Letter: Look ahead, not back
Re Canada’s Donald Trump, letter to the editor, Jan. 11
I’m afraid that I have to break Rick Lockman’s optimistic bubble about bringing traditional middle-class jobs back to Canada.
While the factories and places of employment will probably return, the manner in which work is done is being irrevocably changed by robotics and automation. Very soon, all routine work will be done by robots or automated systems. This is why the World Economic Forum predicted in 2016 that by 2020 we will be seeing worldwide disruptions in employment, and these will continue for the foreseeable future. Foxconn plans to replace significant portions of its workforce by robots, and is currently doing so. What jobs can be brought back will need very few humans, and those will need special skills.
Rather than looking to a Trump-like figure to try and roll back the employment clock to a previous century, we need to find ways to educate and upgrade significant portions of our population so as to have the knowledge and skills to function effectively in the modern world. This would be real progress and leadership.
Donald N. Philip