Monday, May 26, 2014

Mommas dont let your babies grow to be truck drivers

Low and semi skilled jobs will be replaced by technology.

Come September, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will begin granting licenses to select driverless cars and their human co-pilots, which will make it a bit less legally iffy as to whether or not they’re actually allowed to be on a public road. The good news: The license will only cost $150 a pop, and that covers 10 vehicles and up to 20 test drivers.

Technology is rapidly advancing as everyone knows just by observing how advanced smartphones and gaming consoles have become. However most people are not informed on how technology will impact them and their livelihoods. These driverless cars are just the beginning. Does anyone not see that in five years we will see driverless truck transportation? There are currently around 3.5 million people driving trucks in the US alone. Now all of these are not over the road trucks but a good portion are. These jobs will be displaced as this technology relentlessly advances. Now some readers may say that driverless trucks will never happen as it is too dangerous and the liabilities are too high. However that person is making assumptions on the advancement of computing power and technology that are just not accurate. What I forsee is that the automatic driverless controls will be shown to be a safer alternative than a human driver. Of course the trucking companies will love it because the trucks can move continuously except for fuel and maintenance breaks. No drivers means no salary, benefits, legacy employment costs and no HR headaches. This will also mean lower costs to ship items and ultimately lower costs for consumers. It will also mean 3.5 million people with no work driving trucks.

The rise of automation will acclerate as demands are made by people for higher wages for low skilled work. A perfect example is the recent protests for a a $15 wage by fast food workers. The problem is that they are not worth $15 per hour. If the government steps in and mandates a higher wage owners will shift from people to machines. It is already happening. I saw this first hand in a Chili's where I was having lunch. There is a tablet at the table that lets you order and pay your tab right at the table. A runner brings you your food. No waitress was really involved and I did not feel obligated to leave the customary 15-20% tip as I did not get any personal service.

The reason I am writing this and why it applies to investing is that technology is moving us into the realm of capital and away from low skilled labor. This is obvious but the trend is accelerating and it is incumbent upon people to make themselves aware of what is happening and prepare themselves accordingly. If you have capital and you can get a return by investing or speculating successfully you can do ok. If you are educated or have an entrepreneurial bent than you should also see opportunity. However for the masses of low skilled, under educated, those lacking capital or people that are just plain dumb (yes I know that is not pc but it is true) the future is not going to be easy or nice. Expect quite a bit of economic disruption and political chaos as these trends play out.


tweell said...

Put in your order, out comes your burger. Fries and drink are even easier.

Become a mechanic, plumber, machinery repairman.

boubin2 said...

Thanks for that. I was looking for a video showing that for illustration but could not fin one.

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