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End of the American Dream - Are the pitchforks coming?

  1. Credence2 profile image85
    Credence2posted 2 years ago

    Greetings hubbers,

    I guess I got spooked today watching a program on PBS Nova concerning hackers and their reach and power. I always thought  that I was reasonably well educated and aware of the basics. I see things now like the ability to hack into the machinery like the operation of centrifuges used to refine nuclear material for weapons, in Iran for example. The potential  for decrypting codes used to  protect personal information sent over the net for the millions of transactions that take place daily and that we all take for granted. All based on these computers operating on principles of quantum physics? This stuff, once the realm of eggheads, will be things we will all have to become familiar with in the future

    As an average fellow, what chance do I have?

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archiv … -the-drain

    This article and one embedding within the above link penned by an anonymous wealthy individual was quite frank and telling.

    the embedded one is found in Politico Magazine by Mr. Nick Hanauer, entitled "The Pitchforks are Coming for Us Plutocrats"

    I see this world composed of

    1. the idle rich, quite  rare, wielding the privileges of wealth and power
    2. Their absolutely brilliant apparatchiks that make it all go
    3 The rest of us clinging to life, grateful to be employed by anyone who would throw a crumb our way.

    I read that in Europe, McDonald's is experimenting with touch screens that customers are to use to place orders, it is coming here soon...  Look at all of those self check outs, did anyone pass the savings for the stores using them and not using checkout clerks on to you?

    Both articles are good and timely, Feudalism is coming to neighborhood sooner than expected.

    So what can we do?

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image83
      Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      My Outlook/advice: Humans always need help with something… Do unto others as you would have them do unto you… help them as you would like to be helped. They will be happy to pay you if they want what you have to offer, enough.
      We are pretty smart and tenacious. We will figure out how to survive.

      1. Credence2 profile image85
        Credence2posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        KH, thanks for your input. Yes we can and must survive, but it becomes easier if you can be aware of the coming precipice before you fall over it.

        Gee, I apologize, I see that fellow huber Rhamson had discussion on this article in an earlier hubforum 3 months ago. It was still astute of him to recognize its significance to our times and the powerful message that it conveyed.

    2. GA Anderson profile image86
      GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Your post, and the included link, point to a mounting problem that we have discussed before. Without meaning to be cold or dismissive, the fact is that our economy is experiencing the same problems that the buggy whips factories faced after the explosion of automobile ownership wiped out the need for their product.

      To your point, technology is now doing the same to the labor market, The need for 10 food servers/order takers is being replaced by 3 touch screens and PA announcements.  The need for a general or even discipline-specific BA degree is now being replaced by trade-specific needs or software programs.

      Bur to your  point," Look at all of those self check outs, did anyone pass the savings for the stores using them and not using checkout clerks on to you? How do you know those savings haven't been passed on to you the shopper?

      This is a trend that will only become more prevalent in our workforce.

      As for your "What do we do?" question... a library could be filled trying to answer that. I think a smart direction would be a career focus on trade or application specific training and education.

      Bur to another point, "[t]

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Mr. Anderson, our society is progressing to the third stage.  We went from mostly agricultural/agrarian/rural to industrial/urban societies.  Many people unable to keep pace with the industrialization of socieities fell through the societal and socioeconomic cracks.  It was only the physically and mentally resilient who survived, even thrive in the industrialized/urban societies.  They were flexible regarding this progression from agricultural to industrialized societies.

        Now, we are progressing from industrialized to computerized societies.  Such adjustments requires a high degree of mental and intellectual flexibility.  Those who anticipate and are prepared for such changes will thrive.  Those who refuse and are unable to accept this increasing computerization will be locked out of society, becoming marginalized.

        1. GA Anderson profile image86
          GA Andersonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          You make a good point, But I believe it is more than "computerization" technologies that are important, I believe it is specialization that is he more important factor.

          GA

          1. gmwilliams profile image84
            gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Of course, specialization is the important factor here. My mother stated 40 years ago that in order to socioeconomically thrive in an increasingly modern society, one has to have an in demand specialty.  She and my father stated this while I was in college.  I was majoring in Sociology and History which my parents indicated that there was  scant socioeconomic future prospects for those with such degrees. 

            They asserted that in order to succeed one must have a specialty, specifically in the medical, technological, and subsequently computer sciences.  They further emphasized the importance of mathematics.   THEY were SPOT ON.   It is de rigueur that one has a specialty in the technological, scientific, medical, and mathematical subjects- this computerized society requires such.

      2. rhamson profile image76
        rhamsonposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        .... same problems that the buggy whips factories faced after the explosion of automobile ownership wiped out the need for their product.

        This is not a good comparison to the tribulations of the work force we are now having. The evacuation of jobs and the immigrant labor is what is at the heart of the low wages and consequential destruction of the middle class. The shift to another labor source is not comparable to a shift to another product as this was done to lower costs and not offer a different product.

        ....How do you know those savings haven't been passed on to you the shopper?

        It is hard to tell either way as inflation and little wage movement has not shown to clearly mean that any savings has happened. One may have overcome the other. One can only conclude that the elimination of another job has provided savings somewhere along the line.

        ....trade or application specific training and education.

        This depends on which trade in which field and how much education is necessary to complete the task. Too much cost for the training and or education will undoubtedly create the same situation we have with the white collar segments of our society.

        The other thing is if we continue to evolve in this manor of a highly and specifically skilled labor force it will still leave fewer jobs in an effort to serve the machines (computer software, hardware and robotics) the machines breakdown far less than their human counterparts. This will leave fewer tasks for this new workforce to perform. Another cost factor will be the wage marginalized in that case as many will be clambering for the same position. The rich continue to get richer in all these scenarios.

    3. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It is imperative that one must become computer savvy in order not only to thrive but to survive in the postmodern culture.  I read a book 20 years ago, When Work Disappears, The World of the New Poor by Williams Julius Wilson which stated that those without computer knowledge will become the new poor as more jobs will require a modicum to advanced computer knowledge.  Those with the access to computer knowledge have the power while those without the access to computer knowledge will fall through the socioeconomic and societal cracks.

      Having a computer is a necessity in the postmodern era.   How else will children learn and acquire new skills.  Children without a computer are at a severe disservice.  Those are the children who will far behind academically and later socioeconomically.  This is an undeniable fact of life.  It is the wealthier classes i.e. the upper, upper middle, and middle middle classes who have computers and these classes will have an unparalled advantage and leverage, especially socioeconomically.  It is the poorer classes i.e. the lower middle, working, and lower classes who don't have computers because such are beyond their budget.  This means that these classes will eventually become poorer, even impoverished because they either possess no or very rudimentary computer skills.  The 21st century is a computerized century, like it or not.  Those who are with the program will thrive while those who are not with the program will make themselves obsolete.

 
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