Tuesday, November 29, 2022

How are we to cope with permanent mass unemployment and illegal migration?


That's an intriguing question, and one to which I don't have any easy answers.  The scale of the problem is clear.  Many people have dropped out of the rat race, particularly under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;  they don't want to go back to work, having discovered the joys of spending more time with their families, not having to waste hours every day on commuting, and so on.  In many industries and occupations, technology looks set fair to remove many of the jobs people do today.  Truck-drivers are staring automated trucks in the face.  Warehouse and distribution workers are threatened with new robotic technology that will increasingly replace them.  Most low-level white-collar administrative and blue-collar assembly jobs are increasingly likely to be automated (for examples, see here and here).

Then there's the influx of workers from everywhere else.  Many industries in the Third World are collapsing, because the demand for their products from their only export customers - First World nations and corporations - is collapsing.  (See, for example, Bangladesh.)  The newly-unemployed workers in those nations must find alternate employment, or starve;  there are few, if any, social support networks that can provide them with food, housing and other needs.  Millions upon millions of illegal aliens are surging into Europe and the USA, because they see the First World as a cornucopia of wealth that can offer them at least some security.  They don't care that they're not wanted:  they face literal starvation where they come from, so they have every motivation to move.  Few of them are legitimately classifiable as refugees:  most are economic migrants.  (Worse still, unscrupulous, exploitative politicians like the Biden administration are encouraging them to come and easing their journey, because they see them as a useful political tool, a fulcrum to change the fabric of First World society as a whole.)

The end result is that we're facing millions of unemployed - and probably unemployable - US citizens and legal residents, plus millions more illegal aliens who will demand at least some measure of support.  We simply can't afford to provide it - the US economy can't hold up under that burden.  What is to be done to help them?  We can't just abandon them, wash our hands of them.  If we do, they'll turn to crime to meet their needs, and we'll all suffer from it.  That's already happening in many nations, and to some extent in our inner-city environments.  I think it's true to say that the highest levels of crime in US suburbs are found in those suburbs that have the highest proportions of poverty and unemployment.

Some say we should provide a Universal Basic Income, a state subsidy to everyone to allow them to meet at least minimal needs, although not enough to live in real comfort.  Others argue for a Guaranteed Minimum Income, a means-tested subsidy that requires recipients to do at least some work to earn benefits.  Trouble is, if those make-work programs include, for example, cleaning streets or collecting garbage, what happens to the workers currently employed in those fields?  They're suddenly going to be out of work too - and, being largely unionized, that's a recipe for serious labor unrest.

Furthermore, we're already spending billions on welfare, social support networks, etc.  We can't afford to do that, and provide new welfare programs over and above them.  It would be more affordable to fold all existing welfare and unemployment programs into a UBI or GMI framework:  but then what would happen to all the bureaucrats and NGO's that are currently kept busy in the "welfare industry"?  They'd all lose their current jobs - and given the inefficiency and waste with which they currently work, we don't want them running the new programs.  Will politicians allow their pet projects, and the source of much of their welfare rake-offs and political influence in their communities, to be rolled into a new system that costs them that patronage?

It may be economically inevitable that some form of "permanent welfare" has to be instituted.  I don't like that - I loathe the idea! - but what alternative is there?  We can't force millions of people to starve.  If we try, the urban and social unrest that will result will make the Antifa/BLM riots of a year or two ago look like Sunday School picnics by comparison.  Neither can we simply remove all the illegal aliens.  We can try . . . but there are now so many of them in the USA (almost certainly more than 25 million, and possibly 30 million plus) that success is unlikely.  It's even less likely when we consider that large parts of the USA have declared themselves sanctuary cities and counties for such illegal aliens, and will resist, more or less actively, attempts to deport them.

So I ask you, dear readers:  what practical, effective alternatives are out there?  How do we cope with a large part of our population that's permanently unemployed?  How do we educate people for jobs that may not exist?  How do we keep out as many illegal aliens as possible, while accepting that at least some of those already here will never leave?

I'm at a loss for solutions.  I'd love to hear your opinions.  Maybe we can learn from each other.



Mind your own business said...

We assemble all urban poor and illegals into stadiums, and then do a massive EBT card drop. The limited number of EBT cards is based upon what we can afford. They can fight it out for who gets them. Nobody who fails to get an EBT card is allowed to leave. Sell the broadcast rights to fund the EBT cards.

