Roll out the robots and watch unemployment grow

Published: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 - 1:10 pm

Re "Google bets a bundle on robots" (Page A1, Dec. 4): I have never seen a robot buy food, clothes, gas or a house. With the rush towards automation, what seems to be missing from the discussion is the societal cost. We must ask ourselves what will we do with the expanding lower-income class, the shrinking middle class and the inevitable increase of unemployed workers. More than 8 million Californians are living below the poverty level, and that figure grows ever year. Imagine if they started to organize in protest. We have heard the arguments that society will retrain people, add new jobs, adjust, etc. But that's not true this time: Jobs aren't disappearing, but people are being replaced. Much won't change until the people who design and engineer these advance products are replaced themselves by automation and robots. But, by then, who will care?

-- Michael Santos, Antelope

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