As the initial shock is wearing off (or at least changing) I am starting to think of other models for understanding what happened in this election.
The one I keep coming back to is the understanding and acceptance of change.
Here are some ways the United States has changed, and will be changing in the near future:
- This is not a country of white people. That’s the past. The future is mixed and diverse.
- We used to need lots of people to manufacture things. We don’t anymore. Those jobs are not coming back.
- Most jobs in the United States are in transportation and customer service, and those two of the first areas about to take a direct hit from AI and automation.
I don’t think nearly anyone is realizing how major of a blow our country—and the world—is about to take because of AI. Because of autonomous vehicles and self-checkout alone, some massive percentage of transportation and customer service jobs are just going to vanish, in like 10 or 15 years.
Tens of millions of jobs.
So we should be in massive preparation mode right now. Getting ready for the biggest change to our society we’ve ever had, i.e., the removal of classical work and wages as the foundation of society.
But instead we’ve got a bunch of old white people who think we can actually go backwards to the 1950’s. That’s what they’re ready to fight for, and they’ll vote for anyone who tells them that 1) it’s possible, and 2) they’re the ones to make it happen.
The future is universal basic income while we transition to a peer-to-peer value exchange economy. But we’re so far from that.
Not only do we not know how to implement it, we haven’t even started thinking about it. And the reason we haven’t started thinking about it is because we don’t even realize there’s a problem yet.
I think one worst thing this election showed us is how unready we are for change—especially in the midwest. They’re not ready for the racial shift. They’re not ready for most of their jobs to go away. They’re not ready for universal income. And they’re not aware that they’re not aware.
It’s an economic asteroid the size of Detroit, headed right for us, and nobody’s even looking at the sky.
It’s time to look up.