If you’ve been keeping up with the news, left-leaning organizations have been attacking Wal-mart over the low wages they pay their employees. They’re earning billions of dollars ($15~16 billion this year) in profits, yet even their full-time workers are on food stamps and other government assistance.
I read a story where Walmart workers were preparing food baskets for other employees so that they could have a Thanksgiving dinner of their own. Not a very happy picture.
But you know, things are going to get worse. I don’t think those workers will even have jobs for much longer. While I admire anyone fighting for the underdog, progressives are fighting a lost cause. Another ten to fifteen years, robots will be doing those things.
Robotics researchers at Cornell are already programming their robots to work the check-out at a grocery store. Check out what Baxter can do in just a few minutes of training.
Walmart has already completely automated their distribution centers. My cousin used to work at one, and the pay was pretty good. Now it’s all done by machines and robots. Warehouses all over the world are that way. They’ll soon be stocking the shelves and checking you out as well. And if you’re following things like Google’s automated car, I’m sure AI will be driving the produce and delivery trucks really soon. Production and distribution of all our daily goods will be run and managed completely by machines within our lifetimes.
There will be an entire class of workers who will be displaced and there’s not going to be any unskilled work for them left to do. Society’s going to have to change.