Much like during the industrial revolution, today’s automation anxiety is entirely justified. Workers today are no longer reaping the gains of progress. Worse, many have already been left behind in the “backwaters of progress” (to quote the late David Landes, a leading scholar of the industrial revolution). The age of advanced robotics has meant diminishing opportunities for the middle class. Up until the 1980s, manufacturing jobs allowed ordinary working men to attain a middle-class lifestyle without attending college.
Frey, C. (2019). 'Learning From Automation Anxiety of the Past'. MIT Sloan Management Review, Nov 2019.