The coming self-driving vehicle revolution will eliminate millions of jobs from the economy. Not only will jobs like taxi-driver (and Uber driver) and truck driver be gone, but so will all the jobs that support these enterprises. If there are no truck drivers, then we’ll no longer need truck stops. A self-driving truck driver doesn’t need a shower, a motel room, or a bacon, sausage and ham breakfast to clog their arteries, since they don’t have any.If everyone starts taking self-driving vehicles to work, then we don’t need our cars anymore, or the insurance and upkeep expenses that go with them. So what happens to the insurance agents, and parking lot attendants and all the people who sell “Baby on Board” bumper stickers? For that matter, who will even need to drive to work, if your work used to be as a truck driver, or any other supporting job? How will millions of displaced workers pay for their next Amazon drone delivery?
According to futurist Ray Kurzweil there’s no need to worry. We’ve eliminated all known jobs several times in human history. How many milkmen, lamplighters, or icecutters have you met recently? In 1900, 38 percent of all jobs were on farms and 25 percent were in factories (almost 2/3 of the population). By 2015 only 2 percent of jobs were on farms and 9 percent in factories. “For every job we eliminate, we’re going to create more jobs at the top of the skill ladder,” Kurzweil says. What new jobs? “I don’t know. We haven’t invented them yet.”
Well, in case you want to get a jump on your fellow job losers, here are a few of the professions sure to be in demand over the next few decades. Start training now for your future as a …
Shoe Museum Curator
Millions of dollars of rare shoes designed and endorsed by Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Louis Vuitton and Manolo Blahnik are sold every year. These are not shoes to be worn out on basketball courts or sidewalks, but rather to be viewed like other rare artifacts, in bullet-proof display cases. The accumulation of these foot jewels continues unabated, and will one day become impossible to contain in the lockers and closets of collectors. Museums will be created for these pinnacles of modern artistry, and experts will be needed to verify the importance of each of the museums pieces. Other jobs at the museum: security guards, ticket takers, and gift shop shoe salesmen.
We may have maxed out on the number of bartenders and baristas we need in this economy. People are already drinking about as much alcohol and mochaccino as they can hold. The next booming market will be in Oxygen Bars. We all need to breathe more than a few cups a day and with the quality of “free” oxygen rapidly deteriorating more of us will be willing to fork over some of our bitcoin stash for a chance to imbibe some of the top-shelf stuff. Give us enough super-oxygenated licorice or peppermint flavored air and we may even be able to remember where we left our keys, grocery lists, and small pets.
While telemarketing is being increasingly taken over by bots, the newest field of direct marketing is opening up to thousands of people willing to take to the front lines of sales. When helicopter drones aren’t busy delivering packages to customers they will drop off heli-marketers behind the gates of gated communities, or directly onto the roofs of concierge-protected apartment buildings, allowing the grunts of the sales force to go door to door and face to face in their continuing effort to sell more Herbalife, credit cards, or increasingly waterlogged beachfront property. And good luck getting your home on the no-fly list.
Between TIVO, streaming services, and Internet ad blockers, most Americans rarely see the ads that corporations are spending billions to wash our brains with. This leads to new business opportunities and lots of jobs for anyone willing to spend their days watching ads! Yes, you’ll be able to make money on the bus, on the couch, or even on the toilet watching all the latest pleas to spend the money you don’t have on beer, Viagra, Prozac, adult diapers, Republican politicians, and everything else corporate America thinks you will buy once they get you to feel bad enough about yourself.
Poetry is one of the few fields that can’t be outsourced to China (unless you want your poetry in Chinese). Meanwhile computerized poetry is so lacking in human emotion that almost no one is willing to buy it. Of course almost no one is willing to buy human-made poetry either, but that hasn’t ever stopped the millions of us who enjoy playing with words, couplets, alliteration, iambic pentameter, and octosyllabic verse. While you’re waiting for a bot to call you back for a job interview, you could do a lot worse than pass the time with a blank page, writing some blank verse.