Automation v. Immigrants (Jobs Fake-Out)

Job loss for U.S. citizens is NOT actually due to Automation.  Job loss is NOT due to Immigration either.  But the conglomerate businesses and tycoons want to plant that idea of automation-vs-immigrants in your head as does the elitists and intellectuals.  They have set the strawman, the either this, or that scenario for taking either door #1 or door #2 with no other choices.  You have been duped to think the factory/manufacturing jobs are gone for U.S. citizens due to either automation or immigration (AUTOMATION V. IMMIGRATION).


Maybe the problem is not mainly automation or immigration, but that the hyper surge over the years of Wage & Hour regulations and rules have nearly snuffed out the manufacturers and factories in the USA.   How about we grow private sector jobs and restore the American spirit / know-how?


Jobs For All Skill Levels in the USA should be the top priority.   That means –

1) Jobs for All Education Levels

2) Jobs for All Capabilities (Including people with challenging disabling limitations)

3) Jobs for All Capacities

4) Jobs of No-Tech

5) Jobs of Low-Tech

6) Jobs of No-Collar

7) Jobs of Blue Collar


The premise is that automation has and will continue to displace jobs for an increasing number of people in the USA in a variety of employment sectors. But is that really the problem?


Are the people who are not inclined to sit in classrooms after high school graduation doomed to be unemployed and dependent?


Manufacturing is about people that want to see the product of a hard day of work.


We need to relax the Wage & Hour rules and other regulations.


Too many people have turned their backs on the average workers, the average Joe. Jobs for All skills and education levels are #1 priority.



Yes, there was a time in America when straight out of High School there were many people who could successfully seek and get a life-long job from which to raise a family and buy a house that could be paid off in due time.  Well, what happened?  Law suits and regulations stopped a lot of the manpower because no longer could a kid start in a warehouse learning to operate a forklift, there are work restrictions on apprenticeships that prevent physical activity that in the past would lead to life-long careers.  On-the-Job Training (OJT) was practically banned for youth in many labor intensive jobs.

Hyper regulation and wage rules have all but stopped the paid Apprenticeships and OJT physical type jobs.  The answer is to at least temporarily suspend the job killing regulations and wage rules.  Also if JOBS are the #1 priority we should relax payroll taxes too.



