The Men of America

Triangle of Skills


The article titled Election 2016: The men America has left behind, in the CNN – Election 2016: Your money, your vote section is misleading on many ways.

In the first place, America did not leave behind any one. America as a nation is made up of people, who work in the country and get paid for AND the business men who run the companies and employ these workers. So, the article should be titled: The men that American businesses have left behind.

America is not a socialistic or communist country where everyone gets taken care of by “America” (i.e.) the US government and hence the POTUS and the US Congress. It is a Democracy – of the people, by the people and for the people. Hence the more appropriate title may be: The men of America who let themselves to be left behind. These American men were happy to be paid good wages as long as they had a job where they could use their physical labor in the factory floor. This is very well illustrated in the GE commercial: These skills – the muscle power – has always been available everywhere across the globe. Being born or living in the US does not guarantee the use or need for these skills. These men always used their brawn, but never used their innate skills to think and analyze what is happening around them. They let business men like Donald Trump take their jobs across the globe. Now they are being conned by the same business leader to think that it is everybody else’s fault, except theirs. The focus is on men only because there were more men than women using their brawn in our factory floors. But, the issues and being conned are the same for the women as well as the men of America. Also these men were idle or willing to let the state governments weaken the unions and their bargaining power, while the crony capitalism was also growing. Democracy does not succeed if the voters do not exercise their vote or uneducated on policies that affect them or swayed by cable news and radio talk shows and reality TV.

The title could also be The Men of America left behind by “Technology”. It is sad but true that everyone has been conned to accept that the word “Technology” stands for Digital Technology or IT. This technology is useful to take the power of information away from many people into the hands of a few. This has dramatically reduced the number of white collar jobs. This impact has been largest in the US first, but it is sweeping its impact across the globe. With the automation of information the men of muscle power could also be replaced by lower cost labor from Mexico, China, … all padding the pockets of business men like Donald Trump, with more profit. I

The title could also be The Men of America left behind by intellectuals and policy makers across the globe. The word Technology stands for integrated use of Science, Engineering and Managnment in any discipline. While America continues to make progress in a few other technology areas besides IT, the time and investments needed in many more technologies – for alternative fuels, clean air and water, controlling the global warming, space exploration, under water exploration, eradicating hunger, thirst and poverty across the globe, peace through prosperity in Middle East, …. – is far less than the jobs being taken away by the relentless use of IT in the current work place.

The title could also be The Men of America being misled by Donald Trump. No matter how much Mr. Trump promises, he cannot make America great again, by forcing US businesses to “make” things in America. It is only a matter of time that some manufacturing jobs will be returning to US due to natural economic forces (with or without Mr. Trump). But, they will not be for these men of muscle power. They will be for the few who with skills to work in an automated factory floor with robots and AGVs and networked machines and systems.

The title could also be The Men of America lured by cheap products at Walmart. While the US business men were attracted and even addicted to low cost labor, the US population has been equally attracted to lower cost items – made in China – available in places like Walmart. No one gets anything for nothing. Lower cost products at Walmart also mean lower cost labor from China and Mexico and lower cost of white collar labor every where.

May be the title can also be The Men of America who think college education is their savior. This is the myth propagated by the media and fueled by free college for all by Mr. Bernie Sanders. College education, even if it is free may not be the answer for a large majority of American workers. Yes, it is a definite pathway but only for a few.

May be the tile could be Men of America who are not learning some skills – to be a solution provider – for locally accessible jobs. Following quote from the same CNN Money article is relevant here:

Meanwhile, unlike some of his fellow factory workers, Cavins is determined to get a good job. He’s betting that a yearlong course in industrial maintenance will give him the skills needed to work in heating and cooling services, which his online searches found can start at $40,000 a year. He’s willing to leave Scioto County and work anywhere … in a hospital, factory, school or water supply facility, for instance. One day, he’d like to start his own business. …… The program, offered at Scioto County Career Technical Center, costs nearly $10,000 and has placed 95% of its graduates over the past two years in jobs that typically earn between $31,000 and $40,000 annually. To finance it, Cavins received a federal Pell Grant for $5,900 and took out two loans.  ….   “I didn’t think I’d get anywhere without learning a trade,” said Cavins, who graduates in September. “I want to give my family better than what I had. I want to try to break the cycle and not live on disability.”

