Burgers And Horses

Robots are now capable of doing things that humans can do, and do them better. In China, plans are afoot to replace millions of human workers in labor intensive factories with robots. China is determined to march into the mercantile future, but what happens to the displaced millions of workers? Way back in the early 70s an Architectural firm I was associated with designed a County Health complex that included a hospital, a geriatric high rise, an array of smaller buildings and a brand new food preparation facility. The centerpiece of the food facility was a burger making machine that not only cooked the burgers without human aid, it flash froze them, ready for placement in the electric food carts that would be wheeled into the corridors of every patient building in the complex. When the project went out for bids there were screams of rage and anguish from the unions, the local Democrat politicians could not stand the pressure, and the burger maker was cancelled. The new food facility was redesigned to have long stretches of stainless steel counters, ranges, sinks and so forth, making work for the local tin-knocker union and work for many dozens of burger flippers. The moral of this story is, many plan the glorious future, but the unions and the politicians have the horses, and the horses always win.

Mao smiled and all the flowers bloomed
A billion folks all cheered
And now those billion folks are doomed
The future now is feared
A robot stands now in the place
Of what was once a man
Who suffers unemployed disgrace
With this new Five Year Plan
But here at home we’re safe of course
The robots will not win
For on our side we have the horse
Whose votes will save our skin
No politician worth his salt
Denies the horse his vote
For robots to be the default
Means that his pleasure boat
Is gone forever with the wind
His pals, his gals, his perks
Against the horse no pol has sinned
They keep what always works

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