It is one more pernicious myths of the Trumpian Right that “illegal immigrants” are stealing jobs from “real Americans.” The reality, of course, is that jobs weren’t there to be stolen. Long ago, CEOs, MBAs, and Corporations sent them overseas–that is, to places like China, where labor costs were low and unions were non-existent. The genuine enemy, in other words, was within.
But, increasingly, even China may need to worry. Manufacturing is ever more dominated by robots. And now, the service industries aren’t that far behind. Note the following video of warehouse robots recently released by Boston Dynamics.
The question, then, is how are we going to deal with a world in which most jobs are performed by machines. It may be that something like Universal Basic Income will genuinely have to implemented, in spite of the furious objections of conservatives, because there is no other alternative.
But whether there are alternatives or not, the robots are coming, and they’re not going to be stopped by even a man like Trump. And the fact that neither Republicans nor mainstream Democrats seem aware of that fact is extremely disturbing.