on jobs, automation, and the future of work (part 1)

not quite sure where this is going, so a rambling we go…

this week during lunch, a friend explained how her dad ended up working at home depot. after he graduated form business school in his 20s, he went straight to work for a medium sized company. he was an upper-level manager at the company when it was bought out by staples. staples removed most of the upper management and replaced them with younger people who earned smaller salaries. dad went to an agency to help place him in another job. the agency basically said, “look: you’re too old to get another job with the same salary and benefits. no one is going to hire someone your age anymore. sorry.” dad becomes extremely depressed. he also stops hanging out with his friends because he became ashamed that he’s not working and making money. they used to play golf and travel and since his income stopped, he couldn’t keep up with the group’s social habits. the only place he could find a job was home depot. turns out, many of the other men working at home depot were in similar situations. they were managers, tech workers, specialists, etc., and were let go in the process of a company changing hands. this group has become a support group. no one likes what they’re doing, but at least the have each other.

this is the story of jobs disappearing. yes, some jobs disappear by shipping them overseas, but jobs that get shipped overseas tend to not be high-skilled. when companies buy each other, lay people off to downsize, and then never replace those positions, that’s how good┬ájobs disappear.

why is no one talking about this? why aren’t republicans talking about how their get-rich-quick business practices are destroying middle-class jobs? their constituencies jobs?

next post: this report i just read details that most australians are being educated for jobs that are at medium to high risk of being automated away soon. and this statement: