The power of the American economic system is conscious and enlightened Capitalism. People guided by the greatest ethical and moral principles provide goods and services which benefit many people. The entire culture thrives. Opportunities exist for anyone willing to work. However, when the sole focus of business becomes the level of profit which the business can make without giving any consideration to the negative impact of its actions on people, a disconnect has occurred. Whenever a business model provides little in return for what it charges, there is a disconnect. When business seeks only to exploit people, there is a disconnect.
We are at a great crossroads now where we can make conscious decisions about the direction of technology and how it will be used in an honest and ethical manner to benefit the whole of society, not just a few.
Sadly, modern technology – in tandem with political support from the left, right, and center – has done a scandalous disservice to humanity, and particularly to Americans.
In point of fact one could argue – rather successfully I should think – that the net benefits of technological achievement are often outweighed by the gross side-effects of unemployment, underemployment, and lack of opportunity for advancement by people unable to utilize technology to their advantage. The additional catastrophic attempts at intervention by our political leaders to “help” correct these issues has almost tipped the boat over, threatening to capsize us into the churning waters of unruly economic chaos.
It started many years ago when simple mechanical devices and machines were first used to displace skilled human workers, primarily because the cost of such humans has always been a sore spot for any business. Not much has changed to the present day. Corporations may spout politically correct rhetoric about how wonderful their employees are and what valuable assets they represent, but if a machine can do it faster, more-efficiently, and cheaper, well, the human will be out on their a$$.
Before I get started, I need to clarify a few terms.
I do not want to irritate, offend, or anger anyone, but what the politicians call the middle-class are average Americans. Just regular folk who have no exceptional talent or skill, genetic or acquired, but are still capable of achieving success through sacrifice, hard work, accepting self-responsibility and dedication of will. Being average and normal is a good thing.
As technology has “progressed,” the replacement of average humans by much more intelligent and complex machines has moved in two simultaneous directions. In one direction, the jobs of those with average skills, abilities, and intelligence are rapidly being displaced. Cashiers, equipment operators, auto mechanics, warehouse workers, fast food employees, delivery personnel and the list goes on and on. Computers, robotics, and machine intelligence is greatly impacting the employment opportunities for average people. Factor in another variable of average workers in foreign locations who will work for a fraction of the cost of American workers, and you get further deterioration which makes getting a regular job very, very, difficult.
There is a second direction that is happening now, and is escalating, and that is the replacement of the jobs of the above average in intelligence that were once considered impossible to replace. Software and hardware that perform medical diagnostics; companies that rely on machine intelligence, rather than human intelligence, for decision-making; engineering plans created by machines and not humans – one can argue (quite persuasively) that there is no area of human professional existence that will not be impacted by machine intelligence that is not augmenting, but actually replacing, humans.
Even now, some jobs are hard to find because machines and/or software are already holding down the position.
The average human IQ is between 85 and a little short of 115. The actual range of IQ – however – can run from around 59 (give or take a few points) upwards to 140 plus.
Regardless of what you think about the Bell Curve, one facet of it is an absolute fact – at any one moment, based on any static evaluation (a snapshot in time, if you will) about 70% of the human race is average and below-average – no matter what their race, ethnicity, gender, or point of origin. Their IQ falls between 85 and 115. Period.
End. Of. Story.
We won’t devolve into any discussion of whether the Bell Curve is static upon conscious examination but dynamic in ongoing reality, or a fixed interpretation of human genetic reality. In other words we won’t worry, at this time, whether humans can move on the Bell Curve from left (below average) to right (above average) for overall intelligence, or if they are locked down by their genetics with a minimal ability to improve. The one thing we can safely say – with relative impunity from criticism – is that there are a lot of average and below-average people in the world. Whether they can “improve” their intelligence is the current focal point of politics in America.
For evolution up to this point in human history (that is to say, the survival and replication of the human species) – lots of average and below-average people has been okay. After all, the civilizations that have come and gone throughout human history really didn’t need lots of smart people. They needed people that could fight, farm, make things, repair stuff and replicate with great regularity. A minimal ability to read and write was nice, but it was not really a skill required for most folks.
Ignorance is bliss, remember?
