We go to our humble correspondent, Wolf "Chicken Little" Richter: "When the self-driving-car revolution firmly takes hold, there will be carnage, according to Wolf Richter of the Wolf Street blog. Not the car-crash kind — though that is a prevalent fear — but on the employment front.
“The magnitude of this problem is breathtaking,” he wrote. Citing government figures, he says that 4.1 million jobs (the stat of the day in our “Need to Know” column) are at risk, including chauffeurs and drivers of trucks, cabs and ride-share vehicles."
Ok, look at me - BREATHE! Better? Good. Richter is a breathless neo-luddite, change, progress, productivity are all terror inducing words to a neo-luddite.
Relax, this is called progress, and, no, it is not the same stuff the progressives want, they want regression, er, forward to the past, and all that rot.
Look buddy, I am sure that when the first steam shovel rolled onto the scene all the men digging trenches got worried. But if you actually believe they liked their jobs, it is only because you never performed a job like digging. The Noble Savage was never noble, just savage. The "good" physical labor job was always just that, physical. With long hard hours of toil, and strain, followed by more long hard hours of toil, and strain.
In case you may have missed it everyone with jobs like this always expects their children to go to college, so they won't have to do the menial, physical job of nothing but endless toil, and strain.
"'These people can’t easily switch to writing software. There’s no room for them in manufacturing. Even the fast-food sector is getting automated, as are many other jobs, including writing stories for the major wire and news services,” Richter said. “It all might be happening faster than society is prepared to deal with it. And we’re not even talking about it!'"
Game over, man, game over!
Ok Richter, now go watch the rest of the movie. It will be enlightening. It gets much about human nature correct.
Progress, and productivity increases are always difficult, as they require performing a task, making a product with less human input. But the idea that we would have been better off 200 years ago with foregoing progress is just as silly as the idea that we would be better off today foregoing progress. One of the difficult aspects of the consumer is his unrelenting demand for lower costs, and the self drive car will offer much lower costs. People caught in this productivity shift will need to find new things to do, new jobs, new careers. Richter simply relegates them to the dust bin of history. To him these are stupid, throwaway people who do not have the ability to perform any other valuable tasks.
I find this belief odious. Like millions before them, and millions after them, they will nearly all find productive things to do, optimistically things they like better than these jobs, and for higher pay. The current progressive Presidents love of regulation, and economic strictures makes this untenable, but fortunately there is an election pending. And, yes, Hillary is the stasis candidate, although Trump is also a progressive but less beholden to the religion than is Hillary.
Ultimately, the choice is one of progress, or stasis. I know my vote. Yours?