Tom C. Purcell Added Mar 16, 2017 - 4:02pm
Well said, Opes.  It's a tough subject, lots of questions.  The automation of industries is not so far off the path of 'The Hunger Games' premise.  Surreal.
Cliff M. Added Mar 16, 2017 - 4:11pm
Opes, I totally agree about the payroll taxes. The hidden cost's to hire employees has turned this into a gig economy.We kind of hit the perfect storm when the recession hit and left a real poor labor market.Cost's could be cut everywhere with still a line of prospects willing to take whatever was being offered.The well capitalized were in a position to take advantage while those looking for employment were left in a dark place. I agree with all of your ideas but still believe the Demand side of the equation is where the real answer to the problem exist.
George N Romey Added Mar 16, 2017 - 4:20pm
The issue is that we start down a long slippery slope.  Companies have already turned what were entry level jobs into "unpaid internships."  Cliff is correct that its the lack of demand that is killing hiring.  And without the hiring you do not get the demand.  Also, as manufacturing jobs moved offshore they have been replaced by low value, low skill, low pay service sector jobs.  Also remember when factories close here it means fewer needed in finance, HR, engineering and administration.   Gig jobs have replaced decent good paying jobs based upon dealing products of real value.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 16, 2017 - 5:03pm
That's why we constantly need pro-growth policies to improve economic conditions for everyone!
Opes Added Mar 16, 2017 - 6:37pm
It's not brain science in knowing that a reduced workforce does cause a reduction in consumption by consumers because the consumers are also the workforce.  That is why pro-growth is the answer along with reduced regulations.  Rebuild and repairing the infrastructure is one major key component as there are multiple side benefits in an assortment of industries if done correctly.
But the forecast that autonomous vehicles might get big within 3-4 years is troubling in the potential displacement of workers, for example jobs requiring drivers (Trucks, Taxis, Buses, Delivery Services, etc.) might account for over 10 million human jobs lost.  However, that could just be a smoke-screen hiding the fact that those advances will likely lead to new low tech job opportunities for maintaining the autonomous vehicle expansion.  I can't see a driverless (Self-Driving) cars/trucks being used as fire-trucks or ambulance coming in the future.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 17, 2017 - 1:54am
Fuck it!!!! Let's get rid of ALL wage and safety regulations, and while we're at it let's get rid of wages too. Fucking ingrates should be happy with a dirty blanket and their bowl of gruel. Beats sleeping on the street!!!
After all, can't have the c-level assholes flying around in last year's Gulfstream now can we!
C Daniel Myers Added Mar 17, 2017 - 5:45am
Briefly, the purported premise here - automation vs immigration - is not discussed by any serious executive, economist, or policy-maker, because it is neither a real phenomena nor is it part of the propaganda on the left, the right, wall st., the feds, or even the unions.
There have been and will continue to be automation "bubbles" where new technologies replace a non-zero number of lesser skilled jobs - even burger-flipping robotics when local governments are driven by the ignorant left to $15/hr minimum wages. When this happens, these jobs are not "replaced" by anything: those that once did hard, often semi-skilled labor dumped into unrelated, Lower skill, often part time jobs - esp during Obama's failed recovery.
As for immigrants, when investigative economists count 23-28M illegal immigrants - not 11M, that's a 13-yr old number - at a time that sees 95M American citizens not working, there is nothing false about the impact of 2 presidents in a row unwilling to focus on citizens vs cheap labor by illegals for corporations. And it's not Legal Immigrants, it's illegals that cause the problems, even though the H1B and H2B programs replace unemployed Americans with cheap foreign labor - and have for over 30 years.
While I commend the author for that effort, let me suggest that newspaper-level economics education does not quite suffice to offer a meaningful grasp of these issues... Let me encourage you all to keep reading, and select even better sources: Wall St Journal, Barrons, Bloomberg, Investor's Business Daily, Forbes, Fortune, and, online, Business Insider, Inc100, Drudge, Breitbart, BBC, Der Spiegel, The Economist. Ellethe NY Times and Washington Post have a broad range of coverage, they have fallen so far to the left that you need to already be a Subject Matter Expert to separate the crap from reality...
Finally, when doing this kind of writing, a large topic header is a great way to begin the exposition. You just need to do your best to have a real, operable premise... :-)
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 17, 2017 - 6:39am
there is nothing false about the impact of 2 presidents in a row unwilling to focus on citizens vs cheap labor by illegals for corporations.
Start jailing these c-level assholes 20 years for each offense of hiring illegals and it will stop faster than their pilot can file a flight plan to a non extradition treaty country. 
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 9:51am
Jeffry, We likely can't recapture the same pro-growth acceleration of the industrial age due to various social factors and politics.  Yes, there are risks in many physical occupations, but can a society allow free people to pick and choose their risk level for a particular job. Saving people from risk choices does hamper, just as some unionization does. Balance and deciding priorities is made difficult when just issues are made confusing with false choices regarding immigration v. automation.
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:03am
C Daniel, Maybe you are asking why a conglomerate entity could want the masses of people to be side tracked to think automation has taken their jobs, or immigration has taken jobs away?  Well, it could be simply the good ole advantage strategy for limiting the competition.  Regulation and promulgated rules often assist the winners and on the other end push down losers.  Small businesses and startups have the most difficulty against the established mega businesses who have the where with all to navigate all the laws and regulatory gridlocks.
Thomas Sutrina Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:15am
Corporations, Capitalist barons, want lower costs and barriers to competition.  The government regulations favor crony capitalist which are those capitalist that gain special treatment from the government.  The layers upon layers of regulations restrict entry of another capitalist into a market.  Yes the regulations cost those receiving special treatment money, but they still gain by preventing competition.  They get to raise prices to cover the cost of regulations and point to the regulations for the price increase to boot.  Immigration or foreign workers lowers cost especially if they can be located outside the barriers, the country.
Barriers and welfare create a class society which promotes the continuation of the system for generations.  The children of government officials and the capitalist barons live in a protective bubble.  They can fail and their position in the upper class is secure. It also means that those in other classes are kept in their class by the barriers.
Mexico and South American Countries governments come form Europe society when Kings and monarchs rained, class societies well established.  Thus the government today in the Americas are reflections of their parents, class societies. India and China have similar heritages.  That is why they have poor workers. We see the result of a class society all around us.
America, its founders saw that they as colonist would never be anything more then a lower class.  Realized that this was wrong and chose to resist.  That is at the core of the American Revolutionary War.  Not the taxes or other things stated in the Declaration of Independence.  Those are just the result of a class society.  The barriers between classes.  The solution was to eliminate barriers to mobility between levels of wealth and influence.  You can not eliminate these differences, but the Constitution as originally written and for the first century prevented significant barriers to mobility.
Thomas Sutrina Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:17am
H1B visa purpose was to bring in foreign skills that were unique and not found in sufficient number in the USA. Inventors which in in a niche etc. But today is have been open to almost anyone with an education. Support for computers networks get H1B visas while we have hundreds of teenagers that have learned to hack their own computers and are more capable then some of these workers. H1B visas bring in people that replace American Citizens, CITIZENS, for less money that performs support for automation.
Government gains votes or rather voters that want to continue receiving government support. This is a goal of the Democratic party to gain control of government. Be the sitting government, a Socialist or Marxist government.
