This is a longer post because what I’m talking about is complicated. I hope that you will stay with me to the end.
What stands between you and getting ahead with a good job? Here’s a list that may seem familiar to you:
(1) The U.S. has a tax structure that undermines small businesses as compared with large corporations.
(2) An expiration date has now been added to your college degree. If you got it ten years ago, it’s expired.
(3) Covid-19 mandates now elevate on-line buying over in-person shopping.
(4) HR algorithms can disqualify you for an unknown reason.
(5) There’s an economic demand gap so that people have less disposable income to buy a product if you should try to sell them one.
(6) Long-term unemployed people need not apply because they are disqualified; a small business owner may be seen as similar to the long-term unemployed.
(7) Universities in the U.S. have expensive inflated tuition as compared with your last degree’s cost and some people with new degrees also can’t get work.
(8) Volatility in the workplace means that mergers and acquisitions can displace you after you find a job–getting another one is your problem.
(9) Unfair labor discrimination can happen because employers don’t have to tell you why they don’t want to hire you when they post an overly specific job description.
(10) Real earnings continue to fall in the atmosphere of dollar overprinting by the Federal Reserve.
During my life so far, I’ve watched computers become more important. Every business has to use them from a mechanic that fixes your car and his diagnostic tool to a computer data base that holds medical records or criminal records. Computers have changed the way stocks are traded and how banking transactions happen from automatic check readers to digital transfers of money. Computers have affected how pilots fly their planes. Computers are essential to communications that happen in e-mails, in text messaging and now having a cell phone is becoming an essential requirement “for security reasons” when you apply for a job.
But somehow, with all these computer aids, people are losing their ability to trust each other. They are also losing their ability to get ahead by finding a good job. The whole job application process has been changed with computers so that you don’t get to meet anyone at the company where you apply, and you may never hear from them after you apply for a job. Sometimes it looks like unfair decisions are being made that affect your employment. The person who made an algorithm that is excluding you is someone you will never meet. If you can’t get work, you are just invisible in the job hunting process and your desire for work is easy to ignore. There’s no appeal or any kind of a remedy as your opportunities are going from bad to worse.
Some say that the long-term unemployed will never work again. What a waste. And now, the economy has come to a mandated stop. Why is that?
Back in the 1990’s when people told me that computers were taking over and becoming essential, I had doubts that it was possible for computers to do that. Why? Because of Moore’s Law. According to Moore’s Law, computer processing capacity and processing speed had been and would continue to double every two years. This is an exponential rate of growth. But human beings are not capable of sustaining prolonged exponenial growth. Even when you can hire the cheapest labor in the world.
A while ago, the rate of processing speed growth started to slow down. Some say that because of physics-based processor limitations computers are now reaching their processing expansion limit. But I think that our society went past our biological and societal limits a while ago.
If you look at my list of obstacles to finding a good job some of them are related to computers causing an increase in complexity. Politicians have been willing to embrace that growing complexity. The idea of limitlessness was once so appealing.
Global trading policies that once provided more generous tax advantages for doing business abroad are still hurting American workers who can’t find a job at home because our labor landscape has been so altered by outsourcing policies. President Trump changed our global trading policies in order to help American workers during his first term in office, but corporations have grown accustomed to large profits from low labor costs abroad; they don’t want to invest in American labor. There’s a lot of complexity in global trade and knowing how Americans will come out in the end is and has always been pretty impossible to do. Potential profits in the short-term motivated Congress’s policies to enhance global trade opportunities. The long-term consequences haven’t been and aren’t being addressed.
What about the talk that all of us have heard about the value of an on-going education? When your degree is disqualified after 10 years, it undermines its value and your value as an employee and this devaluation of you makes computers seem more valuable in comparison. Wages keep falling. New algorithms have come into play for your job applications, “Apply on-line, it’s easy,” we heard, and now there’s new cell phone security protocols. Doesn’t all of that ease of application make you blame yourself as you face day after day without the prospect of a gainful job? But who is really to blame for the number of unemployed Americans? There certainly aren’t enough good jobs in the U.S. for the number of people who want a good job. And there are obstacles to “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.”
Why did media and governments around the world engineer a global panic over covid-19 when we have effective drugs to treat it? Was the purpose to transfer more money to a centralized global banking system and simultaneously stimulate on-line purchasing while people stay at home with not enough to do? Who is winning from that strategy and where will it lead us? We should find out.
Why is it ok to replace an HR person with an algorithm? Is it to save the salary you would otherwise pay to a person while also circumventing the rules of hiring? I think that long-term unemployed people shouldn’t be blamed for being unemployed in an atmosphere where people are commonly displaced from employment by mergers and acquisitions. And job descriptions list so many qualifications that even well educated people can’t qualify. Someone with two university degrees, suddenly isn’t qualified to be a shop keeper at a manufacturing facility. Are they really unqualified? Has it become possible only to hire people for exactly the same job over and again or nothing? What exclusion protocols are in play? Is there no prospect for a worker to try a new challenge of their abilities in a brand new area? I hear that credentials are less important, but job descriptions don’t show that.
If computers are too expensive for society to afford their constant need for processor evolution and they’ve now reached their processing limit it doesn’t prove that people are worthless. I’m sick of hearing that people’s jobs are all going to be replaced by a robot. Maybe the computer revolution has just hit the wall and its constant improvements in processing have stopped for now.
Recently, I was trying to discern if there are any new manufacturing jobs coming our way. For a long time, I’ve hoped that fusion energy could revolutionize our economy by providing cheaper energy. When I checked on government expenditures for fusion energy research, it was seriously outpaced by government research into artificial intelligence. I wonder, has our government decided to let the computer finally save our economy? With a room temperature superconductor, processing speeds could increase and actually, LENR fusion technology may be able to create a room temperature superconductor. Is LENR providing the change needed for a faster processor? Shhh….if that’s happening, it’s probably a big secret. Even if there were a super-processor, I’m not sure that computers can save us. Maybe we have to save ourselves with more accountability in politics. Vote. We also need more accountability in hiring and transparency in the use of hiring algorithms. It’s easier sometimes to see what isn’t working and stop that before you know what else to try. Computers have circumvented oversight and that’s damaging the people who make up our society.
If you want to learn more about how the economy and our political system are entertwined, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries at Amazon.com.