call it the robot revolution. And there are going to be a lot of unemployed people. And I don’t see any politicians really putting effort in looking ahead at this problem. It is going to be a disaster.

    • It is the way it’s headed. I have noticed, though, there’s always a new industry or a new trend that produces jobs — whether it will be enough is a big question and the big problem always seems to be how to train the laid-off workers for the new jobs and/or move them to where the jobs are.

      • Yup! Hey, on a completely unrelated topic — do you know of any affirmations voiced by a female? Bonus points if she is British, lol. I’m looking for some more voices to kind of shake up my affirmation listening.

        • Don’t know anyone British, but Louise Hay has tons of affirmation recordings. I don’t know if Shakti Gawain has ever done recordings but her book Creative VIsualization and its tons of affirmations was my bible of affirming for a long time so I’d imagine if she’s done recordings they’d be good. Of course since I’ve not heard her, she could have a horrible voice 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Dana Ellington, MAPW and commented:
    Definitely food for thought. Coincides with an idea for a post that ran through my mind this morning; initial thought – “why are you angry at (insert group of people here) for you not being in a position you want / feel is your birth right? They didn’t DO anything to you, as They don’t OWN the companies that chose to outsource jobs off shore; THEY didn’t mine all the resources out of an area then move on to the next place; THEY didn’t stop you from furthering your education…the list goes on.”
    Thank you Leigh at Not Just Sassy on the Inside for another insightful post.

  3. 40 to 60 year olds can learn. My 93 year old grandma taught herself to use a computer for bookkeeping and order tracking after she was 60. She worked as an office manager until she was 85. She still uses the computer for managing finances and keeping in touch with folks. Since programs are constantly updated that means more learning.
    At 41 I learned Japanese, in my 50s I am working on Chinese and Spanish.
    I don’t know the answer, but when people decide they can learn and put in the time and effort they do learn new skills. It isn’t easy.

  4. Pingback: Random Thoughts about Learning | XingfuMama

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