Corporations, Capitalist barons, want lower costs and barriers to competition. The government regulations favor crony capitalist which are those capitalist that gain special treatment from the government. The layers upon layers of regulations restrict entry of another capitalist into a market. Yes the regulations cost those receiving special treatment money, but they still gain by preventing competition. They get to raise prices to cover the cost of regulations and point to the regulations for the price increase to boot. Immigration or foreign workers lowers cost especially if they can be located outside the barriers, the country.
Carole McKee Added Mar 17, 2017 - 11:39am
Well said. I do agree. But it goes farther than that. I always say it's easier to be poor in another country than it is to be poor in the United States; because we have so many rules and regulations that make it impossible for a poor person to maintain. I'm for getting rid of a lot of the regulations that keep people from working. 
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 17, 2017 - 12:04pm
You may be the best house painter in America, but if you are not skilled at complicated forms and highly educated on the tens of thousands of regulations governing the operation of businesses and those covering painting in your State you will never be able to work for yourself because the Government has created a system where a basic person can't swim in that water.
The same is true for small businesses who can't compete against larger companies because the larger company can afford to have a team of full time killer attorneys to wade through the mess and to push for special advantages and the small company can't afford to spend a few million dollars on bribes (called political donations) and lobbyists  to get special favors in the writing of those rules and regulations.
But I will add this, the low skilled, uneducated worker has become a global commodity and that has driven down those wages.  Uneducated and unskilled workers used to be able to get a factory job and earn a middle class life, trade deals have erased that possibility forever.  Technology also erased the need for most middle management, accounting, and inventory personnel that also used to be good middle class jobs in America for the moderately educated.
Automation has indeed made an impact, I have family who worked at a Ford plant when some new automated welders were installed and 12 full time welder jobs were removed, they could not fire them right away but slowly phased them out and never rehired them.
Now we hear about fast food dabbling in automation and even vending machines that will cook you a custom fresh pizza.  Times are certainly changing for the labor force in America.
George N Romey Added Mar 17, 2017 - 12:33pm
20 years ago in big cities company offices would have a receptionist to greet visitors and answer the phone.  Today you get greeted by a list of extensions to dial the person you are visiting so that they may come outside and get you.  The phones are answered by technology. Have you been a fast food joint lately and seen the kiosks up and running?
Todd Flora Added Mar 17, 2017 - 1:51pm
Can you, Opes, or others speak to the SPECIFIC regulations that need to be repealed? I'm open minded to hearing some of the more onerous or strange one's out there. But just saying they need to go generally, without specifics, ... this just sounds like a conservative or libertarian diatribe. 
Carole McKee Added Mar 17, 2017 - 2:08pm
Have you noticed that every new regulation or law that gets passed costs the citizens money? Some are actually good laws, but they still cost people money. Three that come to mind immediately are:
1. mandatory car insurance. 2. Mandatory child car seats. 3. Bike helmets for kids.
Are they good laws? Sure. But with each law, the cost of the product jumped up. It's the same with manufacturing plants. Laws and regulations get imposed and costs go up. 
I also understand what George N. Romey is talking about. A receptionist job was always a nice entry level position for someone just out of high school. That has been eliminated in most places. If there is such a person now, he/she has to have phone skills, computer skills, and often a degree. And it does seem that people skills aren't a requirement any more.
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 4:11pm
Todd, Beyond the shear overload of red tape,  there are would-be employers and current employers that are hampered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but it is not easy to obtain the list of them as that would require much research.  There are of course examples in the News about penalties unpaid wages regarding overtime involving Walmart, Halliburton and some Energy companies. 
One of the most difficult is Wage & Hour regulations dealing with Interns, Volunteers, Independent Contractors, Consultants, and Temporary Workers.  Sometimes in getting business off the ground, a person might want to utilize one or more of the above categories. They might want to also pay less than standard wage for work that is done at less than what is standard.
Todd Flora Added Mar 17, 2017 - 4:20pm
Ok, your solutions are clearly right-wing ideology. Many of these standards came about because of investigative journalists finding out people were really being hurt (Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle") and during the Depression, when the New Deal was passed. Under the New Deal (which has been dismantled slowly since Reagan was elected and began to destroy it), saw the largest expansion -- really the INVENTION OF -- a true middle class in this country that had buying power. 
Are you really going to try and tell me it's a "shame" of some kind that Walmart, Halliburton, and these energy companies were caught not paying workers what they were due?!  Do you KNOW how filthy rich the Walton family is?!  
I don't mind a competent 15-16 year old kid being trained on a forklift. But my word -- Ayn Rand type of thinking isn't the solution ... it was and always will be the problem. 
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 4:43pm
The mention of Walmart & Halliburton is not to support their practices in those matters, it was just an example of some of the companies that are highlighted in the press while others are not.  Those others are small businesses and sometimes Ma&Pop entities.
Todd, Are you of the idea that there was NOT a robust surge in the economy during the second term of Reagan?
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 5:19pm
Thomas, You truly hit onto one of the most egregious plagues against the U.S. worker - H1B visa program as it had good intentions but was widely abused.  
Todd Flora Added Mar 17, 2017 - 5:33pm
@Opes, the birth of the huge debt era and "McJobs" growth is Reagan's legacy. I DO agree with you and @ThomasSutrina, however, on H1Bs. Instead of hiring American-educated engineers and programmers, too many tech companies say "we don't have a qualified enough hiring pool" and insist they must be allowed to hire from overseas (at much lower salaries). Ridiculous.
Opes Added Mar 17, 2017 - 6:23pm
Todd, True there was debt, but no recession.  True there were McJobs, but also there was a lot of entrepreneurial growth too.
It looks like most agree the H1B became abusively used in neglecting the employment of U.S. workers. 
George N Romey Added Mar 17, 2017 - 8:00pm
JP Morgan is introducing a new system called COIN. It will review commercial loan contracts for compliance and save the bank 360,000 hours of attorney work, saving the bank $180 million a year in lawyer salaries. So there is going to be a bunch of lawyers thrown out of a job due to artificial intelligence.  Of course, other companies will soon follow suit.  
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 17, 2017 - 9:17pm
George, I can't see where lawyers losing jobs is a bad thing. :) Just sayin'.
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:46pm
The largest employers in America are small business, not large corporations.  While you are in a rage and attacking Wal-Mart those same regulations severely hurt the smaller companies.  In your need to hate on corporations you are actually making it so only those large monsters can compete because only they can afford the teams of lawyers and lobbyists to tweak the rules to give them the advantage.
And while you are ranting about what you try to claim are "Right-wing" policies you need to remember the Democrats are the new corporate sweethearts,  corporations, bankers, and wall street were shoving money into Hillary Clinton's campaign like drunks in Vegas shove money into g-strings.
The Democrats are the big money party now, but spending all that money did not help them win the election.........
Focus Blue Added Mar 18, 2017 - 12:56am
Sorry kids, but I call bullshit. I've worked at several mid to large scale corporations and watched jobs leave the US for Mexico under NAFTA and jobs leave an area for other states and countries. I've seen tons of 'brought into the country' visa people to take jobs that should have gone to American citizens. I've watched manufacturing floors be automated and participated in some of those floors being automated by selecting the tools and other equipment to make them so....which unfortunately knocked out bunches of jobs that people held in those companies on those floors.