May be the title could be: Men of America that the country and US policies left behind, due to crony capitalism, Republican obstruction in the Congress for infra-structure investment and false hope on higher education at the expense of free or affordable training for employable skills development. Perhaps for the time left before the November election, the presidential candidates can propose and develop support for such training. Community Colleges in collaboration with local companies and employers can offer such training. The companies who collaborate on such training can be given tax subsidies as their incentive? Free community college education proposed by the POTUS can be for such targeted training and not for open ended education?

For more details on how these men – working middle class – were left behind, please read: The System Approach – A strategy to survive and succeed in the global economy  ;

Thriving in the 21st Century Economy – Transformational skills for technical professionals.

Warning against AI and job loss: What can be done about that?

“Scientists warn AI means job losses in every profession” is the headline for an article in the Financial Times dated Feb. 15, 2016. This page 1 article is authored by Clive Cookson.  The copy of the article can be seen at the end of this post.

Following are a few quotes from this article: Intelligent machines would soon replace people in all sectors of the economy, computer scientists told a meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science in Washington at the week end. ……….. “We are approaching the time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task”, according to the computer science professor Moshe Vardi from Rice University, Texas. ”Society needs to confront this question before it is upon us …..”  Professor Selman from Cornell University has helped to draft an open letter last year from the Future of Life Institute, Cambridge, MA. to policy makers urging them to explore the risks associated with increasingly intelligent machines.

While the above caution and appeal for better public policies are valid and timely, it is perplexing to see that such caution is raised only against a future possibility imposed on us by self-driving cars, robotics and Artificial Intelligence. We believe that individuals and enterprises cannot sit and wait till some policies are debated and implemented to address the unabated role of DT (and its formulations such as AI and Robotics and driver-less cars, etc.) in eliminating human centered work. Individuals need to gain academic knowledge in combination with their applications know-how (called sector or domain specific knowledge), together with a set of skills for “System Thinking and Transformational Skills”.

Knowledge Integration

We call this collective know-how and its application as the Knowledge Integration. Such KI capability is the essential education at all levels. The practice of KI will be the competitive weapon for workers and their employers for the foreseeable future.

For education on System Thinking and Transformational skills and for projects to implement them for competitiveness in the global economy

Our detailed views on this topic can be seen at: Warning against job loss

AI and employment

Welders and philosophers – a case for skill needed for Developing Common Language

In the fourth Republican debate Senator Rubio stated, “Welders make more money than philosophers,” “We need more welders and less philosophers.”

One can fully appreciate the possible resurgence of the need for welders, as the manufacturing sector shows some signs of life after decades of being decimated under the banner of globalization. Yes, if you are a hands on welder there are some good jobs available in the range of $35,000 to $50,000/year. Before every one rushes to send their children for welding schools, let us be sure that they are also trained on basics of engineering, business economics and IT applications. Otherwise the welders of today will be left behind in the next few years as Robotics get a greater and stronger foot hold in our manufacturing not long from now.

In every discipline of study one is awarded the highest degree (i.e.) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). It is very logical to find – and indeed there are many – Doctor of Philosophy in welding as well. Any Ph.D in welding capable of integrating and implementing new solutions is a hot commodity for employment today. Indeed we need such results oriented Ph.D in every field. At any time the demand for such highly educated and qualified people will be far fewer than welders with basic trade school education and training. But their income will always be higher than the welders in the shop floor.

Why is it that Mr. Rubio suggests that we need more welders and not philosophers? Such thought and language comes from a limited knowledge of the words and their repeated use. The word Philosophy is an in-depth study of any subject. Of course in-depth study of life in general is commonly referred to as “Philosophy”. But every graduate in philosophy major is not a Philosopher any more than any one holding a welding gun is a welder!

Mr. Rubio’s comment also has another ramification as well. There is a general misconception that education in a hot field and income are directly correlated and hence once should get educated in specific areas where opportunity presents itself. This has been the case for the 20th century education. Students flocked to Automobile engineering, Textile engineering, Nuclear engineering, Chemical engineering, Polymer engineering, etc. as each industry grew and shrunk well within the confines of the US shores. With the globalization such sector specific education may still be a need, but every worker needs also to be a system thinker and solution provider first. Absent such transformational skills no amount of education will be a sustainable competitive advantage for the workers at any level. These considerations and in-depth analysis leading to meaningful solutions of impact for average workers will require every presidential candidate to be a bit more philosophic in their reflection, thinking and answers. May be we don’t need more philosophy graduates compared to the number of welders required. But for certain we need every presidential candidate be required to take a crash course in philosophy and the reflection and analytical thinking such education brings.

