Download and Print PDF HERE
Thanks to an IGD reader, we now have a printable zine version of Livewire, our critique of automation, Universal Basic Income (UBI), and much more:
The scars of neoliberalism dot our landscape. But while outsourcing has pushed production overseas, at the same time in the last 19 years, the majority of jobs lost in manufacturing, 85%, has been to machines that can now do the work of humans, also known as automation. Over the next 10 to 15 years, massive amounts of the American workforce are also expected to be displaced from their jobs by machines. As one expert on automation recently stated, cities like Las Vegas in ten years could become the next Detroit, as robots replace service workers. Meanwhile, other places will soon start to feel the hit with the coming of self-driving vehicles in the trucking industry, as massive corporations now pump billions into the creation of autonomous cars and trucks that will allow companies to compete with Amazon. The future is here, but only to leave us behind.
If we want an image of the future, we need only look towards trends that already are gaining steam: rapidly gentrifying urban centers, where the homeless and working poor are driven out into the suburbs and further hinterlands. People scrambling to piece together enough money through jobs found on Craigslist, through apps, or on the black market. Masses of people living in their cars outside of Amazon facilities, toiling as seasonal workers in the jobs that have yet to be automated. And in the end, the divides between both rich and poor and along racial and gender lines will only have been more solidified.
The trajectory of modern capitalism is one in which so-called rural America is not only left behind by neoliberalism, but suddenly catching up are the urban cores, devastated by automation. From sea to shining sea.