Every time a company takes on H1B workers....once they've completed the 3 years....those H1B workers can now go and work for companies in the US without affecting the H1B quotas. Those who are brought in on 10 year work visas can renew those indefinitely and without ever becoming a US citizen. Green card holders can renew their cards over and over again. The landscape and construction jobs almost always go to illegal aliens first before citizens. Ask any of those companies whom they prefer....illegals, green card or citizens. I think you will find they prefer anyone who is not a citizen unless they've been an illegal, a visa worker or green card holder somewhere on their resume. 

A lot of the mainframe, mini, desktop and laptop computers used to be made in the US. That's not the preference any longer. 

Overseas manufacturing is preferred mostly commonly because those countries have cheaper operational costs and fewer regulations.....not to mention a very different, tho preferred, work ethic then in America. 

Make no mistake....US jobs for citizens is not the preference. What's happening in the US these days is the push for the US to be like other countries that bring in foreign workers. 

Louis E Weeks Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:26am
Why?  Why do all those companies keep pushing lower costs?  Why does Wal-Mart exist?
Because of you and me.  We want the cheapest possible cost and we do not care where it is made as long as it is cheap.  This is not a new idea, Americans have always loved cheap stuff from other countries.  Clothing was a big one, transistor radios and other electronics from Japan gutted American companies long before Wal-Mart was a player in the game.
NAFTA certainly added  to that mess with unfair trade rules but still it is the American consumer who drives the cheap, cheap, cheap buss, all the corporations are just having to toe-the-line of the consumer.
I have first hand knowledge of the Dell tech support and how they were the last company to still maintain most of their tech support in America when everyone else had already shipped support to India.  I actually saw a vice President cry over closing down most of their American tech support, but they had no choice, all the competition shaved that cost off their bottom line so it was either do the same thing or go out of business.
Speaking of Wal-Mart, my local store was part of a marketing study conducted several years ago where they would display goods all over the store and clearly mark them as made in USA next to cheaper foreign made items that were similar.  In almost all cases consumers picked the cheaper foreign made product over the American made product that cost more.
Consumers want cheap stuff, producers of the cheap stuff are doing what they can to make it cheaper and cheaper and cheaper.  Corporations are only doing what the consumer wants.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:57am
Corporations are only doing what the consumer wants.
Corporations are only doing what the shareholder wants. Consumer be damned. 
There, fixed it. 
Opes Added Mar 18, 2017 - 9:44am
George, The lawyers seem to find new angles to work so maybe we shouldn't worry.
Louis, You match my sentiments completely regarding small business challenges.
Focus, NAFTA has caused many to abandon the American workforce, but that just further adds strength to the argument that NAFTA is a policy that has caused regulations which hurt not only U.S. workers, but also small businesses.
Opes Added Mar 18, 2017 - 9:50am
On a side note here - back in time the phrase "made in japan" meant to many it was cheaply made as well as cheap in price. And American made was considered solid and long lasting, a durable product. That all changed at some point when certain companies started cheating with inferior products, misleading labels, etc.
Carole McKee Added Mar 18, 2017 - 11:03am
Jeffry Gilbert: Corporations are only doing what the shareholder wants. Consumer be damned. This is true.
Louis E. Weeks: Why does Wal-Mart exist? There is a Publix Supermarket and a Walmart Supercenter both within a short distance from my home. Everything--and I do mean everything--is a $1.00 higher at the Publix store. Now why would anyone choose to go to Publix? 
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 11:08am
Carole half of Americans have less than $400 in savings.  If they go to Wal Mart and buy 40 items, that's $40 less.  That makes a huge savings for the too many Americans barely, and I mean barely, making it paycheck to paycheck, it that.  Yes, they will be treated like total crap at Wal Mart because that is the business model (although you will never hear the eight figure executives at Wal Mart admit so).
This is the new American 3rd world reality. Poverty is abound and people in poverty have no choice.
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 18, 2017 - 5:42pm
I completely disagree. I grew in the heart of coal country so I know their story better than most.  I now have spent 35 years in the tech industry all throughout California. Another sector I have expertise in. The coal industry like the finance, tech, housing and others have been decimated by greed. First, it was deep mining employing thousands of men and children. As regulations came in because children were dying or being maimed for life with no ability to be compensated the coal industry moved to strip mining or high wall mining. Come and strip off the side of a mountain to get to the coal creating a high wall 70'-100' high. Push it all over the side who gives damn as to the ecological damage. I worked to end strip mining. We spent days of our lives in Charleston WV going through business ledgers following back who was responsible once the local fly by night operators had split. It was Conoco, Exxon, BP the big energy conglomerates. The coming formation of the EPA helped. The massive environmental damage done by this type of mining was devastating. But who cares? The east got it's coal and energy who cares if the state was left a wasteland to live in. Unfortunately, for most the people who lived there.
Then came the Reagan with his merger and acquisition economy. The glass factory that had been in business 100 years that made the stemware for the last true American President, John F. Kennedy was bought and the cash stripped out and now it is a museum as was the shirt factory, faucet factory and 1,000 other businesses across the south. Businesses that had put a generation or more through Universities and Ivy league schools, gone. 
Long before there was Bhopal India there was Clarksburg, WV before there was Flint Michigan there was Parkersburg, WV and so on and so forth. While Clarksburg's spills were never as epic as Bhopal they happened continuously while the company did nothing about them. Want to know why Southerners dislike Northerners? It's because the North's companies who did not want to build their toxic plants in their backyard built them in Appalachia where the labor was as cheap as Mexico, China, and Japan. 
It is about greed it has always been about greed. It breaks my soul to see how folks have bought into the rich's wage and hour manipulation. Thousands died, many of them children, so we could have two 15's and a 30-minute lunch. Economically does a fixed minimum wage make sense in a true capitalist society no? America has never been a "true" capitalist society it is an oligarchy society always has been always will be. Now we just accept it. When even the "Robber Barrons" would have never agreed with what is going on. 
It is automation and it is coming on strong. Companies are developing highly advanced robots that can get your exact salad from the salad bar and give it to you. No complaints about the hours, being on their feet, pulling a double or call off no shows. It is automated cars, no longer a need for insurance or a car repair industry. He today? No but in less than ten years. 
Here is a major economic policy maker talking about automation. Notice he corrects himself correctly it was George W. Bush Senior who created and wanted to pass NAFTA.
It is also the pharmacology business that got a generation hooked on opiates who would rather stay home and squeak by on food stamps and benefits than work. There are several people I know who have "Made in America" businesses around the country who can not get people to stay employed long enough to learn a skill or once they do the just quit for a whole variety of reasons. Two factories sit almost idle on the verge of bankruptcy because employees will not stay employed. 
