Ivanka Has Drunk the Washington Kool-Aid

Sep. 5, 2018
by Bob Adelmann

A White House official described the transformation of the president’s first daughter from a normal, intelligent common-sense individual into a socialist. While on the campaign trail with her father:

She would meet with moms who wanted to support their family but didn’t either have a skill set or wanted to go back into the workforce [but] weren’t sure how to find a job.

She met dads who wanted to earn wages where they could support their families but didn’t have the right skills.

She spent two years on the campaign trail and heard firsthand how people felt like they were the forgotten man or woman and how nobody was looking out for them.

That really resonated with her.

And so, unencumbered with any understanding of or commitment to Constitutional limitations on such things as federally funded job training programs, she pushed her father and members of Congress to take taxpayer money and spend it on those “forgotten” men and women she felt sorry for.

It’s called the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, first passed back in 1984 and then repeatedly authorized in 1998, 2006 and then again this year, at Ivanka’s urging. With nearly unanimous approval, Congress extracts $1.3 billion from taxpayers every year and gives it to every state, urging them to invest the “free” money in job training programs to help those “forgotten” men and women for whom “nobody was looking out for.”

It’s pork, plain and simple, and is likely to have little impact on those looking for a handout rather than a hand up. Conservatives like to remind people that the best place to look for a hand is at the end of their arm.

Private industry is expanding its efforts to train people to fill jobs waiting for them. For the first time in years there are more job openings than people looking for work. It’s just that many of them aren’t qualified and so industry is looking to robotics and machines using artificial intelligence to fill the simplest of them. Long-haul truckers, for example, while currently in great demand, are facing extinction in the long run as major manufacturers and software developers are increasingly cooperating in efforts to replace them with machines. Some experts consider the phrase “artificial intelligence” as archaic, that “superior intelligence” is a better descriptor of that revolution. Clive Irving, writing in The Daily Beast, explains why: “We [humans] are not very good at keeping up high levels of concentration and maximum alertness in all situations. That is why we created machines that are far better at it than we are.”

A precursor to the same thing happening in the airline industry was the insertion into the FAA funding bill – the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 – of language that provides having only one pilot in the cockpit of cargo-only flights. The pilots’ union has been fighting a losing battle in attempts to “protect” the jobs of pilots no longer needed to fly airplanes. Landings and take-offs are now so predictable that in 2017 not one person died while flying on a commercial airline!

Robots are increasingly showing up in hotels across the globe. They clean hotel rooms, give advice on restaurants and shows to guests, provide security, and deliver room service. In commercial properties, they provide security, customer assistance, and alert property managers to failed systems or breakdowns.

Happily, not every job is in jeopardy. A 2017 study by the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that more than half of American jobs and four-fifths of global jobs are unlikely to be affected by the robotic/AI/SI revolution. The careers safest from that revolution, according to Michael Grothaus, writing in Fast Company, “are any in which an understanding of the human condition is essential (artists, therapists, and social workers), the ability to adapt to nuanced and unforeseen changes (hairdressers and maintenance foreman), and the ability to relate to and empathize with people (teachers and healthcare workers).”

Ivanka is shortly to learn that private industry and software developers are so far ahead of attempted federal assistance to help those looking for work that she will herself shortly be out of a job. 


The Washington Examiner: Ivanka emerges as Trump’s jobs czar, focus on ‘forgotten men and women’

The Daily Beast: Labor Day 2040: What Happens When Robots Do All the Work?

FastCompany.com: These are the few jobs that robots won’t take from us

BisNow.com: Is Your Real Estate Job Safe From Robotics And Automation?

The Perkins Act

Artificial Intelligence

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