This episode also points to another important issue we face in the economy and the society today. Words and their true meaning are lost, when they are misused. Thanks to the advent of IT, this abuse spreads quickly and across the globe at the speed of electrons. Then with very little thought such terms and their erroneous meaning become the accepted norm! Welding is a technical skill and philosophy is a thought process. A welder could also be a philosopher. To be grounded on the true meaning of the word requires an ability to step back and look at the big picture and a special skill to “Develop a common language”. We call this as the capacity for System Thinking and Transformational Skills.

Few other examples where we need the above skills and the common language are:

  • Technology (it is not IT or Digital Technology alone as presumed in many conversations),
  • Service Economy is distinct from Industrial Economy (Every economy – industrial, service, high-tech., brick and Mortar, etc. – is rooted in Products (source of revenue), Process (Means to an end) and Application/USE (where the value of the product is perceived hence generating revenue))
  • Globalization  is the cause of many of our problems (It is an outcome and not a cause; pervasive and indiscriminate use of IT applications is the cause))
  • Globalization will lift all boats (Globalization as the result of indiscriminate use of IT to improve operating costs and re-distribute employment across the globe is like a shrinking vessel and can not lift all boats; Unless IT applications together with human skills are also used to create new products, markets and better way of living for all, Globalization as it exists can not lift all the boats)

Career Strategies for success: It is a game plan using System Thinking and Transformational Skills.

According to the analysis, in a recent blog post: These 150 People Are Ridiculously Successful and All Have the Same Career Path: None the site reports: The real lesson is not some shared attribute that contributes to career success. The lesson is that for these 150, and surely for the hundreds of others who could also have joined this list, what matters is personal passion and vision, not some paint-by-numbers guide. In fact, few if any of these individuals followed a familiar playbook and that might just be the real key. The greatest success comes from the indelible marriage of a unique idea with uncommon individuals addressing needs that are widely shared. This Next Wave may find their futures bright, and they may encounter more turbulence as they flow into the next stage of their careers. But all of them are addressing real needs that someone will address and solve if not them and if not now. We can thank our collective lucky stars that for all the troubles that swirl through the world, so many are striving with such determination, vision and skill to improve the collective us.

Every one of the examples cited in the link above highlights individuals who created and implemented “NEW SOLUTIONS”: addressing real needs that someone will address and solve if not them and if not now. So, the success comes to those few who are relentlessly focused on New Solutions as opposed to those who merely execute tasks (do what they are asked to do). We have described this field of opportunity in great detail and the evolving Binary Economy: Success for the few who identify, develop and deploy NEW SOLUTIONS and low wage opportunities for the many who execute tasks required for the REPLICATION SOLUTIONS.

What happens to the millions who are not naturally gifted to identify such New Solutions? Our glamour and adoration of these few naturally gifted successful persons should not become a source of despair and inaction to help the millions who may fall by the wayside (and who are now the economically impoverished middle class?)

Is there a frame work to define what a solution is? How do we frame a need as a New Solution? What happens to those whose economic situation does not permit them to dedicate their life and mortgage their future into a new opportunity? May be every new solutions is not a new startup company? Will not focus, hard word and determination be enough? I posed these questions to my recent class of students, who are being trained and educated on the principles of System Thinking and Transformational Skills.

The class consensus was that, while these are the basic desired qualities, the System Thinking and Transformational Skills provide a platform, a strategy and/or a game plan to identify, develop and execute your efforts for new solutions and potential future success.

  1. Every solution is an Input/Transformation/Output system.
  2. Every New Solution is an unmet need that fills the gap that exists at three levels:
    1. Knowledge, Experience and/or interpersonal relationship for individuals.
    2. Science (or knowledge of the Transformation), Engineering (application or use of the transformation) and/or Management (What? Why? How? and When?) to exploit the Transformation.
  3. Opportunities for any New Solution can come from:
    1. Developing a common language to articulate the need and the solution as a system
    2. Identifying the missing gaps (core capabilities) as mentioned above.
    3. Development and use of Diagnostic tools.
    4. Making such tools available on the go (through Apps. If required)
    5. Promoting a network of users and providers with common needs
  4. Success of the New Solution depends on:
    1. Relentless focus on the entire chain — from beginning to end (Discovery X Development X Use) without any breakage.
    2. Empathy and a willingness to help users to succeed and then make hay out of it (and not in the reverse order).

We can transform common and ordinary individuals -not a rare few by chance, but many by design – with a game plan and a strategy so that success comes to them from the indelible marriage of a unique idea with an uncommon individual skill sets to address the needs that are widely shared.