Just be at the farm, plant, factory, castle, or camp on time and follow freaking orders.
However — truth be told – although this way of structuring things seems a little harsh, it worked out pretty well over the long and winding road of human existence. I say this because there are now billions and billions of humans on this planet. Do the math – it seems like a success story to me.
Sure, there are periodic disruptions along the human fault line (e.g., genocide, wars, drought, famine, disease) but humans always manage to figure out a way to survive, reorganize themselves, and then get back to the business of multiplying and thriving.
Today – sadly — the human race is once again trying hard to flush itself down the toilet because, apparently, we are simply too obtuse to see that the net result of creating, using, and depending on too much technology is the complete and utter displacement of too many average humans from the mainstream of life. Jobs and careers that were once the sole province and a comfortable abode for such people are rapidly and relentlessly being eliminated by technology.
Software and machines can do it better, faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. They require minimal “health” care, never take time off, and don’t take pensions.
We aren’t being terminated by killer robots, but by killer apps.
This rapidly accelerating disruption poses a “byte” of a problem. Suddenly, you have millions of average and below-average people with no way to provide for themselves. There are no jobs or careers in the areas which they are capable of success because those jobs and careers have been destroyed by technology. Worse still – the people so displaced cannot utilize the technology to benefit themselves, but are actually exploited (often deliberately) by those who control the technology. Not only is it difficult for the average or below-average person to truly utilize technology to earn a living – they often have problems simply using such technology efficiently. Technology exploiters seek to amuse or abuse, but rarely to empower.
In this environment, the State (whichever political party is in power) smells an opportunity.
There are millions of average and below-average people who need food, water, and shelter. Jobs and careers are gone, so the State – in its infinitely misguided wisdom – thinks it can take resources from others (i.e., average and below-average people who have worked hard to figure out a new way to provide for themselves, or above-average people who can almost always provide for themselves) and redistribute to the average and below-average.
Actually, this sort of redistribution has always been in place and has always existed in America. It works fine as long as the number of takers does not significantly exceed the number of givers, and as long as the economy is growing at a decent percentage rate. In the past, when jobs were plentiful for average and below-average people we could, as a society, collectively afford to give away money to people who had not really been earned it by their own efforts.
Modern technology, however, now displaces average and below-average people at a rate significantly faster than the State can take and redistribute resources from a decreasing pool of authentic producers and providers to the average and below-average people – and in particular the below-average group in America is expanding at an uncontrollable and unsustainable rate due to a decline in educational and instructional standards, increased immigration of below-average people, and political leadership that denigrates the value of embracing the American system.
Plus, it truly and logically irritates the producers and providers when they are forced to work their assets off to provide for average and below-average people who have given up seeking new ways to achieve success. Especially when this latter group is actually encouraged by the State to remain stagnant in exchange for political favoritism.
The State – utilizing that infinitely bad wisdom we mentioned earlier – would like you to think the problem is simply one of education and training. The average people – the State says – just need to attend college and get more smarter.
Oh, and look, some of our friends and colleagues in the financial industry have student loans readily available…
Sadly, the net result of this government-sanctioned foolishness is massive hordes of average and below-average people with useless degrees – an almost complete lack of jobs and careers confronts them upon graduation.
In addition, each average or below-average person now owes around $45,000+ in student loans which they in all likelihood will never be able to pay back because no jobs exist. In many cases, even with their “degree,” they are not truly qualified.
Fortunately, there are a great many average and below-average people who have figured out new ways to provide for themselves that are not utterly reliant on technology and the current economic system. Keep in mind that above-average people can almost always provide for themselves. Unfortunately, both of these groups are heavily taxed to bailout the non-producing average and below-average individuals.
And those taxes must be constantly increased as technology strips away more and more jobs and careers.
In addition, technology almost always leads the average or below-average person into a grievous sort of relationship that is exactly like the dealer has with a junkie. The average or below-average person who cannot comprehend nor succeed in the “real” world must seek succor and solace in a virtual world – entertained and placated by technology which requires constant updating. Get your new tech toy to be hip. Upgrade your phone. Get the latest app. Where is your Ultra-awesome HD-enhanced 3D-immersive world TV?
