We're not thinking about it, I can tell. We give it lip service, if that, and go our merry way. We're not going to change, and so whatever I'm saying won't mean much. Our own convenience means more than the bigger picture. We don't like libertarians, but we've been influenced by them just the same, because "it's not my problem" (the foundation of libertarian ethics) has moved into the central control booth in our lives. But hear me out.
We do our banking online. It not only exposes us to some degree of vulnerability, but it means less cashiers at the window, and less associates at the desks to work with. Bank doesn't have to hire as many people. Jobs are lost.
We do our bill paying online. It not only exposes us to some degree of vulnerability (I've had to cancel or change accounts for three credit card already, and it happens with regularity everywhere), it also means less people have to process the mail. No need for all these people opening envelopes. No need for all these people to process checks. No need for printers to print checks. No need for stamps. No need for the people who print stamps or sell them at the window of the post office. No need for the post office to have so many people. Jobs are lost.
They say "if I pay my bills online I am saving trees." But if you have any bills you pay by mail, just look at the little recycled symbol almost everywhere. Virtually no bills and billings are printed on "new" paper. The "save a tree" argument is bogus.
We buy things online. There still has to be someone to pack the order, ship it and deliver it. But who needs people at the counter? When was the last time you were at a mall or a commercial district? When you were there, did you notice how many people aren't behind the counters? Those jobs are gone.
Add this to the political climate and you have a problem. The big move is now to reduce "government spending" (not the military, of course, that would be unpatriotic), which will translate into cutting back government hours, government programs, and the people who run and administer them. Jobs will be lost. And the vicious, mean-spirited conservative will look at people from the Occupy movement and snarl "get a job." Exactly where that job is, however, remains a mystery.
We'd love to find someone to blame. But I think we're just doing it to ourselves.
There's a bit about public works in here...
Recorded during the Bush Presidency.