James said...

Actually all we can do is abandon them in conjunction with a strict and harsh penal code and unsympathetic deportations. Anything else leads inevitably to a "Camp of the Saints" ending with centuries of a dark age at the best, with all traces of Western Civilization gone. Can this solution happen? Probably not as it would take flint eyed realists with steel souls to undertake.
I respect Christian Values, but they are a suicide pact with the Devil now. The collapse will come and is unstoppable. The end result will be as ugly as sin and make the living envy the dead.

Peteforester said...

"Permanent welfare" already exists. People go on the dole and never come off it. As more and more go onto a welfare system that fewer and fewer sustain, the sustainers will jump off as well. ..."Atlas Shrugged" in real time...

Too many people have already been ILLEGALLY ushered into our country for political gain. The only answer is the INEVITABLE end result; total societal collapse, at which point history tries again...

Divemedic said...

Sadly, there is no perfect answer. No, what will happen is what has happened in the past: the system that can't be sustained forever must come to an end. There is no solution that will please everyone, so we won't do anything. That dooms our entire system to a crash landing. There will be a collapse of the entire system as it currently stands. What will follow is anyone's guess.
Will it be a worldwide or regional dictatorship? Large scale warfare? A complete collapse followed by a dark age of 200 years or more? Some combination of those? Or will it be something else? Who knows, but it is obvious that the current system is coming to an end.

Amahl_Shukup said...

The humane thing to do would be to declare open season with zero legal liability on illegals. Soon enough they would get the message and RUN back to whatever shithole they came from, preferring impoverished life to a certain death in prosperous America.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Paul said...

Well. When it happen last time the state put people to work with picks and shovels. Most people do not have the conditioning to do that. Also at that time we did not have ant of the safety nets like SSI for old people or workers comp for younger people.

I do not see this ending like the last one. We did have a Dem leading so it took three times as long to correct as it should have. We have a dem in office now who is doing all he can the start WWIII.

Keep your powder dry.

Michael said...

Peter you're a kind soul. We've both seen folks in serious hardship. REAL Hunger and disease not seen YET in America.

OUR POOR have paid for cellphones and free plans as well as several thousand dollars' every year worth of bennies from various federal, state and local programs.

If you want, I can provide links to Gov.com sites about this.

Those that quote Jesus saying "There will always be poor among you" forget that Deuteronomy 15:11 still applies.
For there will never cease to be poor in the land; that is why I am commanding you to open wide your hand to your brother and to the poor and needy in your land.

As well as many proverbs supporting being kind to the poor.

However, family comes first. 1 Timothey 5:8

And scripture points out in OT and NT that work was offered to the poor. Leaving the corners of the field unharvested allowed Gleaning the field AND the poor were offered the chance to trade their effort for food thusly.

Scriptural poor lived in homemade shanties, not my rental apartment with the Gov.com FORBIDDING me to evict them.

Warning against Irresponsibility
2nd Thessalonians 3:10 9Not that we lack this right, but we wanted to offer ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 10For even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “If anyone is unwilling to work, he shall not eat.” 11Yet we hear that some of you are leading undisciplined lives and accomplishing nothing but being busybodies.…

Even the Apostles teaching the GOOD NEWS worked for a living. Paul was a tent maker.

The social safety net has become a feeding the cat's situation for several decades now.

Attempts to make poor people WORK has been shot down often as cruel and abusive.

That and "undocumented immigrants" (Newspeak from 1984) strongly tend to vote for those that promise them More FREE Stuff. SHOCKING eh?

Or as that meme goes the Working class is being overtaken by the Voting Class.

Unknown said...

unemployed, yes. unemployable, really???

now, 'not worth the inflated minimum wage to a private employer' I will buy, but not that there isn't useful work they could do or be trained to do.

If you accept the premise that we are going to collectively pay them to live, than 'worth the minimum wage' isn't a factor any longer, they are going to get some money in any case, so ANY work we (society) get out of them is a net positive.

let them prowl the cities tagging potholes, painting over graffiti, picking up trash.

how many are able bodied enough to pick crops?

for those who aren't able bodied, have them do oral history interviews (which can mostly happen via the Internet nowdays, possibly with one good interviewer stationary and teams of others traveling to provide the cameras/connectivity to facilitate the interviews.

Chris said...


