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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sci-Fi Future for America: An Idealistic Dream or Nightmare?

Technology Could Make Manual Labor Obsolete in the Name of Economy

What President Obama or any other American president won't tell the population is that things aren't going to get too much better as the nation sinks into economic decline without any solutions to stop it. But, you don't get re-elected by being negative.

History teaches that decadent nations don't make comebacks. The real world isn't Hollywood. For example, the main strength of the Arab world is its stagnant permanence. Arguably its biggest change in 1,000 years has been the formation of Al Jazeera Television News. So, while the West has flourished, its own greed, avarice and gluttony is destroying it. Yet, if we disappeared tomorrow the Arabs would survive as they have for thousands of years.

Someday our leaders may have the balls and courage to grasp them and begin the restoration of American wealth and the middle class. But, what about the distant future? Providing America is still here and united, what will life be like, first as a low wage nation and then when just about every manner of manual labor will have been automated to save even more money? I mean if you think the current unemployment is bad, what about 60 percent unemployment? It could happen.

Think about it...the only reason most Americans had previously enjoyed an affluent lifestyle was because they had good jobs...jobs needed to make and service things...jobs so we could afford to buy dinner out once a week and a new cell phone or laptop. But, if most of our manual labor can eventually be done more efficiently and cheaply by machines and computers, what will the future be like for the former middle class and the new non working class? What will they do?

A lot will depend on our evolution to an automated society and who will control the country. If, as a nation, we sink into a morass individual states may push for more self determination, doing deals with other countries for the exclusive benefit of the states in question, similar to the Confederacy just prior to the Civil War. This may be of considerable benefit to the state populations. The way things are now going, China may have a strong influence over our future.

Yet a cure to cheap Chinese imports will be to rebuild American industry as wage free, union free and totally automated. After massive initial investments, our “I Robot” society will produce all we need and then some. And no matter which country controls industry, the big question will still be: What will our people do for work?

I have to again think back to the sci-film “Zardoz” where the world is divided into the haves and have-nots, with the haves so bored from not doing anything they opt for death as a change of scene. As for future Americans, a few lucky ones will retrain for service sector jobs. The medical sector will be a main employer. But the bulk of the unemployed will find a home in the military or go back to the land as subsistence farmers.

One of the reasons Rome gained such a large empire was the fact that slavery meant it had no labor problems. But, its did have plenty of unemployed young men...they furnished its army and navy with an unlimited number of recruits to conquer and subdue most of the known world at the time.

In our case, the military will be more defensive in nature, protecting us from foreign invasion on one hand and domestic insurrection on the other...as is the case with so many so called banana republics, our cities will become breweries of dissent and militancy and our military will be needed to maintain order.

Yet, for those not suitable for the military, the voluntary sector will offer a chance to do something meaningful. You see, while our political leaders trumpet the need for new industries to create jobs, there simply won't be the economic viability for such investment in the face of our high labor costs Vs. dollar-a-day Asian economies. And any new homegrown industries developed in an open world market would soon leave our shores or be automated, using at most a skeleton workforce.

Our only long-term prospect would be the creation of social welfare state and the radical idea of eliminating manual labor, enriching the country via taxation from cash rich corporations and trade while maintaining former workers on state benefits.

One of those benefits for millions of people would be lots of free time for budget vacations. Okay, you can wake up now, it was only a nightmare.



About the Writer

Dan Ehrlich is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Sci-Fi Future for America: An Idealistic Dream or Nightmare?

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By ranfuchs on September 12, 2010 at 07:57 pm

Third world countries are typified by few that have and most who don't. It's the creation of middle class, that moved them from their third world status to first world economies. It's always starts with cheap labor, and then moved to added value.

US, is an interesting case, of moving back to cheap labor. This clearly signify, moving away from a first world country status. The trend, as you indicated, is irreversible. Or at least, has never been. Will US do what has never done before?

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