Hillary Clinton can add another excuse for her election loss to Trump… ROBOTS

Hillary Clinton now has another scapegoat she can add to her growing list of things to blame for her election loss.

It seems the former Democratic presidential nominee could have beaten Donald Trump if it wasn’t for… robots.

Yes, fewer robots in three swing states could have given Americans a very different election outcome, according to a new study.

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Three Oxford University researchers concluded that if Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania had two percent fewer robots leading up to the November 2016 election, Clinton’s electoral college numbers would have surpassed Trump’s by securing her more working-class votes.

“Building on the intuition that voters who have lost out to technology are more likely to opt for radical political change, we examine if robots shaped the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,” the researchers wrote.

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Fears about job losses brought on by robotic automation of the US labor force may have been behind more people casting votes for Trump whose campaign messages consistently touted bringing back jobs to Americans, the researchers noted.

The paper cited a 2017 Pew Research Center finding that “a staggering 72 percent of surveyed American’s fear a future in which computers and robots can do more human jobs, while 85 percent favor policies to restrict the use of machines to hazardous jobs.”

“What is clear is that the vote for Donald Trump was a vote against the status quo,” the researchers wrote.

According to Business Insider:

To carry out their study, the team analyzed the prevalence of robot automation across 13 manufacturing industries and six non-manufacturing industries, such as retail or customer service, from 2011 to 2015, using the American Community Survey. They crosschecked that data with employment data in local labor markets.

That revealed at least an overlap between counties that voted for Trump and those with a greater share of robots. But to deduce that 2% fewer robots in three key states could have been the key for a Clinton win, the team performed a second analysis that told them, based on their model, what might have happened if things had been different.

In short, they found Clinton likely could have earned the necessary votes if Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania had 2% fewer robots.

The paper explained that, in the future, robotic automation is “likely to become a growing political challenge,” noting the similarity to what occurred during Britain’s Industrial Revolution when voters were divided between farming with horses or with the new machines.

“To avoid further populist rebellion and a looming backlash against technology itself, governments must find ways of making the benefits from automation more widely shared,” the researchers concluded.

Meanwhile, it seems Clinton’s latest excuse is at least backed up with some form of research.

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Frieda Powers

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