Thank you for an extremely thoughtful and timely article. My opinion? The short version? There are no practical, effective solutions. When you mentioned the "Welfare Industry", I think you touched on an absolutely insurmountable barrier. Call it the "Parasite Industry". As long as busy-body politicians, at all levels, are motivated to create and nurture an ever-expanding parasite class, there is no hope. Our industry will never be competitive as long as every American entrepreneur has a gang of manipulative parasites in his pocket, telling him how to run his business, imposing crippling restrictions on him, and taking a huge cut of his profits in the process. Most politicians couldn't run a hot dog stand but they get rich telling actual professional business people what's good for them. Gag me!

BTW, one of the most important features of the parasite industry is conflict. As long as politicians are willing to tell unemployed Americans that it's all the fault of the "illegals", we're not gonna solve anything. Maybe we should be looking at punitive minimum wages, punitive income taxes, punitive property taxes, punitive zoning restrictions, a wasteful and ineffective public education industry, and so on.


Rick T said...

I'm afraid the Gods of the Copybook Headings will be the solution. As you observed, there are too many iron rice bowls being filled by the status quo for there to be easy change. And not just here in the US, the Powers That Be in other countries who's policies drive their population to try and come to America since trying to change their own home is a death sentence.

It was instructive and amusing to see how quickly Nantucket went from sanctuary status to immediate removal when they got a delivery of illegal aliens. A small community can pivot quickly but New York and Chicago are locked into their trajectory to disaster, and the voting process is too corrupt to allow any alternatives to come forward.

Aesop said...

"...millions more illegal aliens who will demand at least some measure of support. We simply can't afford to provide it - the US economy can't hold up under that burden. What is to be done to help them? We can't just abandon them, wash our hands of them."

Don't be facetious.
The correct answer is to round them up, and ship them back. By any means necessary.

The best help they could possibly receive is a swift boot in the back end, right back home. And stamp them as "permanently rejected for US citizenship" for breaking and entering the first time.

Pour encourager les autres.

Wolff said...

What this country needs is a good cleansing fire.

Skwab said...

No one will say it.
I will.
What is coming is Death Squads. And, they won't play fair.
They will privilege their "Kith'n'Kin". When things go Pear Shaped, Family will almost always come first, followed by Community, then Tribe.
Always has, Always will.
It was really nice growing up in a functioning, peaceful (mostly) society. Evil Power-Mad people, think they can take over, and the small bits will continue to function.
They Won't!
As Rick T. said, The Gods of the Copybook Headings will return. They Will bring Fire and Blood with them. Very few will get away unscathed. By the end, I expect 9 out of Ten to die violently. Electrical Power will be so rare as to be a myth in 100 years.
Covid has caused Medicine to be viewed as harmful by many. Expect that at some point Doctors will have killed so many that most of the current Medical Knowledge will be banned or forgotten, in that same 100 years.
Hold On Tight. Prepping will help, but not as much as Prepper's think. Luck, will be more useful than Preps.
Faith will be needed most, but few will be humble enough to rely on God more than Preps.

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

I think you are asking the wrong question.

From a Game Theory (Prisoner's Dilemma) standpoint the solution is to quickly migrate to neo-tribalism.

Contact is maintained with a few, carefully vetted and never fully trusted non-tribe members so your tribe can access resources not readily available through tribal channels.

The tribe self-polices. The tribe defends turf. Those who betray the tribe are killed without fanfare or drama.

What happens in other tribes is not our concern as long as it does not impact our tribe.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

I had blogged about this years ago when I had talked about the "CCC" during the Depression if we could do something like that again. No we can't. Back then our culture, it was a big no-no to get money without a "fair days work", or you were known as a "grifter" and were frowned upon. Now it is a badge of honor to hustle and if you forced poor people to work, it would be "Raycist and cruel". Our society rewarded sloth and laziness and hard work is frowned upon. Trying to to a " universal Basic Income" would be problematic because once it starts, politicians would be increasing it to buy more votes from the freeloading class and more people will just climb on the system rather than work and there are soo much bennies already out there as a safety net it will crash the system sooner because the people who run the present system will not want their program to go away and you will just double the national debt further decreasing value of our money and we already have a porous southern border and the illegals coming from other nation will increase significantly further straining the system.

