The Woke – Robot Continuum and the End of the Social Safety Net

A hypothetical but totally realistic scenario:

An employer has a small business. He’s making enough money to support himself and his family, and just as importantly, his employees and their families. Then one day he decides he wants to “take the business to the next level,” the phrase that is used by business consultants looking for clients who will pay them a monthly fee indefinitely, as they help them grow their business (meaning the employer’s, i.e., their client’s) until their services are no longer required because the business closed (bad) or was sold (good).

In order to get to the next level, naturally, the business owner has to hire more staff. Up until now, it has figuratively been a family business. Everyone was friends. Everyone got along. Now the business owner has to hire new people. At first things appear to be going well. But, just to be on the safe side, the owner, on the advice of his business consultant, hires an HR director. She writes a personnel handbook and all employees sign off on it. A standard, intelligent, wise operating procedure.

But then they hire a new employee who is woke. They don’t know it at the time. She recommends a friend. He’s also woke. Now, instead of doing their job they go crying to HR because they overheard two employees, friends for years, kidding around in a private conversation which they found offensive. They also complain about the company’s carbon footprint. They then throw out acronyms such as DEI and ESG. The “family” atmosphere of the company is gone. Morale sinks and the original employees, with regret, leave. The owner then decides to shut down operations. Instead of the enjoyment he had from owning his business, he now has grief and aggravation.

But then the business consultant, who got him in this mess (at least partially – the employer is ultimately responsible for the decisions he makes) points out the fact that, except for the office work – accounting, sales, marketing, customer relations – everything else can be done by robots. So, what does the owner do? He hires back his original employees and automates production. The people who had made his widgets now “supervise” the robots, in other words, they are now responsible for quality control.

So, the owner has his loyal employees back. Robots are not woke. He can get rid of his HR director. Life is now good. But is it?

Each robot represents a person who lost a job or will not get one. Which means, with the exception of the robot manufacturer and service technicians who drop by to fix any problems, no one new (remember, the original employees are all back) is earning a salary. Which means that nothing new is being paid to Social Security, Medicare, Workmen’s Comp, etc. So the governmental social safety network is being harmed. On top of that, the mom and pop stores and restaurants where the former employees would go to to buy lunch and incidentals have lost customers, and since there will be no new employees, no new customers. Their revenue is down. (Robots don’t eat and don’t buy magazines or newspapers…at least not yet!) If it happened at one business it could happen at another and they, the small convenience stores, might also find themselves out of business.

That, ultimately, is the danger of hiring the woke. I am not an employment attorney. This is not legal advice. Check with an attorney. This is my opinion:

If being woke is a mental health disorder then the woke are a “protected class” and can’t be fired, except for cause. If being woke is a “creed,” then in some jurisdictions, that also makes them a “protected class” and they cannot be fired, except for cause. So my advice is to state clearly in your personnel handbook that talking about politics in the workplace is grounds for immediate dismissal, as is making demands for policy changes which are not required by law. In other words, find a way to silence the woke before them can even open their mouths. Just make certain it is legal, written in clear English, and every employee signs off that they have read the rules, understand the rules, and accept the rules. And for that, you will need a good lawyer. It will be money well spent, and a lot better than the money spent on the consultant who got you to the next leve, which turned out to be the ground floor!

This could be devastating, for example, for New Jersey. I have it on good authority that the State is 600 miles from one-third of the population of the United States. That is why there is literally no warehouse space available in the Garden State. As Amazon has shown, warehouses can be automated. There can easily be more robots working in a warehouse than humans. If the woke don’t stop their “wokeness,” if the malignant disease is not eradicated, it will be quite easy to see an end, not just to those mom and pop stores I mentioned earlier, but to our social security safety net, in all its aspects. Just something to think about before you go to sleep tonight!

But fear not. Last week I wrote about the solution.