Carrier’s “Saved” Jobs Are Only Temporary

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Much hoopla was made out of Carrier's recent commitment to reinvest in their local operations in Indiana as result of their "deal" with Governor Mike Pence, but that reinvestment will soon mean the jobs that were supposedly saved will disappear.

They aren't investing in new production lines or future jobs, they're investing in automation and robots.

We’re going to… automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” [United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes] said. “Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.

This speaks to not just the sham of dolling out tax breaks to temporarily keep a handful of jobs in any given state, it's a preview of what's going to happen over the coming years and decades regardless of what the Trump regime does.

Every voter, whether liberal or conservative, should be deeply skeptical of any politician who promises to bring back jobs that either don't exist anymore or won't exist in the near future.

The same could be said for politicians who reflexively oppose any and all international trade deals that will supposedly kill jobs that were actually automated out of existence.

We're going to have to deal with the consequences of our automated future, but neither protectionism or crony capitalism will save us.

  • muselet

    There are a few creative vocations—writer, visual artist, composer—which AI won’t be able to do for a long time, if ever (at least until creativity can be quantified well enough to fake). Everything else, or nearly so, can be automated.

    We’re going to have to deal with the consequences of our automated future, but neither protectionism or crony capitalism will save us.

    Well said.


  • Badgerite

    There was the current head of Bank of America on Charlie Rose last night and one of the things that seemed to glide by was his statement that they would be, through financing, pushing AI. Which is of course, artificial intelligence. In other words, automation. This will be one of the most disruptive of technological revolutions that humanity has ever experienced. It isn’t going away. And trade deals and tariffs will not affect this. And the Trump Monster just nominated as Labor Secretary who has spoken approvingly of getting rid of service sector jobs in favor or automated ‘help’.
    This is coming. And people need to understand that nothing we have done in the past will work to ameliorate the potentially devastating effects of new technology on flesh and blood people. We have to start thinking anew as to what is important to us as a people in society. Either we hang together ( as in stick together and develop societal, ie governmental systems, that take care of each other) or we hang ( as in die off) separately. Those are the choices we face. Picking fights with “Jina” isn’t going to do anything but cause trouble for us down the road.

    • gescove

      Sorry, I’m being dense. “Jina” is… ?

      • muselet

        “China” said with a Trumpian accent, I’m guessing.


      • Badgerite

        China. As pronounced by the Trump Monster Elect.

        • gescove

          Of course… (forehead slap).

    • Scopedog

      Yeah, but according to folks like Ray Kurzweil, AI will be awesome, because it means the singularity is upon us and yay! We’ll become….something.

      But in all seriousness, we’re approaching a point that has long been a meme of science fiction, and now it is about to burst into the real world. Granted, there are those who just love disruption, but they are the ones who assume that they won’t be affected…but they just can’t work up the mental gears to consider those who would be affected. And no, not everyone can be retrained to be an IT expert.

      I’m an artist. My career path has had many ups and downs and financially, I’m way, way into the red. But….my profession is not threatened by AI in the sense that a machine cannot–at least at this point–create art or at least create art the way a human does. And since everyone who works in art has their own style with their own quirks, that is something a machine cannot do. The unique nature of art prevents it from being easily replicated by a machine as far as things stand now.

      …On the other hand, other professions are going to be hit and hit hard. The push for self-drive automobiles and trucks will deal one hell of a blow to drivers, much more than Uber is doing now. I have a friend who’s a truck driver, but other drivers–who’s going to re-train them and where will they go? Has any tech head in Silicon Valley bothered to ask this question or even consider it?

      Ironically, Hillary did mention this, but of course EMAILS!!

      • Badgerite

        Yes, emails. I read in Huffington Post that the Trump Monster Elect has finally admitted that the “lock her up” stuff was just for show. No ffffing kidding. And how much did the press push that crap. Anyone who even bothered to look at the law and the facts would come to the simple conclusion that you could have indicted a ham sandwich before you could find anything to indict Hilary Clinton for. There was not even probable cause for an investigation, let alone an indictment. The standard of intent of harm required is so high there is simply no way they were going to find anything to meet that. It was an administrative issue and nothing more.
        The woman is and has always been squeaky clean and Comey is a ffffing political hack.
        According to articles I have read there is a kind of ‘Civic Valleyism’ that a good many in Silicon Valley aspire to and a belief that they can solve a lot of societal problems. I believe they are the ones pushing the idea of a Uniform Basic Income and given how dramatically AI and robotics are going to effect the job market, that might not be a bad idea. For me, society to further the existence and the fulfillment of the life within it.
        Not to resemble some profit driven factory floor where people are expendable. I don’t think people appreciate how profoundly this coming techno revolution will affect their world but IMO the old economic models will simply not work. Which is why people who work in Silicon Valley are thinking along the lines of a new economic model.
        Unfortunately , they do not seem to be communicating this well to the rest of society. There is a good article about this at Backchannel by Khan Soieb entitled How Trumpism Threatens Silicon Valley. Worth a read.
        Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Kwanza. Happy Chanaku.
        Peace be Upon You . Etc.

  • ninjaf

    That was the problem. Democrats ran on a platform of job training and these workers made it perfectly clear that they don’t want to be trained for the jobs of the future. They feel entitled to a good paying job that allows them to be just as uneducated and untrained as they have been their entire life. They are against learning almost on principle.

  • Aynwrong

    I know this sounds vague but I tend to think the only thing that will “save us” is good government that is allowed to function. A government that wasn’t hamstrung by a political party that’s turned never regulating the “free market” into a religion will never be able to engage in the analysis of our impending problems and successfully figure out how to avoid them or at the very least mitigate them as they occur.

    Unemployment insurance, job training, investment in new sectors (such as solar energy) are all things the government should be able to do unencumbered by paid whores & ideologues preaching nonsense about “limited government.”

    The free market should be free to make most of it’s own decisions. The government should be able intervene when necessary. Until the the so called “Party of Limited Government” is permanently pushed out of the way America’s future is a thing America will be unable to prepare for. Shamefully.

    • Scopedog

      Until the the so called “Party of Limited Government” is permanently pushed out of the way America’s future is a thing America will be unable to prepare for. Shamefully.

      Agreed–but they must not just simply be pushed aside–they must be completely and utterly destroyed. They must be placed into the dustbin of history, because they are a clear and present danger not just to the US, but to the whole fucking planet. Yes, they are even more dangerous than ISIL.

      • Aynwrong

        Couldn’t agree more. Guess I was too polite.