Who are the baby boomers?
If you were born between 1946 (The year after WWII ended) and 1964 (The year after JFK’s life ended) You are a baby boomer.
If you were born in the North Eastern United States during this period, the chances are, many of you fell victim to the paradygm of turning 17 then getting a job at the local steel mill, coal plant or perhaps move to Michigan and get a job putting bumpers on 63 Chevy Impalas. If you chose to go to college, you came out with an entry level job in management at Ford, AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) or Boehing. (Making Cars, Steel beams or Passenger Airplanes).
This was the epitome of the Technical revolution. The problem with Technical revolutions is that they have a built in self destruct mechanism called the technocratic state. It’s the beginning of singularity. (The replacement of humans with techology) At a certain point, technology dominates production, making human labor obsolete.
In a cruel way, the cost of getting America from the industrial revolution to the technocratic state was literally “HARD BACK BREAKING WORK”. Let’s take the installation of a windshield or “screen” on a 1966 Caddilac. It took 4 very strong individuals to lift the hunk of glass into place and a 5th person called a “foreman” to say: “A little more to the left”. This was a very difficult and potentially deadly/costly procedure if not done correctly.
Some heavy lifting vocations are still unavoidable
Today a robotic arm has done away with the 4 beer drinking blue collar wage earners and a 100 pound female can guide the robotic arm with very little motion or strength. Thus we had the beginning of singularity. In some cases, robotic arms have done away with the need for a heart surgeon present in Truckee California. As laparoscopic surgery can be done remotely once an online connection has been established from the rural areas of California to the Mayo Clinic across the nation.
NCR was a product that was invalualble in the 60s. It stood for “No-carbon paper-required”. Documents were once required in triplicates. At first this meant writing the report 3 times. Someone then invented “Carbon paper”. It was a semi-reusable page of ink. You stuck a sheet under the original document and it would copy it onto the next page. 3 copes was about the limit as you had to press really hard to make the original document transfer to the next form. Soon this wonderful invention called NCR came out. So forms that would have to be filled out using two sheets of carbon paper now only had to be filled out once. Where did NCR forms go? The Smithsonian Institute.
Where did the 4 blue collar heavy weight windshield lifters go with their herniated lumbar discs? Social Security Disability.
We have a Hen vs. The Egg scenario when it comes to disability. One can easily place blame on the anemic Obama economy in 2008 along with the massive job loss numbers, due to the uncertainty resulting in the socialist move towards Obamacare. At the same time, the shrinking middle class can arguably be attributed to the technocratic shift and the inability of the blue collar worker to abuse his or her body any longer. The most commonly prescribed medication in America today is some form of the “narcotic” or “Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammitory drug” (NSAID). Medications like Hydrocodone or Oxycodone have been the destination for many who spent a great deal of their lives doing intense and repetitive heavy lifting. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that low back supports were mandated for employees lifting over 20 pounds. Also in the early 1980s, the “Carpal Tunnel Release” procedure was amongst the most common worker’s comp. surgeries performed. This is a condition where the large ligament that runs from your thumb to your pinky, becomes scarred and painful. Once the pressure on the “Tunnel” created by the compromised ligament is released, the main nerve that runs down the palm side of your hand(The Median nerve) is restored and numbness and pain is relieved. This condition or “Syndrome” was mainly noticed in meat workers such as butchers or chicken carvers. You can imagine the pressure used to hold a carving knife firmly.
As the computer became ubiqitous; more and more cases of carpal tunnel syndrome were reported.
There is good and bad news for future generations. The good news is that “occupaional medicine” has become an important discipline of medicine reducing the needless injuries to manual laborers. At the same time, the advancements in computer technology have made the need for manual labor obsolete. So one can no longer graduate from Highschool and go down to the GM plant as those jobs have been outsourced and what few jobs that exist in the US are robotic. On the bright side, some of the higher paying jobs simply require an advanced knowledge of the computer without a 4 to 8 year degree. The rumor of a vanishing middle class is no longer rumor but fact. Computers have already made computer jobs obsolete. Programs were created that did away with data processing technicians. Those techs would become “programmers” that would write programs to make other jobs obsolete. In the generations to come; we will come closer and closer to the point of singularity. Our live’s will be controlled by a few tyrants who will have access to the computer password until AI (Artificial Intelligence) comes to the conclusion it no longer needs humans.