The average or below-average person may not have a job or a career, but they almost always have the latest digital device (usually several of them), high-speed Internet access, and various and sundry digital gadgets and accessories.
Why are we so fascinated with zombies these days? Because technology is turning average or below-average people into mind-numbed digital electromagnetic (EM) wave manipulated beings. EM zombies, dazed and confused, stumbling around mindlessly fixated on the device in their hands or – if the Elitists have their way – embedded in their skull. Thinking the answers to life can be found in the EM spectrum, somewhere.
This development pleases the Elite in America to no end.
This is because most of the Elite that comprise our government and corporate leadership believe that being average or below-average is not curable. The Elite will tout education and training, but their heart is not in it because – deep within the dark recesses of their Elitist minds – they do not want the average and below-average to succeed. Even if they thought it possible, they do not want it to happen. That would mean the Elitists themselves could be removed from positions of power. Their grandiose plan is to placate the average or below-average masses and amuse them, or simply exploit them economically. Better still, convince them that the “real” Elitists are those that selfishly work as entrepreneurs and business owners – and contrive a system to redistribute wealth while taking resources from such people.
This is why certain political groups often talk about “losers in the genetic lottery” and “leveling the playing field” – because average or below-average people are easily manipulated. A State controlled by people who tout this sort of political message love average or below-average people because they are easily bent to the Elitist will and – in a Democracy – can be readily convinced to mindlessly vote for the State. You know, the State that supports them with unearned entitlements because they are average or below-average, and convinces them that the whole wide world is unfairly pitted against them.
What these Elitist political groups forget (or prefer not to acknowledge) is one elegant truth – in human beings, average and even below-average is still pretty damn smart and, in many cases, can be truly extraordinary.
Instead of giving up and caving into the State to be tended after as sheep or cattle – as slaves – the average or below-average people must try to create new and innovative ways to provide for themselves. And they do. Not just that – but average or below-average people who have figured out a new way and above-average people, who almost always figure out a way, need to provide guidelines and pathways that illustrate new and innovative methods of success that do not involve submission and surrender to the State.
Part of this starts with being aware of what is happening around us. For instance, as jobs and careers begin to vanish, the average and below-average are setup to be conned and fleeced. Here is an example — think of the California Gold Rush of the 1840s. Thousands, millions, of people flocked to California dreaming of finding gold. Very, very, few found gold. The people that got rich were the ones selling the shovels.
Today, many people think they can become an Internet bazillionaire selling things on the Internet. You know what – very few people make money selling on the Internet. Well, except the people who charge you for marketing and want to “teach” you how to sell on the Internet. They are exploiting people, pure and simple, which isn’t hard since most people do not understand how the technology works and simply get a glazed look in their eyes when they try to figure it out.
There are some fundamental truths about the American system which are still valid and true.
It is not intelligence alone that determines success, but also hard work, dedication, love, acceptance of self-responsibility, honesty, integrity, and sacrifice. Average, below-average, above-average and the like are just words – phrases we pick out to try and describe something we don’t really understand. Concepts to try and explain what is happening to the human race.
No matter what, however, in the end it is critically important to have intelligence – human intelligence.
While it is true that technological achievement is rising fast in the world, the fact is that intelligence in the human race is not showing a relational growth that matches. Below average competence and ability is actually becoming the norm in many areas. We are being taught to accept mediocrity.
When this happened a “few” years ago we called it the Dark Ages.
The first step to becoming intelligent is the belief that it can be attained.
As long as we have political and social leadership elements in this country that continue to inform the masses that they are “doomed” to their caste, station, or place in the supposed hierarchy of a static American society based on their birth (genetic) characteristics, we will continue to stagnant as a nation – and as a species. As long as you blame external factors and fail to embrace your own inner abilities and strengths, you will fail.
Don’t buy what they are selling.
All humans can achieve extraordinary things. You can move from left to right on the Bell Curve for intelligence as long as you work at it. You can accomplish anything with the right blend of hard work, love, dedication, acceptance of self-responsibility, honesty, integrity, and sacrifice.
We have an election fast-approaching. You need to vote for candidates who embrace the above concepts – if your candidate does not, then you should consider re-evaluating your choice.
Think. Will. Become.