Age of robotics is drawing near
Advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence are occurring at an exponential pace, leading to a future where manual labor and service-sector jobs will inevitably become automated. The impact of globalization, in combination with the current political pressure for raising the minimum wage, will convince more businesses to replace human workers with robots and algorithms that do not need mandatory work breaks, health benefits or sick days.
While some Fresnans are understandably grateful for Amazon’s new warehouse in southwest Fresno, these jobs aren’t permanent and won’t sustain the city for what is coming ahead. According to Forbes, high-tech employment currently constitutes around only 0.5 percent of Fresno’s labor market. This should be an alarming statistic for our future, especially considering Citigroup’s 2015 report found that 53.8 percent of current jobs in Fresno are replaceable by automation.
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The incoming wave of automation presents Fresno with the options to either transform ourselves or watch our economy becoming decimated by the inexorable gears of progress. Therefore, local business, education, and government leaders must start engaging in a serious discussion to assess the strengths and needs of all stakeholders to chart a future course where no Fresnans are left behind.
Khoi Quach, Fresno
Toll of government shutdown
The last time the government had a shutdown I watched as a busload of Australian tourists were turned away, along with my wife and me, at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Hard to imagine going halfway across the globe and missing out on one of the best tourist attraction on your trip.
The shutdown hurts lots of innocent people, and seems so unnecessary. A government that represents the people is what America has always wanted.
Fred Monohon, Avenal
Need to catch red-light runners
Fresno needs more traffic enforcement to decrease the number of red light and jaywalking violations that occur in the city.
Every day, there are numerous red light and jaywalking violations and there are no officers in sight to catch these traffic violators. This is why Fresno has so many accidents caused by red light and jaywalking violations.
If Fresno PD wants to make the city’s roads safer, they need to send more officers to busy intersections, and issue citations to the traffic violators. Another benefit to increasing enforcement is increased revenue for the city without having to tax law-abiding citizens.
Jordan Edginton, Fresno
Still looking for holiday tax cut
Treasury Secretary Mnunchin had only a lump of coal for the Christmas stockings of the middle class, saying “[no] comment on whether it is a real thing or not a real thing” about Trump’s promise that “we are going to be putting in and are studying very deeply right now, around the clock, a major tax cut for middle-income people.”
It is funny how easily the GOP can use its majority to create a huge tax cut for the rich, but cannot create a similar tax cut for the middle class. According to the logic of our local GOP leadership, the rich pay most of the taxes, therefore they get the bulk of the tax cuts. Fine, but using their own logic, shouldn’t cutting the taxes of those who don’t pay them be even easier? How much can “very little” affect the federal budget? Keep turning coal into diamonds for the rich, middle America — they need you!
Apparently the problem is really that after excusing the rich from their fair share of keeping our country great, someone has to be left holding the bag of rapidly rising deficits, and that someone is the middle class.
Richard Moore, Fresno