pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
Trump is riding a fresh wave of success for getting Carrier to keep 1,000 factory jobs in Indiana. He said he would bring back work to America and he has brought back 1,000 even before being sworn into office.
Now, he hasn’t brought back ‘all jobs’ but Carrier does a lot of government work that is ‘signed off’ by the Executive Office in the White House so the company knows when to ‘fish and cut bait.’
According to Mohan Tatikonda, a professor at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, “This is a spot solution. It helps some Carrier employees for a period of time, but it doesn’t address the loss of manufacturing jobs to technological change, which will continue.”
(The 1,000 Carrier jobs is about 0.2 percent of total manufacturing employment in Indiana.)
Whether Trump can do something that benefits the working class is the question. The underlying problems are very hard to address. Trying to hold back the economic tide of automation, and the loss of middle-class manufacturing jobs, is something I’m not sure anybody can do. No president, so far, is dealing with this issue.
That’s the rub.
Isn’t just factory workers who are feeling the pinch of finding work here or overseas.
I recently heard from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) who was responding to a question I had about writing careers. Barry after his Peace Corps years became TIME magazine bureau chief in Asia and elsewhere. He had a long, distinguished career in journalism. Barry wrote in part:
I suspect that my experience as a writer and journalist working overseas is no longer very pertinent to new writers. I was the beneficiary of the old system of foreign correspondency which was funded by the major newspapers and magazines which sent out their own journalists. And so over a long career, TIME bounced me around from Rio to Saigon to Bahrain to Toyko to London — with a few domestic stops in Chicago, Boston and LA. They paid the bills — and me.
This system barely exists now. TIME has a few staff correspondents abroad and a bunch of contract people. Only the New York Times and the Washington Post — and perhaps the LA Times — send people from home office to foreign assignments. And nowhere as many as it used to.
That said, there is a new system out there of reporters, many with language and cultural abilities the old group did not have. They are hired abroad, paid not very well and do terrific work.
If PCVs, or any other Americans, are already located overseas in places which generate news — and if they have language and cultural skills in those countries, they can find jobs. Not very well paying jobs, but jobs which might get their feet in the door — and get stories published. The business of journalism has changed dramatically in recent years.
But here might be an answer in the world-of-work for faculty workers that the press and everyone else calls “white uneducated bald male factory worker.”
I read about it in Wired Magazine, an article written by Clive Thompson.
Thompson suggested “programming” is a skill anyone (even an unschooled bald old white guy) can learn.
“What if we began to think of programming as the equivalent of skilled works at a Chrysler plant?” Thompson writes. “What if we encouraged high school graduates who can’t afford four-year computer-science degrees to instead take coding at the vocational level in high school?”
One could also learn how to do it at community colleges and in mid-career. Most blue collar coders would be qualified, for example, “to sling Java-Script for their local bank.”
The national average salary for IT jobs is about $81,000 (more than double the national average for all jobs), and the field is set to expand by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than most other occupations.
In Kentucky mining veteran Rusy Justice decided that code could replace coal. He cofounded Bit Source, a code shop that builds its workforce by retraining coal miners as programmers. Justice got 950 applications for his first 11 positions.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee nonprofit CodeTN is trying to nudge high school kids into coding programs at community colleges.
When my son was 11 years old (he’s 32 now), I said to him that when he grew up he would have a job that didn’t even exist then. Somehow that comment made an impression on him. In high school, on his own (his parents didn’t know about it), he took an elective course in programming at his school. Today he is the product/manager of the Bob Vile website and manages a small staff of like-minded young adults. Equipped with a degree in English from UPenn and his computer skills, he has found a career in the Internet world.
True, my son was never in the Peace Corps, but he does work for an RPCV. Bob Vila of This Old House fame was also a PCV in Panama 1969-70. (That puts him at least a little closer to heaven.)