It is the poor wages and no health care and an aging population that makes people have to choose between living dirt poor so they can have medical care or work and have none.
It is the Waltons that we allow to be worth almost $100 Billion who pay their employee's substandard wages so they have to go on social programs to live.
It is the support of ideas about problems people don not begin to understand. The illegal immigrant "problem" is economic, not social. There isn't Caucasian, African American, Asian, Indian who is willing to go pick crops in the sun all day for peanuts. To live in canyons with no power, and toilets or running water.  The current solution bandied about? Going back to prison chain gangs. Good luck with that. The sue for every tiny nuance or issue I highly doubt they'll be picking crops without air conditioning, flushing toilets, cell phones, TV breaks, coffee breaks and fast food for lunch. 
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 18, 2017 - 5:45pm
the rest;
There is very little manufactured in America. Are there plenty of items still yes, but America has long been a consumer economy the question is when enough people no longer have jobs then what happens?
The homeless problem in the Western States is at an all-time high. Record numbers in numerous locations numbers not seen since the great depression.
I have also worked as a career counselor and jobs coach.
Are there manufacturing jobs? Sure there are.
Are there assembly jobs? Sure there are.
Are there warehouse jobs? Sure there are.
Are there career paths, well yes. For the individual willing to move outside their comfort zone. Take a boring repetitive job and excel to show management they can do more or have the guts to ask.
Are there life long careers in a job like George Lopez where people worked for 40 years, no.
What has happened is American companies, in general, have become greed pits, in large part due to the requirement to continue to produce results for the analysts and the streets i.e. the stockholders which are mostly institutions and retirement plans. It is difficult as hell to be sitting in a Board Room and honestly decide to report to the street next week a 1% growth when a 3% was expected. C-level is an industry not an indebted individual to the company.
Is all lost? No, not by a long shot but it is a very deep hole and it is going to take a long time, creative thinking and working together to get out of it.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 5:50pm
Good post Henry.  We are certainly not ready for artificial intelligence which is going to devastate the professional class.  Sure those born into wealth will still do well, they always do.  But all those MBAs with their decades of experience are going find the pickins slim. This is already happening in finance, marketing, legal and HR.  Ask any unemployed person over the age of 50 that used to live the good life.  Companies feel they have hit pay dirt if they can find a way to get rid of all those six figure employees with their demands for bennies.
Opes Added Mar 18, 2017 - 7:15pm
Henry, Yes greed!  You remind me of the ideas brought forth in the movie starring Micheal Douglas "Wall Street", with the moniker "greed is good".  It's an ugly truth to know that it is fashionable to take advantage of the hard workers, and to oppress more and more of the middle class and others.
The homeless issue is for some people an invisible horror.  However, there are many that would have been cared for and some rehabilitated in the past during the rise of institutionalization of persons with severe mental illness that are living on the streets nowadays.
Creative solutions?  Well, it seems like the voters were determined to through a wrench into the works of the establishment politics even though it's a chaos (hailmary) option.  But sometimes a shock to the system is necessary to reboot / reorganize.
Eileen de Bruin Added Mar 19, 2017 - 1:33pm
Opes - good thread.
Louis:  well said.  I agree with you. We are our own worst enemies.  We want cheap, we force companies to economise in order to even remain in the market place and compete. Ryan Air is the epitome of this model You can have everything you wish, you can see the cost - 10 euros here or 15 euros there and then the "cheap" ticket might not be so "cheap" anymore. I often wonder when the button will appear with "Click here if you just want to be ripped off by another 10 euros"! But, on the other hand, cheap air travel has opened up the world for people. It is not the glamourous activity of yesteryear, but it gets you from A to B quite cheaply if you are prepared to suffer a little discomfort. 
Walmart and all of the supermarkets are frequented by us all and we shop with them even if we are not too sure about their ethics. McDonalds, with zero hour contracts, hasn't really stopped them being frequented has it? 
On the one hand we talk about ethics and ideals and on the other hand we do not do anything personally to address our high standards! Ok, sometimes we try.  I stopped buying any fruit and veg from Lidl. Why?  Well, I was in the centre of Brittany in France, in the huge growing area for all types of veg and fruits. Brittany must be a huge capital for onions! Onions of all shapes and sizes....herbs and all sorts. In Lidl, in Brittany thus, there were sacks of onions from.....wait for it.....Australia!  Yes, I kid you not!  The pots of herbs were from Holland...ok closer by but still a thousand kilometres, give or take. The actual cost, to the world, is much higher than the cheapness of the onions from Australia or the herbs from Holland because the transportation of those onions and herbs is costing the earth - fuel, etc. 
I do go to the organic supermarkets whenever I can - I certainly transferred to them whilst living in Brittany and they are doing very well, thank goodness due to a Co-operative. I buy organic, possibly local produce and support the efforts of the supermarket to do things the ethical way.  Yes, it costs. But I do not buy meat and spend next to nothing on biscuits, cakes, chocolate etc. so, in fact, it is more affordable than we might realise. Good rice, with the husk, is a brilliant staple - you eat less because it is more bulk and goodness and you eat exceptionally well. Staff and people throughout the produce chain are doing good work for fair pay. It is a win-win situation.
It is hard to be ethical. It is hard to face up to our own hypocrisies.
Staffing in organisations is, indeed, diminishing and the old ways of dealing with the public, like a receptionist, are disappearing. I just clicked on the "I am here" screen at the dentists the other day bypassing the receptionist altogether. Is this right or wrong?
Automation is here. Client help lines from India (!) are there. Sometimes it is impossible to get to speak to a human being to sort a simple query. Throwing the 'phone across the room having spent ten minutes or even twenty waiting for a person (with the message "we value your call; an operator will be with you shortly") is something that we might have done. 
Technology should ease the burden of man. Yes, it does. But it can also whip us, confound us and put us out of work.  In any event, let's stop blaming immigrants!
Carole McKee Added Mar 19, 2017 - 4:40pm
Henry, you are spot on. The key word is GREED. The more a company make, the more it wants, and the less it's willing to give away. Oh, they bounce large sums toward charities for tax purposes, but that's just a show of more greed. It used to be that a company would use perks to lure in good employees, but unless it's for an executive position, companies have adopted a "take it or leave it" attitude when hiring workers. There is no incentive to take the job, other than you don't want your family hungry or homeless.
And you are right about people willing to stay on Welfare and just squeak by or the healthcare. I heard a woman complaining about how she never had enough money to pay for housing, utilities, and other necessities, and that the food stamps she got never lasted all month. I asked her why she didn't try to get a job instead of living on Welfare, and she said exactly what you mentioned. I'd lose my healthcare coverage, and my daughter has asthma. We need medical. So there it is: The rock and a hard place.
Opes Added Mar 19, 2017 - 9:02pm

