I wish you could have been with me, reading the trade journals in the ’90s on automation.
I’ve told the story before of the realization I had one day that automation was eroding the job market. (1)
Rushed into press:
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I still have a few boxes of magazines in a storage space somewhere. I offered them to several archives and no one has proven interested. Too bad. This is an unbeatable record of the automation of the North American labor force. I’ll hold on to them until their value is realized.
For those who managed to stay ahead of the wave of automation, it was feast; for others, it was famine.
But we had the social safety net – the range of services that had sprung up in the socially-committed Sixties. But then, in the buyer’s market for labour that resulted, one by one the services shut down.
And one by one the other features of the world we had built and known since WW2 disappeared. The paradise, the American dream, the democratic way of life that we were creating succumbed, to be replaced by a popular culture founded on sensory pleasure and individualism.
We even know that the music industry forced the acceptance of rap music because they knew it would incite violence and thereby increase the prison population. They’d invested in prisons for profit. (2)
But we never recognized the wholesale erosion of our culture because our culture was offering us so many distractions – computers, movies and TV that pushed every boundary, diversions, excitements.
Not for those automated out of a job or career. Reported the business magazines:
“Some critics … call it deconstruction rather than reconstruction — jobs are a casualty at every point in the delivery chain. …
“[International trade consultant Patrick] Couling says the cost-cutting electronic revolution is one reason why economic recovery in the U.S. has yielded 3.5 million fewer jobs than past recoveries. Employers are investing in systems, not workers.
“’The fallout can be devastating. But it is more of a disaster to do nothing. It is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t,’ he says.” (3)
“What is a computer for, if not to save labor?” (4)
“Most of the jobs lost are lost forever.” (5)
One Canadian financial writer estimated that automation needed to save around $10,000 in labor costs to be worth it.
“Theoretically every time you make a $10,000 investment on technology you should have replaced one employee.” (6)
That $10,000 was somebody’s wages and no jobs awaited the unemployed.
They’re describing what became known as a “jobless recovery,” the first I’d ever heard of. Said one writer:
“People are coming to terms with the fact that you can have a jobless recovery. This is something that’s really a recent phenomenon.” (7)
As two consultants explained:
“Revolutions are always bloody, and the productivity revolution is no exception. As companies large and small embrace new technologies and eliminate jobs, millions of workers are finding that their old careers are becoming obsolete. ” (8)
The business writers plainly saw the writing on the wall. But we continued to automate without seeing to the welfare of the displaced.
We did it. Our generation watched without concern as the labor market shrank. We were fascinated with our Tetris and the shortcuts we could write into our blue-screen computers. And the bulletin boards!
Hughes Aircraft broke at 4 PM every day (5 PM was closing time) as everyone fired up their favorite computer game or read the bulletin boards. No one talked about it. Everyone did it.
No one wanted to hear about automation. Not the premier of my province of British Columbia, whom I admired and on whose student council I’d sat years earlier. Not the head of the BC Federation of Labour. No one wanted to hear.
And now here we are. I saw an article the other day saying fewer and fewer people of working age are working. (9) Well, yes, what did you expect? Why do you act so dumbfounded? It’s called “structural unemployment,” I believe.
It’s so blazingly simple: We automated our jobs and in many cases careers out of existence without any plan to take care of those affected. We automated without any thought to our children’s futures. We were simply motivated by greed for profit and damn those who couldn’t stay aboard.
Look around you at the financial and economic landscape. If you can subtract from it the wreckage caused by the deep state as it shrinks in power and influence, the rest of the wreckage in North America was due to automation.
We forgot that robots don’t pay taxes. The cost of automation was borne by the working population, employed or not. The owners of the machines reaped the profit.
The last time I looked, this chronicle of the theft of a generation’s future is largely an untold story.
Enter NESARA (the National Economic Security and Reformation Act).
I bow in respect to the authors of NESARA. I know it’s more than what’s contained in the act (10) but what’s contained in it stops the insanity, rights a few wrongs, and levels the playing field.
There’s much more to go, but NESARA is a start and sets us off in a beneficial direction.
Then we can move on to right the remaining wrongs, redirect our systems, and fulfill our purpose in being here – to rejuvenate all and help the planet prepare for Ascension.
I also bow in respect to all of our children and grandchildren who paid a price by agreeing to be incarnated now. The price they paid, among other things, was the loss of an obvious and easy way to earn a livelihood (a job), with the chance of permanent employment, advancement, pension, benefits plans, etc.
The price they paid was in a loss of peace of mind and living with insecurity, depression, and worse.
I see every day what it’s done to people. I see that your generation has had to live by its wits. I see that it’s been hard. And I salute you.
Rushed into Press:
The Impact of Automation on Work at https://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Impact-of-Automation-on-Work-2.pdfImpact of Automation on Work 2
(1) “In 1990 I was driving through what had once been small towns on Canada’s west coast, when I suddenly became aware of something radically different.
“All the familiar Mom-and-Pop restaurants and grocery stores were now gone, replaced by the same franchise outlets that I was used to in the big city.
“The recognition came as an epiphany. I asked myself what had happened to alter the business landscape so much. The inquiry led to eight years of studying the impact of automation which, by 1990, was well underway.
“I became alarmed at what that impact on the work world seemed to be. But, though a few authors were writing on it and though I contacted labour leaders, government leaders, and anyone else of influence, no one seemed willing to listen. My own personal belief was that everyone was in love with the computer at that particular time and no one wanted to hear bad news about it.” (“Introduction” to The Impact of Automation on Work, at https://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/index70.html.)
(2) See “The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation (Repost),” September 11, 2020, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2020/09/11/the-secret-meeting-that-changed-rap-music-and-destroyed-a-generation-repost/
(3) “Triple bar decks jobs. Code data cuts cost for retailer,” Vancouver Province, Oct. 14, 1993.
(4) Jim Steinhart, “Database Octopus,” Canadian Datasystems, May 1991, 58.
(5) James Purdie, “Upgrading is the best route to job security,” Financial Post, Dec. 16, 1991, 11.
(6) James Miller, CEO of Royal Trustco in Macleans Magazine, Nov. 23, 1992, 44.
(7) Eric Beauchesne, “Canadians Seem Resigned to Fewer Jobs, Poll Finds,” Vancouver Sun, 5 July 1996, A9.
(8) Michael J. Mandell and Christopher Farrell, “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs — Eventually,” Business Week, June 14, 1993, 72.
(9) Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, “Working-Age, but Not Working. A look at the decades-long decline in labor force participation among the U.S.-born and its implications for immigration policy,” Center for Immigration Studies, August 21, 2023, at https://cis.org/Report/WorkingAge-Not-Working.
(10) See What is NESARA? at https://goldenageofgaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/What-is-NESARA-R4.pdf