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Binary Economy and the views of Pope Francis

We have described in our earlier blog posts that the Digital Technology is a two edged sword :

  • One edge that enables enormous opportunities for a few skilled workers (System Thinkers with Transformational Skills) while the other side that de-skills and automates all our work that creates only a vast pool of low wage work (and unsustainable living conditions for a large majority of people).

This development enabled by Digital Technology can also be thought of as a two sided coin:

  • One side of the coin that connects and informs every one across the globe about anything and everything, while the other side isolates people into their narrow subsets and contact lists, specialties and task oriented efforts and SOPs.

Both these modes of developments are inevitable. More pervasive the role and impact of Digital Technology, faster and greater will be the polarization into these extremes with a constantly disappearing middle. We have described this dichotomy as the emerging Binary Economy in our recent book:

Pope Francis seems to perceive this dichotomy as expressed in his views highlighted below.

Taken as a whole, do our technological advances — news in real time, live global communication, access to more information and entertainment (and all the shades in between) than we could ever fully absorb — help or hurt the causes when those causes should be engaging with our lives to the fullest, and fostering peace, love and happiness?

Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail,” Pope Francis said, “is giving way to more fickle online relationships and “a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.”

“Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way?”

When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload.”

We need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that the problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals.”

Recently I met a graduate student from the business school at MIT. He said that he is being mentored by a business leader from a large financial services company. He said, “I am trained to think and act on how I can make the most money every moment I work”! The lack of empathy for those in need or the consequences of such relentless focus on profit at all cost was totally lost in this young person. This example of survival at all cost is also noted in industrial organizations, where leaders do everything for their survival and profits with no regard for the long term impact of their company or organization. Focus on short term profits and results, which used to be a matter of convenience, have increasingly become a badge of honor. Climate change and the increasing gap between the rich and the poor have become a political weapon for one side  vs. another rather than phenomena that need to be addressed and solved for the good of all. For them Pope Francis asks: “What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power only to be remembered for their inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?”

Optimising Complex Manufacturing

Slide1Every aspect of our economy is now undergoing a transformation, leading to the evolution of a broadening gap between modes for

  • Replication Solutions for cost reduction where minimum skills are required along with minimum of wages and a mode for creating and
  • New Solutions, where high skills and ability to integrate knowledge from all sources is the need. This New Solution mode is also the opportunity for the few – companies, employers and workers – to gain high wages and high rewards in terms of growth and profitability.

Binary Economy

These two modes are also leaving behind a widening gap – a chasm – and if you are trapped in this middle, you are part of the growing middle class (of companies, workers and professionals) where the floor is collapsing under your feet. Of course if you are the investor – the rich – you make money off both these economic modes and hence the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle left clueless. This is not the issue for the left vs. right or progressives vs. conservatives. WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT, with cracks developing in the middle.

We have described this evolving economic model as the Binary Economy and how to get a handle on this through a set of Transformational Skills in our New Book.

The challenges of doing well in the cost reduction mode, while creating opportunities through New Products and Services is the new complexity in the manufacturing. Dr. Subramanian, President, STIMS Institute was interviewed along with a panel of experts. This panel discussion is published in the Efficient Manufacturing Magazine

Round Table EM India 2015

Slide2The draft of the Q &A with Dr. Subramanian is presented below.

For more details and for any services we can help you with in your manufacturing and innovation efforts Contact US.

  • What are the various ways through which one can take advantage of advanced technologies and at the same time avoid complexity in manufacturing processes?      Worldwide there is a plateau – point of diminishing return – being reached in cost reduction and continuous improvement. Supply Chain, Lean and such practices are slowly running out of steam. What is needed is a step change or radical departure in terms of new processes leading to new products. Companies like Apple are setting this new vision by introducing totally new products every six months, backed up by manufacturing processes that allow them to offer over ten million units within the first quarter of product release.

In India, manufacturing seems to be facing the same head wind as well. Instead of toll manufacturing based on what is already well established, manufacturers are required to design new products and adapt new processes to produce them. The complexities in such manufacturing increase largely because of a lack of knowledge and inability to perceive the value added through the physical processes imbedded in manufacturing. Education and training of the work force on the knowledge and methods to exploit value through physical processes across the entire supply chain would be required as the first step. Developing an eco-system of suppliers and manufacturers working as a team for such value addition through the physical processes in manufacturing could be another step.

