The outcome of November 8, 2016 US Presidential election take everyone by surprise and silicon valley was not an exception. “How could a bigoted billionaire with no government experience and a twitchy Twitter trigger finger win the U.S. presidential election?” they asked themselves.
It’s quite simple: Trump won precisely because Silicon Valley is so disconnected from the Rust Belt. He won because of machination, because of outsourcing, because of the definitive end to The Industrial Age. Trump won because, for all of our innovation, “we” have not been giving jobs to “them.”
Statistically, the availability of blue-collar job is declining on a regular bases. In 1960, 1 in 4 Americans had a job in manufacturing; today, it’s fewer than 1 in 10. The industrial age is over — U.S. coal mining has declined 25 percent since 2008, which resulted in 50,000 jobs being lost over a four-year period. The mining industry, in general, has lost more than 191,000 jobs since 2014. In Africa especially Nigeria, blue-collar job is mission impossible.
The 20th Century launched us to the advent of Information age. An article in MIT Tech Review stated that Technology will lay off blue-collar jobs and Technology is the Bedrock of any Economy.
However, Trump interpreted the reality of American job loss into an illogical solution: that we need to bring back mining, that we should travel back in time, pre information-age and “make America great again.” He has said that “We will put our coal miners and steelworkers back to work,” and that it will be “American hands that rebuild this country.” Trump blames outsourcing and government policy for the decline of mining and the coal industry, when in fact it is market shifts that are to blame.
In other words, automation and technology are cutting our dependence on outsourcing. The tech industry has the ability to streamline and automate processes to the extent that costs are cut enough to stop outsourcing. It’s not just in customer service; it’s in energy, car manufacturing and new industries like the shared economy.
And that’s why Silicon Valley has a duty to the country to use automation to bring jobs back to the United States. We don’t need coal; we need customer service, we need solar energy, we need self-driving cars, we need Technology.