Jobs are disappearing before our eyes.
I went to a local bank the other day for the first time in awhile. There used to be 2 or 3 tellers working there and 2 or 3 customer reps sitting in their glass-walled cubicle offices. I was surprised to see only one teller and one customer service rep.
Bank jobs are disappearing as more people do their banking online and are using plastic instead of paper money or checks.
It’s happening with numerous other jobs.
Will these laid-off workers go work at some fast-food joint?
Robots will replace fast-food workers.
Maybe they’ll get a job at a call center?
Automation is replacing them, too.
It’s called capitalism: The rich get richer.
The rest of us have soup kitchens and food pantries.
Or, if you can find or steal enough, opiates and heroin.
There’s a possible alternative for displaced workers: Forming cooperatives.
Instead of one multi-millionaire being paid to (supposedly) run a company, owned by shareholders who siphon off profit, all of the employees own the company and share the wealth.
Another oft-talked-about idea: Basic income, a guaranteed minimum income for everybody. That will never happen as long a corporations and the rich control the country.
Another alternative might be riots in the streets and an overthrow of the oligarchy. But the oligarchs are planning for that, building expensive and elaborate underground shelters or buying remote ranches with private airstrips in places like New Zealand. If they escape to their safe spaces, how long will they be able to sustain themselves in their luxury bunkers and remote ranches? And what might they do to quell the rebellion?
Don’t forget how effective the militarized police, Homeland Security, and the FBI were in busting up the Occupy movement. And don’t forget: Those people hiding in their luxury bunkers and remote ranches will still have zillions of dollars to pay toward crushing a revolution.
Will the revolution arrive?
If it does, will it succeed?
We may find ourselves, and our children, inescapably trapped in serfdom.
Democracy at work, by economist Richard Wolff. Learn more about capitalism’s failures and options to counter its disastrous consequences.