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> -----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of Melissa Nelson
> While I agree with a lot of this post...after my divorce I worked my
> through a bachelors and masters degree doing this.....
> shifts at elder-care facilities, helping the robots that do most of
> lifting and cleaningof our (boomers') failing bodies.
> Four years in a nursing home for $9 an hour..way, way, way, way, way
> tougher than my technical writing job, for a lot less money! Believe
> one does this for long without a work ethic! This is also something a
> robot could not do!
My interim point in that paragraph was that, while robots might not be
doing that stuff now, they soon will, simply because there won't _be_
enough able bodies (at $9/hr or considerably more) to do the heavy
lifting and yucky cleaning). The demographic pressure will provide
incentive to create (and buy) machinery to assist hospital workers in
handling heavy, inert patients. It already exists to some extent, but
mostly as early-adopter, high-priced equipment.
As demand rises, and the next couple of generations of equipment come to
market, they'll be cheaper, smaller, lighter, more flexible/adaptable,
The job that you had will exist only in the bottom-end facilities. In
the more expensive places, the job will consist of supervising machines.
The people who supervise the machines will form unions/guilds/coalitions
to limit access and forestall salary erosion, as the machines rapidly
become more autonomous and need less-qualified overseers/operators.
Meanwhile, the boomers who remain lucid enough to vote will be voting to
open up those jobs to the semi-literate, in order to lower some of the
costs of their own eldercare.
They'll be glad of the secret ballot - when union-busting politicians
win election and open the robot-overseer jobs to "unqualified"
competition, the individual boomer (frail and decrepit) will be able to
lie smoothly that "Oh no, I would never vote to undercut your pay, dear.
You've been such a godsend to me as I lie trapped in this decaying husk
of a body.
No, that must have been some other foolish bunch of voters. Please don't
hurt me, or withhold the food again!"
People keep telling me that I should write fiction.
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