Tucker Carlson Warns about the Effects of Globalization and Automation on American Men
March 23, 2018, 10:18 AM
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Tucker Carlson has been doing a series about men in his show and how economic forces in America have pushed them down for decades with destructive social effects. He does a good job of describing the causes, specifically noting immigration, automation and the competition of cheap foreign manufacturing. The best thing about his essay is describing the real human cost of these policies causing job loss or decreased wages which in turn lead to symptoms like drug abuse, less family formation and more divorce.

Washington sees many of these globalist changes as great successes because they bring less expensive consumer goods. But the suits in the capitol city overlook the costs to citizens which were entirely foreseeable.

Tucker observed that “truck driver . . . is the most common job in the majority of states” as illustrated in the map below. That’s over three million driving jobs that are on the chopping block of “progress.”

It’s certainly realistic to discuss the human cost of globalization and now automation since it so rarely happens. It would be useful to mention that automation is just getting started and is predicted to displace millions of jobs over the next couple decades. We really need a national discussion about that coming disaster.

At the minimum, America should end immigration as a remnant of a fading economic system no longer needed (if it ever was) because automation is coming on to do the low-skilled jobs performed by foreigners who work cheap. The smart machines are cheaper.

Plus, we have plenty of sober warnings from experts about the extent of automation’s future job displacement:

Oxford researchers forecast in 2013 that nearly half of American jobs were vulnerable to machine or software replacement within 20 years. Rice University computer scientist Moshe Vardi believes that in 30 years humans will become largely obsolete, and world joblessness will reach 50 percent. The Gartner tech advising company believes that one-third of jobs will be done by machines by 2025. The consultancy firm PwC published a report last year that forecast robots could take 38 percent of US jobs by 2030. Last November the McKinsey Global Institute reported that automation “could displace up to 800 million workers — 30 percent of the global workforce — by 2030.” Forrester Research estimates that robots and artificial intelligence could eliminate nearly 25 million jobs in the United States over the next decade, but it should create nearly 15 million positions, resulting in a loss of 10 million US jobs.

Here’s Tucker’s essay:

Transcript of video:

TUCKER CARLSON: They’re invisible in Washington, yet they’re everywhere: Americans who’ve dropped out of the workforce. About seven million American men between the ages 25 to 54 no longer have jobs. That’s more than 10 percent of the entire prime-age male labor force in the United States. It’s a huge number. Most of those men, studies predict, will never return to work.

What happened? Some of the causes are well known. Competition from foreign manufacturers crushed our country’s industrial sector. China’s entry into the WTO alone destroyed more than two million American jobs. Automation is killing many more. A disproportionate number of these jobs are in traditionally male industries. Manufacturing. Agriculture. Logging. A 2016 McKinsey report found that quote, “90 percent of what welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers do” could be replaced by robots.

Jobs in which women are the majority tend to be far less vulnerable to automation. Three of the five fastest-growing professions are dominated by women.

The jobs that remain for men tend to pay less than the ones that disappeared. This is especially true for working class men, who unlike their female counterparts have seen their real wages fall over time. Part of the reason for that is mass immigration. More than a million new immigrants enter the U.S. every year legally. A large but unknown number come illegally. Most of them are low-skilled. All of them are looking for work.

These new arrivals compete primarily with the very Americans most likely to have lost their jobs. The effect is lower wages. It’s a matter of supply and demand. An over-abundance of anything makes it cheaper, and that goes for labor.

One study, conducted after the Mariel boatlift in Florida, found that Americans with lower education levels in Miami, the most vulnerable, saw their wages fall by 37 percent after the immigrants arrived.

Policymakers didn’t seem to notice. and they still don’t, probably because it doesn’t really affect them. If waves of immigrants from the third world were becoming lawyers and non-profit executives and members of congress, how long would the borders stay open?

Meanwhile, millions of American men now make less than their fathers did. That’s a tragedy, a betrayal of the American dream. But it’s also a recipe for societal collapse. When men’s wages decline, families fall apart. This fact is well known to researchers. It’s been the subject of many studies over decades, with consistent results. Yet it’s rarely noted in public. Here’s some of what we know.

One well-regarded study released last year found that when men’s wages fell relative to women’s, families didn’t form. According to the authors, a falling male wage reduced, quote, “the attractiveness of men as potential spouses, thus reducing fertility and especially marriage rages.”

Researchers also noted a dramatic increase in out of wedlock births when men made less. In the words of one of the authors, an economics professor at MIT, quote: “We see a decline in fertility, a decline in marriage, but a rise in the fraction of births that are disadvantaged, as a consequence the kids are living in pretty tough circumstances.”

Numerous academic studies have reached identical conclusions. Research from 2015 found that quote, “when a randomly chosen woman becomes more likely to earn more than a randomly chosen man, marriage rates decline.” Those who do marry report being less satisfied and are more likely to divorce.

Low male wages are a driving force in family dissolution, and that’s why affluent neighborhoods in which men make more have a higher proportion of married couples, and fewer divorces. The opposite is also true, and that leads to a cascade of social problems, which over time become a disaster. Men who make lower wages marry less and father more children out of wedlock. These children, growing up without fathers, tend to make lower wages themselves in later life.

For decades this was a universally recognized pattern in inner cities: the cycle of poverty. Now the same destructive vortex is common in rural America. The problem isn’t culture — that’s what we thought. No. In both cases, the cause is the same: A lack of well-paying jobs for men.

What’s striking is how little notice these facts get from our policy makers have taken. Their overriding aim is to raise women’s wages to parity or above men’s. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But these are complex questions with numerous and profound unintended consequences, so they deserve vigorous public debate. It’s notable that most women, the very population on whose behalf these policies are supposedly devised, strongly prefer to marry men who make more than they do.

What’s beyond debate is that Washington and corporate America aren’t thinking a lot about how to solve the male wage crisis. If anything, they’re exacerbating it. Lawmakers in both parties, for example, have heartily embraced self-driving vehicles and drone delivery of packages. It’s all impressive technology, but what would be the effect on employment? Has anyone asked that?

There are more than three million professional truck drivers in this country. It’s the most common job in the majority of states. More than 90 percent of drivers are men. Thanks to technology, many of them are about to lose their jobs. That’s a lot of unemployed Americans. That’s a lot of broken families.

Washington isn’t worried at all about this. Lawmakers and business leaders assure us those truck drivers will be just fine. They’ll find something else to do, something better in fact, with higher pay. Maybe they will. But keep in mind that they said the same thing about manufacturing jobs thirty years ago.