Here’s what we do, first we fire all the train drivers.
I’m anti union. Okay that statement is a little bold and slightly too general. Unions have their place but right now, they’re fighting the wrong fight as they so often do.
Almost every workers right I can think of has been driven at least in part by a union campaign or lobby of some kind, without a doubt, in a time of low morals and the pressing of America Capitalism the unions done good. But those days have passed, the unions did more than push policies of workers interests, they created social change, few people today for example would argue against (in the UK at least) paid maternity leave, even without a union to campaign, social conscious has changed and workers rights are now tightly coupled with individual rights.
Today unions look inwards more than ever, where the big ideas of the past have faded into commonality they seek now to maintain their membership fees by placating a misfocused quorum. This is no longer about social and societal change, it seems instead to be about self preservation. Jobs, all jobs, are on life support and unions are the DNR.
The reason your train ticket costs so much and your service is appalling is because unions have prevented the full automation of trains.
AI for specific tasks is almost infallible and is astronomical units of measurement cheaper. Today, right now, computers make better oncologists, financial traders, bank managers, servers, wearhouse staff, accountants and certainly train drivers as well as drivers of every stripe. Few jobs are protected from the rise of specifically intelligent machines. Conservative estimates by banks and think tanks predict we could lose as many as 10% of jobs over the next 10 years, taking unemployment numbers towards great depression levels. Those numbers are not coming back either, from here on unemployment doesn’t fall it only rises.
The automation revolution isn’t coming, it’s here and we’re not ready and all the while unions and it’s member focus on job preservation and salary incentives they do everyone a disservice, they can’t save their jobs that point has been tipped but they can help, as they have before, bring about social conditions that would protect not just their members but everyone from the inevitable. The trend towards a near zero workforce and the rise of the nonworking class.
We should have already started not just talking about what those social conditions look like but implementing them, basic income, nationalisation of entire industries, a focus of becoming energy independent and countless other ideas need to ease our transition into the inevitable.