Automation Will Bring Huge Permanent Unemployment So Why Add Immigrants?
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My June 3rd piece entitled US Job Creation Stalled By Automation and Our Immigration Overhang failed to finish the story.  

Yes, bringing in immigrants to fill jobs Americans can do is stupid, particularly in the midst of our present economic slowdown, a.k.a. The Great Recession.

Yes, ignoring the impact of legal and illegal mass immigration on our environment and culture is hurting US citizens—sometime in ways people only dimly understand.

Yes, the growing willingness of our government to abrogate our precious Rule of Law has profound implications for our unique republic’s future as a successful democracy.

Yes, our present financial condition puts us on the brink of an incapacity to deal with national needs, such as educating our own children, whose future employment is already affected deeply.

Yes, continued failure to defend our sovereignty by protecting our borders from terrorism or even illegal alien workers exacerbates all the above.

Yes, we continue to spend beyond our tax revenues to fund all manner of unearned welfare programs that keep the poor sullen but not mutinous (yet!)

Yes, we continue to fund a military program to sustain our empire which again exceeds our revenues.

However, the most important point that my article failed to cover: as we see ever more automation, the prediction of Aldous Huxley will come true: there will be a “problem of leisure.”  In his famous 1924 essay Work and Leisure, Huxley wrote: 

By the year two thousand the six-hour day will be everywhere the rule, and the next hundred years will probably see the maximum reduced to five or even less. Nature, by then, will have had no time to change the mental habits of the race; and nurture, though improved, will only turn dogs into trained dogs. How will men and women fill their ever-expanding leisures? By contemplating the laws of nature, like Henri Poincare? Or by reading the News of the World? I wonder.

Of course, the six-hour day is a bit behind schedule! And a darker outcome is indeed possible, in my view probable: the masses of the unemployed, unfed, and unhappy, will see no leisure, but fewer employment opportunities.

Folks, the USA and most countries in the developed world will have most goods and services produced by machines. Just as the washing machine replaced the washboard and the automatic dishwasher the hand washing of dishes, these goods and services will be produced with less manpower.

Unemployment of a permanent kind will be the next big problem for the USA and for the world. Leisure will be too prevalent.

This scenario may seem improbable. But as you look at our labor scene, you see smart companies cutting costs and investing in machines that don’t organize into labor unions or take sick days off.

Folks, we better wake up to reality. We may look back in a decade and salivate for an 8.2% unemployment rate.  I see the trend toward mass unemployment continuing and getting worse, as massive automation continues. And of course the attendant civil unrest from the coming huge idle populations. 

Sadly, I don’t see any leaders thinking about this coming cataclysm. Guess we better find some who are and elect them quickly. Names please?

In the meantime, why not start with the obvious? Protect home base. Say no to the continuing importation of unneeded aliens and begin the real task of educating, employing and enhancing the lives of American citizens.

Donald A. Collins [email him], a free lance writer living in Washington, DC. , is Co-Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). However, his views are his own.

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