On Common Dreams, Paul Buchheit rounds up a ton of scholarly/economic papers on the ways that automation is coming to employment niches occupied by well-educated middle-class professionals, who face the same dilemma their "low-skilled" industrial colleagues have been living through for three decades and counting.
The most important takeaway is that lower-middle-class jobs are more threatened than the high-middle jobs ("Java application developer, internet security specialist, nurse practitioner, dental hygienist, statistical analyst, data mining specialist, physical therapist"), and that the high-middle is more likely to be occupied by the people who've historically sat atop the economic pyramid (white people) while the low-middle tier is occupied by people from traditionally underpaid groups (brown people, women).
The living-wage middle-class jobs added in recent years primarily benefit of people with experience, people with education and connections, people who are male and white. Many of them became Trump supporters. Black workers, including those with education and experience, have been disproportionately hurt by the cutbacks in federal, state, and local government, which had employed one out of five black adults.
Now middle-class jobs are indeed appearing in contractor and construction and carpentry and managerial positions, but getting a job is a job in itself. In New York City, for example, jobseekers waited eight days for a chance to apply for a carpentry apprenticeship. Black applicants face ugly forms of discrimination: studies show that white men with criminal records are more likely to get a callback than blacks without a criminal record. And that applicants with white-sounding names are 50% more likely to get a callback than those with black-sounding names.
What the Robots Are Doing to the Middle Class
[Paul Buchheit/Common Dreams]
Rolls Royce just arranged for a “deferred prosecution” with UK prosecutors over revelations that it had committed jailable offenses by bribing overseas officials in order to secure their business; under this arrangement, prosecutors have allowed Rolls Royce to pay to have the prosecution halted and to have their executives immunized from criminal repercussions for their […]
The criminals of Paris have targeted super-rich visitors in a string of daring robberies — one gang broke into Kim Kardashian’s hotel room, tied her up, and stole millions in jewels; another carjacked a pair of rich Qatari sisters’ Bentley and made off with $5.3m in valuables; another one tried to rob Bollywood star Mallika […]
On Quartz, Dave Edwards and Helen Edwards assert that after studying 30 professions, they’ve concluded that the occupations that are most resistant to roboticization are those that are “unpredictable” — CEOs, school psychologists, economists, allergists, immunologists, and environmental scientists.
Whether I’m trying to relieve some stress at work or entertain myself on the metro, Space Putty is there. You can bring this magical goo home and try it for yourself for just $9.99Like Silly Putty of yesteryear, this viscoelastic substance can be molded into different shapes and stretched around in your hands. Use it […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]