Michael Bloomberg: Americans 'petrified' of losing jobs to tech

Technically Incorrect: The billionaire, who supports Hillary Clinton for president, acknowledges that Donald Trump represents nearly half the country and that technology worries job seekers.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Michael Bloomberg voices a widespread concern.

Drew Angerer, Getty Images

Politicians and tech titans both suffer from the same delusion.

They think they're making the world a better place.

This generally involves insisting you're right and declaring that you should be trusted.

It's refreshing, then, when a tech billionaire (and politician) chooses to reveal a little practical, believable truth.

Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor whose vast fortune is in part based on financially focused technology, spoke Tuesday at a conference and sought to explain Donald Trump's popularity. Bloomberg, by the way, supports Hillary Clinton for president.

As Yahoo Finance reports, Bloomberg said Tuesday: "One thing that has to be said here is Donald Trump really does represent 40 percent to 45 percent of this country. They are petrified of their future. Their next job once they get laid off is going to be flipping hamburgers."

Fear motivates many human decisions. When you're scared, you'll turn to anyone or anything that seems stronger than you. You, too, may be delusional about your judgment in this. But you're scared, so you have an excuse.

Bloomberg said that when someone is laid off the in their 50s, they don't see hope. They see despair.

It isn't global trade, he said, that's destroying jobs. It's technology.

How refreshing to hear someone who made much of his cash from technology actually admit a reality that many have personally faced.

Bloomberg referenced some prognostications that tech will eliminate 40 percent of all jobs.

What will society do to help those people?

Tech apologists insist that this is all part of a cycle. In the long run, they say, technology has always created more jobs than it has steam-rolled.

Might this time be different? What sorts of jobs will displaced workers be able to do, once algorithms and robots do not only our work, but our thinking for us?

Some critics, such as author Martin Ford, suggest paying people as an incentive for them to further their education.

However, no one seems to currently have a grand solution.

Perhaps they'll only realize the true magnitude of the problem when it's a little too late. Humanity is good at that.

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