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Boycotting self-checkout is the wrong reaction to automation

Boycotting self-checkout is not the correct response to the loss of jobs due to automation.

Donna Beth Joy Shapiro wants us to boycott self-checkout and self-check-in so that human beings can continue to have jobs (“Resist the machine! Let humans run checkouts,” June 3).

Two hundred years ago, the Luddites tried to prevent the production of cotton and woolen products by machinery because human beings were losing jobs. We all know how well that went.

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The price of clothing is way less than it was before the advent of automation. Two hundred years ago, only rich people could afford nice clothing and shoes. The price of food is probably a bit less because of self-checkout. The actual solution to the loss of jobs due to automation is not going to be the boycott of self-checkout. That's not to say that I know what the actual solution is.

Andrew Yang, a little known candidate for the presidency, has proposed a guaranteed minimum income. I don't know if that's the answer, or where the money would come from, but Mr. Yang is the only candidate who is even addressing the problem of the upcoming massive loss of jobs due to automation.

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Henry Farkas, Pikesville

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