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.



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.
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.

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?
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.
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. 
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.
Opes Added Mar 31, 2017 - 10:37pm
It sometimes seems that people are lead to believe that jobs are lacking for many people because they have limit skills and training/education.  And that this is why in some cases automation can take jobs away from people.
But think about some everyday skillsets that most people have such as:
driving cars
utilizing a cell phone (mini-computer)
managing apps
shopping for bargains
These skills and more are examples that people power in a real job will still have a place in the future, but there is a need for increasing the freedoms to pursue worker innovations.
Prathapaneni Added Apr 7, 2017 - 2:52am
Open said absolutely right. Automation is going to happen, which will take million jobs away. The jobs do not need intelligence will go under automation and It is inevitable. For instance, UBER has introduced automation cars, which serve human 24*7. On the other hand, a normal cab only able work 8 hours a day. In future, this situation not only for cab drivers and it will have an affect in every field. Even in IT sector this automation will conquer and wipes out million jobs. In 2100, we can have advanced instruments in each every field and people who have ideas that can change the world, they will survive. Anyway I am lucky, my pharmaceutical field takes little bit long time to go automation, so I am safe, at time of automation I may be in burial ground taking rest.
Opes Added Apr 13, 2017 - 8:43am
The fragility of Hi-tech (Automation/Technology) is a humongous risk that is often ignored.  Hi-Tech is dependent on a lot of things.  Hi-Tech automation is very vulnerable and susceptible to error in manufacturing, engineering, power supply, glitches, hijacking, and can further cause dehumanization of people. 
Hi-Tech automation seems highly over-estimated on how it can safely serve the right purposes for mankind.
Eileen de Bruin Added Apr 30, 2017 - 12:34pm
What happened to Henry on this thread?  Does anyone know?  I cannot see his posts any more.
Opes Added May 9, 2017 - 10:58am
That is interesting that Henry's comments are all deleted.  Should we assume he deleted them or that he quit WriterBeat which caused his comments to delete?
Eileen de Bruin Added May 9, 2017 - 6:42pm
Opes, thankyou for this, I half thought that I had gone looney. I do not understand what has happened to Henry's posts. If light can be shed, perhaps we will hear in due course.
Opes Added May 10, 2017 - 9:30am
I think that Henry created a couple of articles, but he may have run into some harsh responses which may have caused him to quit.  WB isn't for the faint of heart or for people who can't suffer fools.  
Connecting artificially on the Internet between people of extremely divergent views/experiences is like saying the Tiger and Lamb coexist peacefully because of the zoo cages & barriers.