Eileen, Our collective attempt to find the best deal when shopping is a component, but my fear is that this is too simple for why Americans are losing job opportunities.  There was a time when buying American made products was seen as patriotic, and seen as helping to keep Americans employed.  Somehow the feelings towards patriotism became diminished.  There were many people who would only buy American made cars even when the foreign made cars were less expensive, but little by little the American car industry began to have parts made outside the country, which did take jobs away from Americans.  Some of the fault might be argued to be on the overly aggressive union benefits.
We seem to all like deeply discounted opportunities to buy things.  The products made in other countries are cheaper sometimes due to the limited regulations they deal with in addition to less wages.

Henry Mengoli Added Mar 20, 2017 - 1:02am
Thank you, George, Opes, and Carole
Perhaps I am overly sensitive to the undocumented workers, tech and cheap is good concepts but I agree.
When I first moved to Southern California I was by myself in search of the California dream. I went through a hard start to get on my feet. I became integrated into the undocumented issue volunteering my efforts for my religion which was and still is focused on helping those here "illegally" if you will. We protested, marched and fought for their rights. None of us envisioned it getting out of hand to the point where they can have California Drivers Licenses but they can. Don't ask me how. The can also get insurance. Again a concept that makes no sense to me.
I saw it as again a greed issue. They were an expendable resource to do the farmers bidding with no requirement to provide water, toilets etc. I never was afraid to go to Mexico so I traveled there quite a bit on my own and with friends, camping, diving, and enjoying ourselves. The more I experienced both sides of the issue the more I got what was truly going on. Most of the undocumented workers who come here are indigenous peoples across Latin America and Mexico. They are not the European Mexicans, fair skinned, with jobs doing OK. They are like the Indians, Irish, Italians, Poles and Americans of African descent the people no one wanted here.
As so well portrayed in Gangs of New York, "white has always been right" in the land of the "melting pot." Oh, people will get on their high horse and become indignant and say how dare you to say I'm racist/biased but it's true. Like the Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles. shows, we are all biased about something or someone.
For the most part, the undocumented worker is trying to escape the cultural bias in their own land and America is the land waiting with open arms to exploit them. Which we are unfortunately very good at. America has always been the land where people get rich exploiting some lesser group. At least 100/50 years ago we had some compassion not anymore, The Walmart's, McDonald's, Carl's Junior are staffed with either those fresh across the border or who have been here a short while. They can barely speak English and I can tell that most are here as undocumented workers. What Americans do not realize or want to accept is the ability for these workers to get "legal paperwork" for a price. Including birth certificates, SSN's and everything you need to appear here legally in some case 24 hours or less. McDonald's went to a number system on its menu because people were getting increasingly frustrated with the barely educated and those barely able to speak English drive-through order takers.
The undocumented issue is and always has been an economic issue. supply and demand. It is not a policy issue.
We are all right but the government and the rich use policies to confuse people. Jobs were leaving long before NAFTA. In the 1960's companies driven by greed and the street sought to economize. In 1980's and 90's the MBA generation simply heightened it and put numbers behind it to support their claims. I have worked for several companies where a self-fulfilled consulting firm has been hired. Full of Ivy league MBA's with absolutely no work experience other than caddying for the dad's golf club. Running their calculations, crunching numbers and producing page after page to justify their bill. Ironically, the number of layoffs proposed or as the like to say "downsizing" always covers their bill with saving for the company. I have argued aggressively with them on more than one occasion pointing out the flaws in their thinking and I have always been met with you have a union mentality. If you mean put the worker first before management than hell yes.
There was a time when cheap meant crap to most Americans. I remember the Japanese issue well. Maybe it was where I was living but my father and many fathers would not be caught dead using a Japanese tool. If you did, it was likely to break and you sustaining some injury. Craftsman or some other brand equal to it was the good American brand to use. We did buy American and we didn't care.
The economy at that time still produced things a necessary of GDP. Simple economics states that you have to produce something, a tangible product, to sell it and make a profit. That economy left America and ended up in Japan, then Mexico, Asia, and India. The point can best be illustrated by looking at how the Japanese workmanship went from 0 to 100 in less than two decades. After bombing them we felt incredibly guilty and gave them massive resources to help rebuild.  One of the key resources was W. Edwards Deming. Now it was said he wanted to try his ideas out for systems improvement in America but no one was interested. One thing is certain he revolutionized the Japanese workforce and productivity.
In summary;
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 20, 2017 - 1:07am
The rest:
"Deming is best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly his work with the leaders of Japanese industry. That work began in August 1950 at the Hakone Convention Center in Tokyo when Deming delivered a speech on what he called "Statistical Product Quality Administration". Many in Japan credit Deming as one of the inspirations for what has become known as the Japanese post-war economic miracle of 1950 to 1960, when Japan rose from the ashes of war on the road to becoming the second largest economy in the world through processes partially influenced by the ideas Deming taught:[4]
Better design of products to improve service
Higher level of uniform product quality
Improvement of product testing in the workplace and in research centers
Greater sales through side [global] markets"
How I understood it was through my Uncle who worked for Raython. He was lamenting what was happening in the late 60's to the American worker productivity. He said we can have chips made here and have 8-10% faiure rate. We have them produced in Japan at 6% failure rate. Which am I suppose to chose?
Policies have done much to affect the American economy and productivity. They have made it easier, legal and faster to do what has been happening for a long time. In the 1980's when I was majoring in Economics I had some amazing professors. I got kicked out of class for the day when I made a smart comment. He was predicting that by the 2000's America would have converted to a service economy. Which was in stark contrast to everything I understood about economics. I said, "When we are all done servicing each other how will we have an economy." I had asked in all sincerity.
For a long time, we have spoken about the "consumer economy" which logic discerns we have to consume to continue to have an economy. Without jobs how is that possible?
Bright points on the horizon:
I had a gourmet coffee house several years back. We were able to give the closest Starbucks a run for the money. We were focused on doing things differently. I live in a large county the city is small in comparison to most. We only bought coffee from local roasters. We only bought the best meats for our sandwiches. What made them great? We bought all our vegetables from local organic farmers, a commune that I traveled to see how they did what they did. We bought only local or regional organic fruit. We bought only local bread. One day an activist told me we were known as a "Locavore." A place that sources all its products locally. We also were also activist we supported the local art galleries with free coffee. We had family night free hot chocolate for the kids. We supported local artists by allowing them to turn the store into their own gallery for a month. We supported causes we believed in not only with money, but a free meeting place, coffee, and food.
There is a growing number of these poping up across the country now. Generations are coming together and voting with their dollars. Yes, you have to have an upscale market to sell to but with a great product, not canned like Starbucks, people will pay $.50 more. We  were storngly contributing to the community in dollars, effort and jobs. 
There are other bright points more and more companies are pulling support and software back to America. The cost is too high in lost consumers and in trying to manage the process remotely. The greatest thing we can do is stop complaining and start doing. 
Millenials have got our number. Again it is no ones fault the dream we were sold was to have a house, two cars, and 2.5 kids. I used to ask for years why do we have a formal dining room and living room. We entertained more than most but being Californian the natural gravity was to the outside. Yes in winter we used the rooms but to have rooms dedicated to empty space 90% of the time seemed a waste. 
Millenials have capitalized on the empty space/non-use concept and are using it to their advantage. From why do I need a home that has so much unused space, to why does my car sit there for 12 hours doing nothing to neighborhoods sharing high-end lawnmowers, tools etc. 
Assuming our messing with the human genome, and the need to play God and create life with computers do not kill us we might just make it. First, we have to take care of the social problems. If we are to say we have a society then it is all inclusive no discrimination for healthcare, homelessness, mental illness, or disease. Resources must be distributed more fairly and the constant exploitation of others for wealth must end. 
Eileen de Bruin Added Mar 20, 2017 - 8:17am
Eileen de Bruin Added Mar 20, 2017 - 8:18am
-- Henry:
Deming, yes, wow! Certainly my hero and a genius. America gave him to Japan, imagine that! And then Japan came back and bit the US in the butt! He was a brilliant statistician but also a very human and kind person. Why on earth have his proven practices not been taken on board almost universally in the US and the UK? Not always the best people get the appropriate jobs or influence. This is at the heart of the human condition.
Way back when when Betamax and vhs were "fighting" for supremacy - the wars are known - Betamax was the best and the finest. Vhs prevailed however. . . . marketing did this.
In Systems' Philosophy - which I studied inside Information Systems in Business - the underlying philosophy is to factor in the soft-systems in at the early analysis and design stage. This was compatible with Deming's practices. Peter Checkland (at the University of Lancaster in the UK) was the leader of this approach and it was widely used in the fifties and into the sixties in huge institutions like ICI.
I was so surprised that Deming and Checkland (and with solid history behind of proven successes) were not more widely used in industry when I was out and about working in the nineties.
Then I figured it out (not exclusively of course!) The whole focus of the industrial and economic world is on a linear philosophy - as in black box - input/output. These were engineering-driven approaches and precluded the initial "soft" systems of detailed analysis at the early stages. The argument was that there was not time for this approach. That it cost too much money. The truth is that six months spent on analysis and patterns and the world view and so called "soft" factors would be worth its weight in gold because then the information system building stage would be shortened considerably, be much more precise and save lots of time and money. And work well.
What happened - and what happens now - is that ready made systems were put in to companies and then what is known as "bodge the bodge" in the industry reigned supreme. Systems' installations would take ten times longer than the initial project - all lots more money coming into the systems' integrators companies. Lots of systems were sabotaged by key staff working in a situation where unyielding information systems were "imposed" upon them.
