U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic plan makes little mention of automation–in a world where automation is inevitable.
There’s some mystery surrounding what will be done to acclimatize those who lose their jobs to automation. In fact, among President Trump’s budget cuts are some of former U.S. President Barack Obama‘s job training initiatives meant to ready industries that will be affected.
How will the USA take on the future if we’re avoiding the challenges of Industry 4.0?Can Trump's USA face challenges of Industry 4.0?Click To Tweet
The U.S. Is Already Falling Behind
Edgy Labs has previously covered the ways in which China is surpassing the U.S. in preparation for the automation transition.
One of the main factors–investment in cleantech providing dividends–doesn’t seem to be on the current U.S. President’s economic radar. He has already rejected international climate change deals and promised to return coal jobs to the U.S.
As we saw during his first 100 days, many of Trump’s campaign promises are yet to be accomplished such as repealing and replacing Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act). We even saw Trump flummoxed during a key test of his commitment to his constituency: the Carrier negotiations. It seems that the author of The Art of the Deal didn’t deliver as he had promised that he would.
Perhaps therein lies a glimmer of hope. If health care policy is being determined by a collaboration between bipartisan legislators and the desires of the U.S. President, perhaps automation policy will also be an organic development. We just have to hope that this process begins before other countries are transitioning into a future where we’re not included.
Trump Plans to Cut Investment in Job Training
Despite many signs pointing toward the rapid transition from our current job system to automation, the President and his cohorts seem focused on rejuvenating the fossil fuel industry and the blue collar factory workers that drove the U.S. economy in decades past.
Almost totally contrary to his predecessor, President Trump has spent much of his time in office undoing the work of the Obama administration.
The Obama administration conceived of the TechHire Initiative to transition Americans into technology jobs with specialized training. Trump’s plan shows the Department of Labor getting a 36% cut to funding for training/employment services.
The irony? Initial numbers suggest that we would see more automation of jobs under Trump–experts suggest that the key difference is that worker displacement will be more severe under the current budget.
“America First” Could Make America Worse
Many unskilled jobs–factory, service, freight or otherwise–will become automated within the next 20 years.
Despite this, the President’s plan calls for divesting from education and investing in outdated economic practices. Echoing his campaign motto “Make America Great Again”, Trump released his “America First” energy plan. This plan also includes major cuts to government spending with focuses on education and the EPA. Many believe that the President’s goals will actually set up the American workforce for failure.
Not even Trump can architect the U.S.’s way out of losing hundreds of thousands of jobs to automation. Pro-tip: human ingenuity and creativity could never be replaced by a robot. Despite new information coming daily, many questions are floating around after President Trump’s economic plan announcement. Among those questions:
- What industries do you think will benefit most from automation?
- Which industries could benefit most under Trump’s proposed economic plan?
- What could a plan for automation under Trump look like?