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12/14/2018 5:52 am  #1


The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

They are leaving many ‘casualties of history’ in their wake.


https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/13/opinion/13edsall1/merlin_148071537_d8fb15ff-15e5-4d43-9715-75db5eb34b54-jumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp


The growing use of work robots and the deployment of artificial intelligence have been most disruptive in just those areas of the country that provided President Trump with crucial margins of support in 2016.

In a paper that was published earlier this year, “Robots and Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Labor Markets,” Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, economists at M.I.T. and Boston University, demonstrate that the Midwest and sections of the South have far higher ratios of robots to population than other regions of the United States.

They calculate the job losses resulting from the addition of one robot in a “commuting zone.” Their bottom line: “one more robot in a commuting zone reduces employment by about six workers.”

These job losses are concentrated

in blue collar occupations such as machinists, assemblers, material handlers and welders. Workers in these occupations engage in tasks that are being automated by industrial robots, so it is natural for them to experience the bulk of the displacement effect created by this technology.

The adverse effects of automation fall disproportionately on the voters who cast most of their ballots for Trump in 2016: White men, much more than women and whites without college degrees.


Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut has increased incentives to replace workers with robots, contradicting his campaign promise to restore well-paying manufacturing jobs in the nation’s heartland.

The Trump tax bill permits “U.S. corporations to expense their capital investment, through 2022. So, if a U.S. corporation buys a robot for $100 thousand, it can deduct the $100 thousand immediately to calculate its U.S. taxable income, rather than recover the $100 thousand over the life of the robot, as under prior law,” Steven M. Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and a specialist in tax policy, wrote me by email.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/opinion/robots-trump-country-jobs.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

12/14/2018 10:14 am  #2


Re: The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

What is needed badly right now is education to help displaced workers. 

Unfortunately education is NOT the priority of THIS Administration. 


"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"
 
 

12/14/2018 10:17 am  #3


Re: The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

Yea, all the Trumpers crowing about the economy have really missed the point. By some measures (GDP) the economy is doing well. But it's still the economy that is leaving manufacturing workers - and coal - miners behind. It works for the top 10%, but not for the people of the Trump constituency. And Trump has shown no interest in changing the trajectory of these trends. Poor suckers.


We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
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