There are many world examples of this: the NHS recently abandoned a system which has already cost 10 billion GBP - in 2013;
Your own Harvard Dr. Paul Dorcey has written this paper: The Top Ten Reasons Why Sytems Projects Fail.
Is says everything that I have just written but in more detail. Fundamentally, an architect would not put up a building without first having plans that have been cleared and tested. This is what happens in IT all the time. It is a male/masculine-driven environment; women are good at being systems' analysts in terms of the "soft" view but, try as I might, I could not get such work inside the IT industry as it was and is driven by men and they still take the same approach today as they were doing in the nineties. And so it goes on. Systems' Analysts are now mainly programmers - black box, in-out and linear almost exclusively. Yet the world is filled with books and volumes on the failure of systems and the costs are not minor - we are talking about billions and billions.
And the ordinary people in the street do not know about this and assume - as do even high up executives in companies - that they know nothing about computers so the engineering IT boys know what they are doing, even when they continue to bodge the bodged bodge. Even in the nineties, I heard this said weekly - concurrently to it provided them all with a damned good living, they never got fired for incongruous application and they could add a couple of zeroes at the end of their day-rates because they worked in computers.
The human condition is such that we have and continue to be bamboozled by this huge wall built around the entire systems and computer industries, and people just do not know how much they are being ripped off. And this goes all the way to government, is intrinsic in business practices, especially in the financial world.
Well, Henry, that opened up a whole part of my history there. I lamented so much that I knew what the real issues were but could never voice them - it was simply not tolerated. I ended up in marketing inside the Systems industry but I felt like a complete phoney selling stuff that was ready made and telling clients that it would be adapted to their needs. . . . . . . My ideal world view was long gone of course!
Eventually, I just worked for myself in small companies, helping them with basic systems and upgrading their sales and marketing approaches and profiles. I did research reports on a small scale on their marke
Prathapaneni Added Mar 20, 2017 - 9:17am
Immigrants are the valuable asset to America. And 2% unemplyoment is negligible. If this much percentage of unemployment is not there, there will be no competetion and, eventually a person lack of skills will be selected for the job. For better understanding I will give an example, mom asked his son, you must study hard to get a job, the kid says if there is no competition why I have to study hard. Do not worry mom, I will get a job if I am dropped from school also in worst case.
Opes Added Mar 20, 2017 - 10:08am
It is an unknown what the truth is on how many people are working off the books. Just like the black box in IT, we can't see all that is really going on, we just take the word of someone as fact.  The Unemployment statistics are complicated by specially defined terminology as to what or who is considered unemployed as only people that are still eligible, and are collecting Unemployment benefits. That leaves out too many people.
Welfare is another problematic statistic.  Bottomline, the numbers we tend to accept generally do not tell us enough of the facts from which to rectify the problems or be able to accurate determine the problems.  But of course we all understand there is an underground economy among welfare recipients and the unemployed populations.
Carole McKee Added Mar 20, 2017 - 11:53am
Maybe we should be looking more at employers than at immigrants, welfare recipients, and those collecting unemployment. If employers were held accountable for employees--meaning that every employee must be accounted for. No more 'under the table' wages. Every employee must fill out a w-4. (I think that's the form number. I've forgotten, since I have been self employed for quite a few years.) But eliminating 'under the table' wages, would eliminate a lot of dishonestly, wouldn't it?
George N Romey Added Mar 20, 2017 - 12:01pm
Carole how do you keep employers from hiring undocumented workers?  Go to a large city and the waiters, busboys, dishwashers, bartenders, cleaners, etc. are all undocumented.  You would have to hire thousands and thousands of ICE workers to do raids. They come here because there are jobs here and employers willing to hire and of course exploit them.
Carole McKee Added Mar 20, 2017 - 12:41pm
George, what you say is absolutely true--no question. But I don't think the immigrants are the villains here. It's the employers. I remember quite a few years ago, I was living in an area that was hard-pressed for work. I was recovering from surgery and desperately needed work. I saw an ad that said "Work with animals--will train." There were several applicants. At the time, minimum wage was $2.70/hr. The employer wanted to pay everybody $2.00/hour, and take out no taxes. It would be all 'under the table." I immediately shied away. So did a lot of others. One of our concerns was what would happen if we were bitten by one of the dogs? Second thought was what if we got caught not paying taxes? As it turned out, the employer did get busted for it. How she got caught, I don't know. 
Personally, I don't understand why every time I ever applied for a job, I was asked for proof of citizenship. 
I have no idea how the laws could be enforced. Maybe a positive/negative enforcement might help. Heavy fines if caught with employees working 'under the table' and tax breaks if all employees are accounted for on the tax and social security roster. Any other ideas?
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 20, 2017 - 1:38pm
Thank so much Eileen we are kindred souls. My undergraduate degrees are in Information Systems and Computer Science with an emphasis in computer mathematics, I think, I can't remember at this point, lol. The mind is sharp the details not so much. 
I agree that there are three fundamental issues currently facing society and several facing everyone in general, homelessness - it is not a choice in today's economy, immigration - on many levels, Poverty - which is also not a choice.
Are there those who make any one of the three a choice? By all means. I would put that number at around 10-15% of any of the three above mentioned items. 
I think it will take people like Eileen and me to solve these problems. We have been taught and studies show many of us are born thinking outside the box. 
Back to Opes original premise; "But the conglomerate businesses and tycoons want to plant that idea of automation-vs-immigrants in your head as does the elitists and intellectuals.  They have set the strawman, the either this or that scenario for taking either door #1 or door #2 with no other choices."
I believe he is right. While the perfect storm is coming, with automation and perhaps immigrants, it is the boardrooms, tycoons, and the newly rich who are behind the issues. 
For example and this not to turn the conversation political here is a link to a very well researched and sourced New Yorker article on how Donald Trump became president. From my viewpoint, It is a 
rebarbative expose on the power extremely rich nerds are starting to yield over our country. When Bob Mercer says cats have value because they bring pleasure but human beings don't that is a very scary view of the world. 
I encourage you to read it all the way through.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 21, 2017 - 6:34am
You would have to hire thousands and thousands of ICE workers to do raids
After the first few c-level assholes pay huge fines and go to jail for decades for having illegals on the payroll it would stop faster than they could dial the phone to tell their pilots to file a file a flight plan to a non extradition country. 
Eileen de Bruin Added Mar 21, 2017 - 6:46am
Henry, thank you too - I am so amazed to find a Deming and other-minded person with whom I could work.  And, sadly, it would be to the good of so many corporations and it would benefit so many people. Perhaps it is an ideal, a Utopia that even Deming realised. He worked, quietly and with huge respect. Perhaps the very gradual way forward is the only way.  
Deming was a Christian. His underlying philosophies to his statistical and quality analyses were entrenched in Christian systems' thinking.
"I now see examples of God in daily work all over the place. But it took me a long time. I think I first saw it when I started teaching philosophies of quality and continuous improvement while working in the semi-conductor industry. At that time, out of all the quality gurus in the world, I was especially drawn to Dr. Edward Deming. There was something in me that especially connected with Deming’s methods for managing work. I did not verify until after he died that Deming was indeed a strong Christian; but I had a suspicion before then that he was. I could identify almost immediately with the biblical foundation driving every one of his quality principles – even though he never once expressed them in religious terms or tied them to the Bible and the Christian faith in any way. Through the eyes of the Spirit of God I could simply see their biblical association. His emphasis on driving out fear in the workplace; placing top priority on the customer and serving; his naming our rampant practices of suing one another as a disease. ..................."
By Jeff van Duzer at the link above this quote.
My God, I could write volumes on this man, on Checkland in the UK, on systems' failures, on the IT linear in-out rigidity and on the masculine-dominant forces in the industry today - as in the financial markets. Deming's approach was fundamentally with the greatest respect for everybody, high or lowly. With good intent, therefore. It is always about the intent, whatever we do.
Sadly, the financial industry, IT industry and much of government is geared to preclude this because it doesn't allow men in silk suits to rise to the top and look fantastic and be vulgarly over-paid and have lots of houses and cars. . . . . .  but my God, if you look at the costs of the ongoing systems' failures, it really is a sin, never mind an economic crime, to let it go on.
Of such is life, non?
Returning to Opes' original premise: yes. It is the way of the world it seems. Which doesn't mean to say that it should be allowed to go on unhindered - but if the media does not even highlight the vast amounts of money being lost on systems' failures - and this is criminal - then who or what will?  
Who or what is Trump?  Is he the Herald of the absolute zenith of materialism? Is this the beginning of the implosion of materialism without reins or gears?
Opes Added Mar 21, 2017 - 10:26am
-There was a point in time when a hand shake conveyed an iron clad agreement for many people in America. This was tradition, so in Japan a country of extremely high traditions of respect became introduced to the concepts of Deming, it was like fish to water.
We here have bit by bit lost the tradition of loyalty between employer and employee. The respect was damaged too. Did all the Est consultants and MBAs get it wrong? Time management training was often a farse.
 The media is blinded by money.
The underground economy has 2 sides where people get a gross pay that is equal to net pay. A real pay check has a lot of deductions the reduce the net pay.
Hyper regulations are in part the cause of some of these issues by blocking out small businesses and rewarding the insiders that have lobby money for payoffs.
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 23, 2017 - 1:57am
Thank Elieen I am honored by your words. 
Here is a prime example where automation hits us again. Lynkos is automating businesses using AI,  IBM has Watson, and Elon Musk is pushing the envelope. We are rushing so fast to play God we are losing sight of what is important.
Autumn Cote Added Mar 24, 2017 - 9:37am
I need to talk to you privately about your account.  Please email me:
Opes Added Mar 24, 2017 - 6:09pm
OK Autumn, Thanks
Tamara Wilhite Added Mar 25, 2017 - 4:47pm

