Posted by: coastcontact | September 25, 2016

The Impact of Technology on Blue Collar Workers

We are about to select a new American president in a world that is rapidly becoming more technically advanced than anyone could have imagined in the year 2000. Remember that as the year many of us were concerned that clocks would stop, power grid systems might fail, and commercial aircraft might fall from the sky. Of course none of that happened. What has happened is the rapid advance of technology and a globally connected society. Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” (Published April 5, 2005) was not only a recognition of a changing world economy but the need for America to look forward and plan for the new economy.

Take just one new technology, autonomous (self driving) cars and trucks, that is predicted to be launched by the year 2020 to 2025 and consider the impact and you will understand that no one – no president of the United States – can stop the impact on the public in either the United States or other countries.

Don’t Tell The Teamsters: But Driverless Trucks Are Already Here.  Driverless trucks are operating in an Australian mine. When those trucks arrive in America the Teamsters will fight with everything they have to stop those autonomous trucks. Feather bedding will be a prominent part of their strategy. There are currently 900,000 active working Teamsters in the United States and Canada. There are approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States, according to estimates by the American Trucking Association.

What will all those families that rely on those truck driving jobs do when they are replaced by self driving trucks? As a nation we have not looked forward. We have looked back.  Technology’s impact on the trucking industry is simply one example of the changing work environment.

Donald Trump promises to bring back the jobs that have been lost due to out sourcing. It is not clear what will motivate the return of jobs other than tariffs that could start a trade war.

Hillary Clinton says she will propose investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. The costly $787 billion spending bill that President Barack Obama signed into law soon after taking office had little effect. It was argued that it was insufficient.


In all of the Trump and Clinton ideas there is no consideration of the future.

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