Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Homework for the President-Elect: Those jobs are not coming back so stop telling your supporters they will

Dear President-Elect Trump:

I know you rode the critical issue of loss of manufacturing jobs to Mexico, illegal immigration, or trade agreements, but I thought before you take that oath of office you might be interested in learning the real reasons that jobs --- many of them middle class jobs --- are going away, forever.

Perhaps you would like to bring your minions up to speed on the reality of this issue as well, since the technology genie is out of the bottle and no President, Congress or any other person is going to stuff it back in. The heyday of U.S. manufacturing job expansion that along with unions helped build a strong middle class are over. Even your soon-to-be predecessor finally gets it and spoke out about the impending impact of artificial intelligence on future jobs. And don't forget, one of the first major industries that may be impacted soon by technology is the huge trucking industry.

So here are a handful of excellent links. Perhaps one in your growing hoard of aides could read up on the topic, put it in words you can readily understand, and get you on message as to what has really occurred and how it's going to impact employment in this country from here on out. In the meantime, I invite you to please keep your word and get the federal government out of the K-12 education arena where it doesn't belong, and take its (select one or more: NCLB, Race-to-the-Top, and ESSA) test-crazed shackles off local public schools, so we can focus instead on preparing our kids for a future unlike anything this nation and world has ever seen.

Your homework assignment (click on the links). Feel free to Tweet about any of these since I know you are a prolific Tweeter.

The real reason for disappearing jobs isn't trade—it's robots

The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation

Elon Musk says robots will push us to a universal basic income—here’s how it would work

Digital Dividends (World Bank)

The Myth and Reality of Manufacturing in America

For more extensive reading and study, I personally recommend the following books. I found them all to be fascinating, a bit frightening, but right on the mark given what we are all observing and many are already experiencing.

Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford

The Second Machine Age, Brynjolfsson and McAfee

The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly

The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Robert J. Gordon

And here's one about what K-12 education should focus on instead of narrow curriculum consumption and test-prepping as a result of misguided federal and state education policies. If you're getting tired of reading, you could simply lease the movie at I hear the White House has a really cool theater.

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era, Wagner and Dintersmith

Check out the trailer below!

Thanks for reading and good luck with the new job. We're all anxiously awaiting for you to demonstrate beyond a doubt that it will continue to be wise to elect humans as our leader instead of relegating that job along with millions of others to robots and artificial intelligence. This is your chance!

P.S. No, I did not vote for you but there's always 2020, if you earn it that is.