My heart always sinks when I hear these kind of phrases. They are glib, jingoistic and disguise all the real problems behind a mask of nationalistic fervour.
Put America First!
Just political tools used to gain votes.
There are many forces at work to undermine our economies and create joblessness. It is these underlying problems that require fixing. Unfortunately these problems are big and fixing them is not easy, neither do they show results in one or even two terms of office (where China, with its long-term thinking and strategy benefits).
As I see it there are three main problems:
- Outsourcing – companies moving abroad or procuring products at cheaper prices from abroad.
- Automation and A/I – where machines and robots take on the work of the workforce and displace them.
- Old technology that has been superseded by new industries.
Much of the developed world’s manufacturing industry has moved to the developing world where labour is cheap and overheads are much less. It is easier to build/make/produce goods there and ship it, rather than produce it at home.
Increased automation and A/I mean that machines and computers can do the work of many people far more cheaply and efficiently. They displace the workforce. Why use navies with pickaxes and shovels to mine, make roads or dig tunnels when a machine does it in a fraction of time, much cheaper? Why have a receptionist answer a phone when a machine can and you don’t have to pay it? Why drive a truck when a robot can do it cheaper and safer? Increasingly automation and A/I is taking over – stacking shelves, cleaning, even performing operations, flying planes and driving.
Old polluting industries like coal, steel and oil are no longer needed in the modern world. We can use substitutes for steel and machines that run on clean energy.
So the old mills, pits and refineries are shutting down. The new technologies are highly efficient and require few people. The developing world is where we have outsourced our pollution and from where we receive our cheap goods.
Instead of jingoistic slogans – like Make America Great Again we need to deal with the underlying issues.
- Raise the standards of the industries in the developing world so that they meet basic health, safety and environmental standards and workers have comparable conditions and pay. Then there will not be the need to outsource!
- Find a better way of distributing wealth – increased salaries, shorter working weeks – so that the greater efficiency created by automation and A/I does not merely get funnelled into the pockets of the owners – the elite.
- Redeploy people into caring industries and the new technologies with suitable retraining.
We do not have to have a mass of displaced, deprived and desperate people.
That is our choice.
It is the result of the system we have put in place.
We can create a prosperous and responsible world for everyone. We do not need jingoistic, nationalistic slogan. We need to tackle the underlying issues!
Our planet needs protecting! All people are important (not just Americans or British)! The world is interconnected! What happens in India, the Philippines, Africa or China affects all of us!
The world is small. We cannot afford to waste resources, outsource our pollution, or raise ourselves up at the expense of others (and the environment).
We need to work together!
Despite all the propaganda neither Americans nor British people are worth more than anybody else.
Chuck out the slogans and simplistic nationalism!! Time for a better world for all of us (and nature)!!