  • Currently, manufacturing enterprises have been increasingly focusing on optimising performance, productivity and asset management. What are your recommendations for such approaches?   It is imperative that these steps are pursued relentlessly. But, are they happening in the real world and what is their effectiveness? Consider this case for example: A senior manufacturing executive wanted to improve line productivity and asset utilization. Expert resource was used to achieve cycle time reduction in the bottle neck operation which resulted in throughput increase by about 40%. No additional investment was required. Higher productivity and better asset utilization was demonstrated. But these results could not be sustained after a short period of two weeks. The exercise revealed that the process know-how in this plant was very limited. The process was restored to the original – longer – cycle time due to a perceived fear the machine tool may wear out! This situation clearly illustrates the need for better education of the engineers and managers already in the work force. Incentives are required for changing their attitude to gain the most value out of the assets used in the manufacturing operations.

There is also a need to get over the “frog in the well” mind set. Even the most efficient manufacturing operations in India have tremendous scope for improvement in quality, productivity and cost. I can personally attest to the fact that the cycle times and machine capacity used for precision grinding processes are well below the industrial practice in the manufacturing plants in USA and Germany. Also many of the advanced tooling available for several processes may not be accessible inside of India due to very small usage and the supply chain issues faced in handling such small volume of consumables.

  • How to overcome the challenges of complexities arising out of collaborative manufacturing, outsourcing, innovation compulsion, flexibility and risk management?   Complexity in any situation is a matter of two issues: (a) lack of clear goals agreed upon by everyone and (b) lack of specific knowledge required for achieving such goals.

Consider for example a manufacturer who sees a new opportunity to produce a new component to meet the requirements of an export customer or a large new market inside of India. How does it translate into new opportunities for every one required in the development of the solution? The manufacturer may require collaboration with machine tool builders, raw material supplier and several tooling manufacturers. These are all the stake holders in the new solution. Unless the benefits for all these stake holders are agreed upon and clarified upfront, the risk will be too high and the collaboration may be limited or constrained. To avoid this pitfall we encourage the senior managers to actively promote the concept of Emotional Intelligence for Innovation. It implies that you seek out collaboration with a mind-set “I seek your help for my success, but I am also committed to make sure that you succeed as well in the end”. When the second half of the above equation is ignored or left unspecified, then the eco-system does not evolve. Leaving the benefit sharing to the people at lower levels, who have little influence, vision or authority also increases the complexities in collaboration many fold.

Even with good intent, knowledge specific to the solution is vital. A supplier who undertakes a new project may not have adequate knowledge to arrive at the final solution. It may require several iterations. Are these iterations carried out before the solution is approved? Frequently such learning steps are postponed for reasons of cost or lack of collaborative mind-set between the supplier and the manufacturer. Such learning steps may not be scientific with due emphasis on in-process data and their analysis. Documentation of such results and a system approach for problem solving may be missing. Lack of data driven problem solving also leads to trial and error where each step is seen as new, even though the same path might have been crossed many times. All of these result in a partially cooked solution implemented on the shop floor.

When the knowledge and communication methods are not institutionalized, mobility and changes in the people involved leads to complexity in the solution development effort. There are efforts in India to foster common knowledge pool through collaboration across the universities and the industry. Trade associations and government bodies such as the Department of Science and Technology also have a role to bring the industries and research institutions into a consortium. Recently collaboration between a CEO with long term vision, a research team from one of the IITs together with our worldwide expertise has resulted in some unique results. While the nature and magnitude of the collaboration is small, it shows the potential for new a vision for “Make in India”!

  • Can you brief on the major manufacturing trends which can be expected in the next 5 years?    Thanks to higher level of automation in the shop floor, in the years to come there will be less competitive advantage due to low cost labour. This will put manufacturers in India competing for the export markets at a serious dis-advantage. They need to overcome this challenge through advanced manufacturing solutions, higher productivity in current manufacturing and introduction of unique new manufacturing solutions. On the other hand the prospects for a growing demand in the domestic market will provide added opportunities for suppliers and manufacturers for this market segment. Collaboration between like-minded companies for mutual and long term growth and shared knowledge base will be the key to success here.


What is common between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?

There has been huge attendance in the recent Democratic rallies featuring the Vermont Senator Mr. Bernie Sanders. On the  other hand Mr. Donald Trump has been sucking up all the oxygen and attention with his harsh language against immigrants and his fellow presidential candidates in the Republican primaries. The popular support for these candidates may be seen as the pent up anger in the population against the Wall Street and the perceived syphoning of jobs and economic opportunities by the illegal immigrants from the south of the border respectively. This kind of anecdotal explanations by the reporters and political pundits may not serve the nation well for the long term.

