BOSTON (CBS) — How do we know if our political leaders are really looking out for us, or just claiming to?
Here’s one suggestion: make note of whether or not they’re willing to confront what the Wall Street Journal calls “the flood of unemployment” headed for a workplace near you, courtesy of the giant tech companies that are dominating the economy.
A must-read piece in Saturday’s Journal notes that the rise of the huge and fast-growing tech monopolies – Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook – have gutted the revenues of the creative economy and are hard at work to do the same to transportation, medicine and retail.
Experts estimate self-driving cars, a new frontier of profit Apple and Google are aggressively pursuing, could wipe out “as many as 300,000 jobs a year in two decades or more.”
In context, that is about 15% of the total of new jobs created in the US last year.
And what are the people in charge saying about this appalling prospect?
Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin says that kind of dislocation is a century away and isn’t even on his “radar screen.”
Big business types are also downplaying the threat.
Haven’t we suffered through this scenario before?
Possible answers include antitrust litigation and far more focus on planning to help the dislocated.
But it’s up to us to ask the powers-that-be the question: Why aren’t you even talking about this?
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.