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Dying Industries in the USA and the Ones Worth Reviving

Through a societal change in desires, as well as increased automation and outsourcing, a number of American industries are declining.

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By Dane Larsen | @therealdanelars

With the evolution of the economy in regards to the modern world, technology and industrial revolutions have boosted the West to places never conceived before. However, some trades or chains of commerce have longer lifespans than others.

It’s 2018, and the world is much different than it used to be, when older companies and out-of-date phenomena took the lead. Nowadays, both the millennials and generation Z go to college more than any other generations, reducing the degree’s value. But with the automation of many jobs that once ruled certain regions of America, many jobs have been left for ransom. A good amount of them are imperative to a great society, but another portion aren’t worth saving.

Newspaper Publishing, Photo-finishing, Video/TV/Music Rental Industries

It’s no surprise that the need for physical copies of items such as entertainment, breaking news, and memories are diminishing, This prompts the rise of digital assets, like the Cloud, or web pages like Netflix, or news sites (like yours truly, 71 Republic). This feeling of having on hand wherever you go everything you need, whether it may be a picture of your kids, a brash statement Trump said on this particular day, or even just an episode of Parks and Rec, is something that caters to the, for lack of better term, privileged young ones in our country.

Information, without a doubt, is more available now than ever before. This is prompting new research and passion in kids never before seen, so this industry is not one that certainly needs to be revitalized. The free market has found a solution to not exactly a problem, but rather an inefficient way of doing things. Who are we to mess with a more eco-friendly and productive result?

Vocations and Trade Industries

Those in trade school often get a high paying job, little to no student loan debt, and an employment rate near those with a college degree. With the population steadily rising, there is more labor to do: construction sites to finish, airplanes to build, pipes to fit, and so on. These careers aren’t as appealing as traveling the world, working from home, and staying clean on the job. Thus, fewer people are attending trade schools. That still does not change the demand for the tasks, and this has led to a crisis that will plague our country for the years to come.

These aren’t especially easy duties to fulfill, so they take a lot of researching and practice to gain the skills learned in trade school. This doesn’t come with ease for most, meaning there is some sacrifice needed from students in the younger generations. Giving up the tradition of 4-year undergrad school is a safe bet, and going for the far less expensive, and more immediately filling vocation. This sector of the economy is currently in a downward spiral, and it is up to the next generation to fix this.

Domestic Manufacturing Industries

Unlike a vocation-type occupation, manufacturing-division jobs have been slowly diminishing without a cost to the American lifestyle. With fewer tariffs, our marketplace has grown internationally, to the point where we can reach out to a company thousands of miles away. They can make a product better, for less. Then, they get it to a customer’s door with few hiccups in the process.

While this seems extremely ordinary for us, it would’ve been rightfully peculiar to a Rust Belt worker in the early 20th Century, when that region was running up the numbers regarding productivity. Even with the manufacturing still in the United States, yield of product has risen regularly.  Employment, however, has hit an all time low with places of work such as textiles, electrical equipment and overall hardware (source).

This is a time to step back and realize how far we have come with globalization. Rather than mourn the loss of jobs in one zone of the economy, in one region of our country, this should be a celebration of the evolution of our market to one that frees us up to do much more.

Truck Driving and Delivery Industries

A recent Oxford study showed that in the near future, “about 47 percent of total US employment [is] at risk” to computerization. As a result, many are shifting their ideas for a career path to one that automation cannot do. Most of these are service based jobs, but still attractive. More attractive, most would say, than driving a truck around the country on deliveries. Driving a semi on the highway instead of settling down with an office, or anything of that sort, is less attractive to the newer generations.

However, unlike the manufacturing, or the hard copies of DVD rentals, we cannot outsourcetruck drivers. We must raise employment to a level that allows us to keep our overnight shipping, fast track, Amazon Prime type of world. The efficiency of that type of world runs on the hard work of truckers who work for companies like Swift Transportation, Schneider National, USA Truck and more.

In a joint projection done by Business Insider and Trucking.org, the demand of truck drivers will keep rising. It will reach just under 2 million units in 2022, while the amount of drivers stays at about 1.75 million units. While the deficit, right now is hovering around 50,000 workers, this will only increase without a move towards filling these jobs.

The Incentive for Change

Politicians may promise to bring us back to the old times before outsourcing or automation. This is simply not possible. The world has progressed and cannot go backwards. We have gone through great change in industry. These new industries change the country for the better. By embracing the change through free trade, we may keep the American economy running like a well-oiled machine.


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