Brooks on Immigration
In his Friday NYT column, David Brooks opines that although automation can replace white people, it cannot replace Hispanics. The establishment says whites being displaced by automation, not immigration,but we need more hispanic immigrants because they are irreplaceable by machines. Brooks highlights housing as an area where we need more immigrant laborers. One possibility he ignores is using more modular housing construction in assembly line factories lending themselves to automation. NYT columnist David Leonhardt, like Brooks, also believes Hispanic jobs are not responsible for middle class decline. People think manual labor jobs cannot be automated. Because immigrants often work illegally, they frequently work for very low, slave wages that eliminate any incentive to automate their jobs. Therefore, the high tech community has not worked on automating them, with some exceptions, such as driving a car or truck. Truck drivers may be a threatened species in a few years. If farm hands become much more expensive, we may see automated fruit and vegetable crop picking begin to be replaced like corn and wheat harvesting.