In a recent article published in the Washington Post titled: Sorry, but the jobless future isn’t a luddite fallacy  the author makes the point: Policy makers have a big new problem to deal with: the disappearance of human jobs. Not only will there be fewer jobs for people doing manual work, the jobs of knowledge workers will also be replaced by computers. Almost every industry and profession will be impacted and this will create a new set of social problems — because most people can’t adapt to such dramatic change.

The author makes it look like it might be a problem developing into the future. But, reality suggests that the problem started a decade before Regan years, got established through the Clinton years. When the very survival of the economic order was in question due to the financial crisis along with protracted engagements in wars, when Mr. Obama took office, gradual erosion of employable opportunities for the large cross sections of the society has continued but seen merely a side issue. Now as these two national concerns are addressed to some extent, the pent up fear and anger and despair in the population is finding its voice through the emotional appeals of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump, even if their tones are completely different.

We have documented this erosion in the meaningful opportunities for employment and economic well being as the Binary Economy well documented in our recent book. Instead of waiting for some one else to fix the problem we have suggested that technical professionals, students and others should systematically cultivate specific skills – Transformational Skills –  to enhance their job and career opportunities. These individual centered initiatives will go only so far. It requires national leaders to comprehend the evolving Binary Economy and develop policies and national consensus for coping with its  impact. Merely cloaking the Digital Technology as “high tech” and glorifying the thief using DT tools as “hackers” does not do well for societies that have succeeded through the use of all sorts of technologies as the backbone for their success.

Absent such policies we see continued isolation and layering of job opportunities. This leaves people in the lower levels of jobs (largely involving physical work or information tasks) with a sense of despair that unless you are born in a well to do family and go to school in a better neighborhood, your opportunities are permanently shut off. The knowledge economy and the skill based economy have become code words for the success of a few while others stagnate. These issues may be the under currents supporting the fan base for Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump.

Clearly the answer is not the anger and abuse against the immigrants unleashed by Mr. Trump. Raising minimum wage and such social policies for re-distribution of wealth by Mr. Sanders may be temporary fix. But they may not be the sufficient or sustainable long term answers as well.  As noted in the Washington Post article: If we can develop the economic structures necessary to distribute the prosperity we are creating, most people will no longer have to work to sustain themselves. They will be free to pursue other creative endeavors. The problem, however, is that without jobs, they will not have the dignity, social engagement, and sense of fulfillment that comes from work. The life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that the constitution entitles us to won’t be through labor, it will have to be through other means. Is this the way of life we want?

What are the other means for such living, where anything a human can do – read, write, think, analyze, infer, conclude, decide and control – can all be done by computers and IT solutions? Mr. Steven Hawkins has raised this specter and fear one can envision due to irrational deployment of Artificial Intelligence in the future. But, the irrational deployment of digital technology for incremental gains in cost reduction and elimination of human employment has started at least four decades ago. This has been happening in parallel with unprecedented gains in many new areas thanks to advancements in Digital Technology. Are these two sides of the lever balanced? If not how to maintain the balance? These are the questions that have not been addressed for the past four decades.

There is also a need for discussion on another balancing act: Investors – those with capital or money – can work and use all resources across the globe and we call that as global capitalism. Yet national economic policies – of the countries in which the same investors live – are constrained by what the government can do within its shores. When human beings as employable resource  migrate from rural areas of China and India to the urban centers it is considered legal. The same migration of people for the same reasons from poor countries to more affluent regions in their neighborhoods we decry them as illegal labor.

Such balancing act in several fronts are entirely new. This is an open space for any national leader from either party to develop a dialogue and national mandate for future actions. Whoever fills this void may emerge as our next President. Or we may go through another election without any consensus and more shouting and name calling. After all any social  system under great stress needs to find the vent to release its anger and frustration. We see this release of frustration as the common outcome of the campaigns of Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump at this time.

Some might say “the train has already left the station and it is too late to do anything”. Such pessimism and acceptance of systematic loss of opportunity for large segments of work force and relegate them as un-employable will only fuel the pent up anger. Then we can expect to see even larger crowds at Bernie Sanders rallies or higher poll numbers for Mr. Trump, even though neither of them may win the presidency. But it will also weaken any future president without a mandate to strike the right balance required, as mentioned above.