There has been a lot of conversation about automation. Recently there have been stories about fast food places becoming more automated. It used to be that when someone needed a job they would be told to work at a burger place. That occupation may become unavailable in the next few years. Automation is not only affecting physical labor but intellectual occupations as well. There are automated websites and apps that can provide basic legal services now. Even lawyers are not immune to automation. In many ways automation will put people out of jobs to the extent that only the owners of these automated workplaces will be the ones to benefit. This article, however, is not about doom and gloom. Truly successful people know and live a very profound truth: When something goes down, something else comes up. In other words despite everything there is opportunity with the coming automation.
First of all these machines haven’t evolved the ability to build and maintain themselves. At least not yet. These machines still have to be physically built. They still have to be programmed to perform their tasks. They still have to be maintained. They still have to be upgraded. Let’s look at that last one for a second.
Two things drive the American economy right now: Technology and debt. We’ll talk about debt in another article. In corporate boardrooms there are actually discussions on how to make technology obsolete. That’s why people have to get a new I-phone every two years. They are built to breakdown. Cars for that matter are built to breakdown. Several corporations will build those machines. If those corporations want to survive they will build those machines to breakdown and need upgrades. This will provide plenty of Black men opportunity to work as manufacturers, programmers, and repairmen. Indeed these machines will have to be sold to businesses. That requires salesmen and administrative support.
Indeed some enterprising brotha may even own the company that manufactures these machines. Chew on that for a minute.
Other than working directly with automation there are still plenty of opportunities for Black men. There is still the human element in the economy. For the most part automation will affect physical labor with maybe some impact on legal issues and tax preparation which is becoming increasingly automated. Nobody is going to the barbershop to have their hair cut by a machine. No one wants to have a food served to them by robot at a fancy restaurant. Despite the troubles with the retail industry no one is going be measured for a suit by a robot. These are just small examples.
There is still the massive entertainment industry which includes sports. People tend to see the entertainment industry through the singers and athletes. Yet if one digs these industries employ many people who are not in the spotlight. A single concert or sporting event creates thousands of jobs. A few things might be able to be automated but not everything.
I can probably do a book on how to survive automation and maybe I will one day. For now understand one thing. The human race in general and Black men have shown an ability to survive and adapt to changing circumstances. Black men in particular are very talented. Indeed our talents are creating many jobs especially in the entertainment industry. Quiet as it’s kept many Black men as engineers are playing a big role in this automation process. Whatever the circumstance Black men will adapt. In fact, I’ll make a prediction based on history. As automation takes hold it will be Black men who will come up with new industries. An example of this is Hip Hop. A scholarly study of Hip Hop will show that it has created jobs for millions of people since its birth in the late seventies. I predict that new industries will indeed be created that will only be enhanced by automation.
Ultimately we will survive and thrive during the coming automated age.