Who wants to work a monotonous job anyway?
People who want to feed themselves and their families and have no other viable employment options nor any other marketable job skills. That's who. There are LOTS of people who fit this description.
I work in trucking and I've been seeing the writing on the wall since the first time I read about google's self driving car. It is not a matter of if the trucks will drive themselves one day thereby eliminating the need for truck drivers, its a question of when.
Part of my role in my current job is recruiting, finding new drivers and getting them in our door. As a company, we have no shortage of freight to move and no shortage of capital available to acquire new equipment to move the freight with. The one and only thing limiting the growth of our company is available qualified drivers. And my company is not unique in this respect. Every trucking company in the country is experiencing the same predicament.
We just raised our salaries last month. Major trucking companies all over the country are doing the same one by one. That's great for drivers in the near term. But it illustrates just how much of a hinderance drivers are to the growth and profitability of a company. And this is without even mentioning any of the other costs and liabilities drivers bring to the table. Walmart is almost certainly going to have to write a multi-million dollar check before that Tracy Morgan deal is done and that obviously never would have happened with a self driving truck because self driving trucks won't ever get sleepy. I have absolutely no doubt that the moment driverless trucks become available, companies will move to them in droves.
But that's just trucking which is only one industry. But I've also seen the writing on the wall in lots of other industries. I was a driver up until this year. As a driver I spent time on lots of loading docks at manufacturing facilities and manufacturing warehouses. There are those that are still doing things the old school way using lots of people for every task. But I've also been to huge facilities right here in Michigan that now use lots of technology and about six people to achieve productivity numbers which used to require about forty people without technology.
The bottom line is gist of this video is spot on. We are at a point where most of us within our lifetimes will see about of 50% of currently existing job titles eliminated or nearly so. There will be no such thing as a truck driver. Segments of manufacturing which currently require hundreds of people will be done with fewer than ten.
Yes we will see other areas of the labor market grow because of these changes. Someone will have to fix all those machines. Someone will have to inspect and insure that all of those driverless trucks are road worthy and likely to remain roadworthy at the beginning of every trip. But this growth will only offset a small fraction of the loss of the labor market that we're inevitably going to see. I'm sure the scales will find a way to settle out eventually. But I think the economy is going to have to change dramatically before that happens and lots of people will lose everything in the process.