According to Gizmodo, the current elitist climate within the tech world and growing automation technologies are putting lower and middle-class Americans out of work, shifting the negative effects of a rapidly changing economy onto the average citizen. This is no surprise or new concept. It wasn’t millions of elites who lost their jobs and homes in the 2008 recession.
The fear of automation making jobs in tech obsolete is as old as the tech industry itself. Robots don’t need breaks in the middle of their shift, can perform manual labor without the risk of human fatigue or injury, and can’t unionize or insist on raises. They are an executive’s dream employees and allow big corporations to cut costs on personnel.
So while executives can sit comfortably in the cloud of the C-Suite, the average American suffers job losses and lowered wages. Many leaders in the tech world seem utterly unconcerned with the plight of the lower and middle-class citizens who used to be their employees on the ground level, cozying up to the new fascist and self-proclaimed homophobic Brazilian president as well as the Trump regime, who has worked to protect the 1% since day one.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM, commented on the inaccessibility and lack of inclusiveness that exists in the tech world, the threat automation poses to American jobs, and tech’s influence on global politics. She claimed
“So when it comes to education and skills, why government can’t solve it alone, I think businesses have to believe I’ll hire for skills, not just their degrees or their diplomas. Because otherwise, we’ll never bridge this gap,” Rometty pandered. “All of us are full of companies with university degrees, PhDs, you’ve got to make room for everyone in society in these jobs.”
“With the new technologies that are out there, I think there is a huge inclusion problem, meaning there’s a large part of society that does not feel this is going to be good for their future,” Rometty said. “For them to participate broadly—for the U.S. to participate broadly, not just two coasts, right?—and it’s what led to Brexit, it’s what led to all of this, that you’ve got to make it inclusive, which means that you’ve got to believe in some different things, I believe, to move forward now.”
It’s hard to believe that Rometty, whose net worth is almost $33 million, is genuinely concerned about the plight of the 99%. IBM has failed to stand up for the middle American against the Trump Administration, lays off employees annually, and published an article detailing the positives of automation eclipsing human jobs as recently as August 2018.