Saturday, July 07, 2012

Disintermediation: The End of Black America

If the economic troubles of this country were a swimming pool - black folks, including their inability to swim, are definitely in the deep-end. Low-level jobs, not just the ones in manufacturing - are disappearing at an alarming rate.

I was buying something at the Apple store recently and was told that I did not need a sales clerk to 'check out'. There is now an app for this. I found my item, scanned and paid for it with my iPhone, and walked out without any intervention. I even asked the black security guard how he knew I was not shop-lifting, whereupon he instantly pulled up my name and picture of my purchase on, you guessed it, his iPhone.

Expect to see this capability in all retail stores soon - along with more double-digit black unemployment. It's called disintermediation when middle channel jobs go away due to whatever the reason - technology, globalization of labor, etc. - you name it. It is the process of squeezing out every penny of cost from the goods we just can't live without.

Blacks, as the lowest educated/skilled demographic (of size) in this country, are unemployed at minimally 2x the national average, and well beyond the reach of the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama, or Bill Gates/Warren Buffet. Add to this the carte-blanche that US financial institutions have been given to exploit black financial ignorance (via financial deregulation), and you get one unmitigated economic and social disaster, with no end in sight!

James C. Collier

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see plenty of white cashiers, etc. too and although you see it as more of a black issue due to whatever reasons they "can't swim" it is an issue for all. A lot of teens do this type work and I applaud them but they will also suffer from it.

Solutions? "We" can't make companies "entitle" people to jobs can we...

So what then?

I say a start is more fiscal responsibility among all and even more so among those that need a life jacket in these troubled times.

Too may people dig a hole for themselves in various ways, tying the weight of "want" and "I have a right to" to themselves, which for many non-swimmers black and white alike is multiple children. Then they throw themselves in that hole dragging their children in after them, blaming someone else the entire time the dirt is gathering under their finger nails.

Unfortunately I see this scenario more and more and what seems to be less and less plain common sense among those that desperately need it to combat their self administered drowning.

With only 50 something odd percent of people paying any taxes with many of those non-taxpayers getting "back" thousands due to head of household loopholes and those multiple children, and more and more people "finding a way" to get on the disability roles, over 8 million now, and rampant fraud in the entitlement systems it won't get any better any time soon if ever.

Jim-Jim said...

What is perceived as a culture of hostility also keeps black people impoverished. A Chinese restaurant will usually do big business where I live, but a Creole restaurant owned by Haitians will have a short life span. White customers see black people running a place and worry about being poisoned.

James C. Collier said...

@Anon 8:48, What I am saying about blacks and disintermediation certainly applies to others, but especially to blacks as a group disproportionately on the economic bottom. In this case, it is social and economic evolution (pursuit of efficiency), rather than racial exploitation, that is delivering the accelerating detachment.

Anonymous said...

This is true.
I see it at my workplace constantly.

The managers look at how much work they can get out of how few people regardless of how stressed out the workers get and regardless of how truly inefficient it is to do so.

Then you wonder what kind of bonuses they get...............

Anonymous said...

I realize black Americans have a uniquely burdened history that separates them from every other group in this country. Still, I'm somewhat surprised at your pessimism. If low-skilled jobs were being lost 100 years ago, people would have been looking at Italians or Slavs as the hopeless grunt workers who would have no future in the new economy. Yet as we know, many from those groups would shake off the old stereotypes and join the ranks of the high-skilled workers. Do you really see no way forward for Blacks, to the point where you talk of "the end of Black America?”

James C. Collier said...

@Anon 3:38, there are significant differences between then and now. This country is an economic, educational, industrial, and social sinking ship against the key factors of advancement and growth. Italian, and the Irish American cultures were not steeped in oppositional attitudes/behaviors toward opportunity, especially education. People sacrificed, saved and invested in themselves. We are now a country of debtors and reality-show watchin' bling-consumers. Our tax base has fled off-shore, our population is aging and underfunded. Our medical system is buckling under the pursuit of profit through exploiting sedentary living, and subsidized ill-fed ill health.
I am not so much pessimistic as I am understanding that all great societies have their run, only to be replaced. History says our time is done - as we get a daily dose of us feeding upon ourselves (no pun).
America has burned bright...and I feel fortunate to have lived part of it.

Anonymous said...

"We are now a country of debtors and reality-show watchin' bling-consumers."

"America has burned bright...and I feel fortunate to have lived part of it."

You sound like a typical old man, looking in the past and projecting on the future. Your time is done doesn't mean the country is done. Just because you're in decline doesn't mean the country is in decline. Bottom line is your line of thinking is of a person without confidence. With that line of thinking you're bringing nothing to the table. How about you build or produce something...a new device or invention, some software, new business model, etc..??

According to you America "was" great yet someone like you born, raised, educated here cannot help in its continued greatness? Well what does that say about you, your ROI from the country's perspective appears to be negative? Patents? Businesses started? Helped a business grow tangibly? The country is not in decline or failing...you are, but that can change if you look in the mirror and update the attitude/outlook.

R

James C. Collier said...

@Anon7:27, let's see...in the last year, started a software company, introduced first in line of products - SnapdDot -, applied for technology patent, and leading board member of the most progressive YMCA association (Berkeley) in the US (volunteer of the year 2011), etc. But as an educated 'old man' I am not deluded by youth. Everything is not well.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Collier,

Well your living proof that all is well. You are making a contribution to helping the US remain strong. Why the pessimism?

As with the american war of independence, you only need a strong and cohesive minority to make a difference. Screw the majority, all you need is an highly organized and high contributing minority. You are doing just this, so again why the pessimism when all we need is a good minority of individuals like yourself to make a difference regardless of the state of the majority (the majority are like sheep).

"Everything is not well"..I agree, for people not like yourself but that is their choice. Instead of debt financing the good life they could invest in themselves and be proactive in taking control of the direction of their lives or the lives of others.

R