He is us

We live in tough times. Good jobs are rare. Hell, bad jobs are rare and your kids live in the basement. When this happens it is all too easy to look for someone to blame. Illegal aliens and corporations moving factories to Mexico or China are easy targets. Manufacturing jobs have steadily increased in this country since 2009, and many of the things made here are made for export.

I went to the supermarket this morning and six of the checkout lanes were automated. On the way there I stopped at the ATM and took out some cash then I went to the gas station and paid at the pump, The Mexicans and Chinese aren’t taking our jobs, the machines are.

Machines make our stuff and machines make the machines that make our stuff. Computers run the assembly lines and one programmer can replace dozens or even hundreds of workers. Corporations have automated away peoples jobs to keep down prices and maximize profits.

We gladly buy the cheaper goods and live off our stock dividends, if we’re lucky, without any thought for who pays for them. The bank should have had at least one more teller, the gas station maybe another half dozen attendants and the supermarket four more clerks. That’s almost a dozen people who would have jobs and be able to buy stuff resulting in more people who have jobs and being able to buy stuff.

I was happy to get the lower prices, but “I’ve got mine” won’t set the table for the future. In the immortal words of Pogo “We have met the enemy and he is us” (Jack Kelly, 1913-1973)

Richard Tobin


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom