It's about jobs. Jobs that are being replaced by automation. At companies who are really only interested in PROFITS, not the quality of life of their employees or what costs they dump on the community as a result of under-paying workers or laying them off. They just don’t care. They answer to their shareholders -- a growing percentage of whom are foreigners — not the communities where they set up shop and employ their workers.
Profits are mostly a function of the economy and current political winds.
It makes no sense to talk about jobs — current or future -- when you’re swimming in a job pool that’s being flushed down the drain by the very people who you elected to keep your job intact!
Our POLITICIANS just handed the 100 largest corporations (their shareholders) and the wealthiest families in America a $500 billion “gift” that they SAID was going to be used to “create jobs.”
Yet all that windfall has been used for so far has been stock buy-backs, and lay-offs preceeding the movement of these same jobs to countries with lower labor costs, since now that they’ve got all the money they need to afford huge capital investments off-shore without pissing off their shareholders.
If you’re not part of that tiny sliver of the US population (income or net asset holdings of 7-figures or more), your elected officials are not representing YOUR current or future needs. (I’m not!)
Shareholders don’t give a crap about WHERE the companies they own employ people, or where those employees come from! They only care about profits, share price, and dividends. Corporations have a fidicuary responsibility to their shareholders. PERIOD. Not even their employees. Which is why corporations are resisting efforts to reform or immigration laws — the current immigraion laws are working very well for them and are HIGHLY PROFITABLE!
SHAREHOLDERS want automation. Why? Because MORE PROFITS. And a reduced need to worry about employees of all stripes and colors.
And who cares what CitiGroup says anyway? They’ve just been given $50 billion in tax cuts; fines levied against them for breaking the law have been dropped; regulations supposedly costing them profits (because they’re designed to protect consumers) have been eliminated; and they just reported their most profitable quarter in history! Yet lots of folks seem to feel sorry for them for whatever reason while their customers and employees are getting screwed.
What I don’t understand is why anybody who’s not a shareholder in any of these corporations is defending them or the latest tax policies handing their shareholders HUGE stock growth and dividends.
The Fed just announced an uptick in interest rates this morning, with two more expected by the end of the year. Because they say inflation is on the rise. This hits EVERYBODY in the pocketbook, not just the wealthy.
For most people, our costs are going up, but not our wages. If we’re lucky, we’ve got a few years before our jobs are replaced by robots. By then there won’t be any unemployment insurance or welfare, because clearly we lost our jobs because we’re just “too lazy”. And there won’t be enough tax revenues to support any kind of “social safety net”. So if you can’t afford to live today, you probably won’t have any savings to help when you lose your job and cannot find another one for a while.
Why is anybody even paying attention to warnings from CitiGroup about robots replacing their workers? There’s absolutely nothing WE THE PEOPLE can do about it if our “elected officials” keep ignoring what WE need and instead implement tax and economic policies that benefit Corporations instead.
We in the tech industry like to think that we are in some pivotal way responsible for guiding the future of America. That we can ignore politics. That we can cheer on corporate malfeasance as long as it’s not the folks paying OUR salary. That we can ignore the INDIRECT COSTS TO SOCIETY that arise from the technology we’re paid to create that will inexorably lead to our own professional demise.
Sooner or later we need to look at the economy and our political environment with the same critical eye that we use to build our software.
In the mean time, rest assured that our entire frigging economy is being run by people selected by less than 10% of the population (the % of registered voters who tend to vote in primaries), becuase the rest are so cynical and resigned that they think their voice doesn’t matter.
And the ones who do vote these days … are tending more and more to be people with the most extreme views in society today.