Bailey said...

provided an impartial, factual vetting process could be conceived and implemented (excluding by definition those clearly responsible for this situation in the first place), the answer is simple. And horrible.

Determine those who are in the country illegally, and deport them back to their place of origin forthwith. Without exception or mercy. Without compunction or consideration of dubious claims regarding their status should they return. Without any question or hesitation.

This must be done, else we who are from here are lost. This is the truth. Anything else is at best conjecture, at worst deliberate falsity.

We are now at the point where our choices become difficult. The easy solutions were long ago, and ignored when they could have been cheaply, cleanly incepted. Now we are come to the harder choices on the list, where it takes serious courage and iron hearts to choose from among them.

God, I think, has left us to these terrible decisions. Be made they must, else all we have fought for be lost.

Mike in Canada

RSR said...

10% of the population has always had IQs below 83, so unemployable. What add'l % will machines make so?

Many boomers are still in the workplace but will soon be retiring at least from career-track jobs, so greater demand for workers.

The jabs will kill many of all ages, so greater demand for workers.

Not enough young people generally, but especially skilled enough, to replace, so it's them or migrants to fill the gaps unable to be replaced by machines.

And what percent of college graduates have any useful/meaningful skills, and an attitude that won't be detrimental in the workplace? College degrees nowadays are largely just proof of a given IQ and ability to conform to a flawed and biased system.

And we're entering an age of neo-feudalism with resource scarcity and electronic surveillance where those who don't work, won't eat or otherwise get resources. Without productive members of society, there's nothing to confiscate and redistribute.

During trump's presidency many illegals were self-deporting due to lack of work. How much longer before the average American city is more dangerous than those they were fleeing again increasing migrants departures? Even now, Mexico city is complaining about too many American migrants/remote workers...

Yes, the AI revolution will be more disruptive than than the Internet and affiliated booms/revolutions. But AI currently is not as advanced as many would have you believe; huge limitations. FB's recent cutting-edge AI chatbot was basically a smart aleck troll.

I don't know how this will all shake out, but I see more value in traditional and trades skills than programming and tech jobs over the next few decades. And more tribalism for basic security needs and getting by.
For instance aesop just posted re: forthcoming medical shortage -- even assuming none held to account for blindly "following the science."

Ultimately, I think we may see something like current France for societal divide, Japan or Sweden for people-scarcity production optimization, societal disruption and power back to everyday people like following the black death in medieval times, having a broad range of traditional/diy skills prioritized like pioneer times/homesteaders today, like soviet Era in Russia where families/apartments hustled and worked unofficial channels to get by sharing resources amongst core group, Henry Ford like production streamlining/less options, etc.

Point being, there are a lot of historical parallels and analogies that will likely apply, it's just a question of to what extent or magnitude. And which specific environ and circumstances you find yourself in.

My biggest unknowns are how will American society that has never known true hardship react to such. And how will a nation increasingly ruled by situational ethics, removed from religion, ignorant of the laws of God react without communism, necessarily, being the driving wedge, and many desensitized to violence from brutal video games and movies react? We all know the atrocities of Godless communists and tens to hundreds of millions of deaths due to them over the past century -- but I don't think that's a precise analogy here, and am perhaps just hopeful that that will be the exception and not the rule. And I think the shock of reality will be extremely jarring to many (stark realities of violence vs on screen), while those on brain meds, abusing substances, or generally suffering from mental issues may very well remain numb or in denial past the point of being able to save themselves...

Interesting times to say the least. And to tell you the truth i'm angry this nation's "leadership" incompetence and corruption has led us here.

TCK said...

It's not a complicated problem.
Those who are willing and able to contribute should be allowed to do so in whatever manner they can.
Those who are not should be expelled.
Those who prefer a life of crime, or who refuse to leave when told, should be used to help resolve the fertilizer shortage.


McChuck said...

I have no answer to the domestic problem. As for the illegal alien invaders...

Start in Maine. Round them up, deport them, execute those who resist. Move on to New Hampshire, then Vermont, then Massachusetts, then... until you reach the southern border.

Truman held deportation hearing on the train on the way to the border. When Mexico closed the border, he dropped them off on deserted bits of coastline with landing craft.

In can be done. It can be done quickly. The only thing lacking is the political will do do it, and damn the headlines.

Unknown said...

Easy, operation wetbackx2.

You don't work at something you don't eat, sounds cruel but its coming either way might as well be organized.