The Great Shift Toward Automation and the Future of Employment
Eileen de Bruin Added Mar 26, 2017 - 3:40am
Henry, I took a look at the link but need to become a member to go further.  Taylorism is the key which debases the human condition and which was sidelined for a while in the more enlightened times after the war. It being 19th century hard practices and from which time and motion studies came, it was not about technology lightening the burden of man.  It is now even more to the fore, sadly. Of course, it has and had its proper place in manufacturing processes being broken down, but it is used now more as a whip on people. If this approach is underlying the AI push that you describe, then it is scandalous.
If media would print the financial losses and huge costs to the US peoples in hard cash, of systems' implementations and abject failures, inside governments and in industry and finance, it would and should become a national scandal. You all could have full health insurance at a fraction of these costs! The costs of welfare would pale into insignificance.
Are you doing consulting roles these days Henry?
Opes Added Mar 26, 2017 - 1:32pm
I've been told that American manufacturing/factories cannot compete with countries like China, India, and Japan because those foreign countries have the advantage of cheap labor.  For instance it is cited that China uses prison labor to manufacture a wide assortment of products.
America does still have a few products manufactured in prisons such as License Plates.  Can we assume in America there is something immoral about having prisoners do factory work while in prison?
One sure fact is that labor in America is highly regulated. 
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 26, 2017 - 8:51pm
Hi Eileen,
Your right about the link, you can sign up for the services and get greater features or you can click on businesses and poke around. What interested me is the site, so they say, is driven completely by AI. I have a strong interest in AI. What concerns me is the AI creators are in a rush to create sentient machines and the public seems not to care. Already, we have gone too far with intelligent drones that discern hostiles from friendlies. This is a clear example and clear violation of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Google, of all companies, owns Boston Dynamics, which is a military contractor building military-grade robots. I guess Sergey and Larry threw "do no harm" out the window. Google is the McDonalds of the internet. You get a large helping of mostly junk with barely any nutritional value. Much better, more precise search engines existed in the early days, but as usual, VHS won out over Betamax.
Here is an example of Boston Dynamics latest robots that really concern me;
Yes, I am do consulting roles. I am finishing a year long project for a small business.
America has been automating through cheap, nonenvironmental standards using other countries for decades. I remember the first time I heard Pittsburgh Steel was using and selling Japanese steel. It was cheaper to mine iron ore here, send it to Japan and have them send it back than to make it here. How? Pittsburgh was full of steel mills and only a couple of states away but it was still cheaper to send it to the west coast, put it on boats, ship it to Japan and send it back to the West Coast and train it to wherever it was needed.
Third world and newly emerging economies regularly exploit their prison labor, uneducated and non-existent and environmental standards for even cheaper labor standards.
Chinese rural villagers take PC boards and melt them in fire pits, are then exposed to very harmful vapors, to get the gold and copper. The factories that make our phones, TV's, computers do have suicide nets because workers regularly rush to the roof and jump.
America regularly exploits its prison labor as if it was third world labor. Prisoners are paid $.19 an hour in some places.
There have a number of articles and video investigations into the for-profit prison system using prisoners for cheap labor.
Opes Added Mar 26, 2017 - 10:09pm
Henry, Those Boston Dynamics Youtube videos are fascinating to see, and concerning because it is further evidence that robotics are likely soon to take the place of people in the warehouses, factory floors and elsewhere.
Henry Mengoli Added Mar 26, 2017 - 11:25pm
This one is for you Eileen;