Here Comes Sawyer; There Goes Your Job!

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

April 16, 2015

Senator Jeff Sessions’ April 9 Washington Post op-ed provides a useful immigration history summary, and an update on the dire employment picture for Americans that unchecked immigration has victimized.

Calling for “an honest discussion about immigration,” Sessions noted that as a result of low-immigration policies between 1930 and 1970 which eventually reduced the U.S. foreign-born population to about 9.6 million, real median earnings for working Americans soared 90 percent.

Since the 1965 Immigration Act which liberalized immigration flows, foreign-born residents have hit 40 million, an all-time high. Because the labor pool has been flooded with millions of new, work-authorized legal immigrants as well millions more unlawful aliens who work regardless of their immigration status, wages of lower-skilled Americans dropped 7.4 percent. Between 1970 and 2013 the number of middle-class American households has dropped from 61 percent to 51 percent. One in four working age Americans, age 21-54, does not have a job.

Meet Sawyer, ready, willing and able to take your job.

The truly bad news is that unless legal immigration levels are dramatically cut – and there’s no sign of that – the Census Bureau predicts another 14 million immigrants will arrive by 2025. Their total plus the growing trend toward automation and the resultant fewer jobs will create a full-blown economic crisis. Estimates peg automation’s global growth at about 12 percent per year.

The robot’s role in the future jobs market will be dominant. The newest entry is Sawyer who’s programed to do some of manufacturing’s more intricate functions. Watch it here. As Rodney Brooks, Rethink Robotics cofounder and Sawyer’s creator, self-servingly said: “Companies who are buying robots are filling in the tasks they can’t get people to stay and do. They’re using the people they have more positively by using their intelligence.”

Since Sawyer, which costs $29,000, is cheaper than hiring a human, and won’t require health insurance, paid vacation or a pension, employers won’t blink at replacing a live worker with a robot.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge your representatives to pass the Legal Workforce Act which would mandate E-Verify and help protect Americans against aliens taking U.S. jobs.

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