The Alt-right movement would like you to think that an increase in diversity, immigrants, and environmental scientists are to blame for current long-term unemployment. It is time to stop blaming the people who work incredibly hard to get into and stay in America for loss of jobs. Similarly, it is time to stop pretending that protecting our air or water is the reason our companies aren’t hiring like they once did. It is 2017, our elected leaders need to begin to address the impacts of automation on our systemic unemployment rate.

Machines are replacing jobs that once could provide a middle class lifestyle in Colorado. Instead of trying to find someone to blame while ignoring the real problems of our emerging economy, let’s do something about our systemic unemployment. Coding these machines is an intricate language. Let’s designate computer coding as a language that meets the high school language requirement. Let’s help our public universities create intensive 1 year computer coding and technical maintenance programs for any Coloradan that wants to learn; and then let’s make every one of these programs free for any resident of Colorado. It is time to address and get ahead of automation before we are in crisis.

Very soon our cars will drive themselves, wait staffs and cooks will be able to be replaced by machines, and technologies that have yet to be created will completely alter our economy. This sprint towards technological progress will leave many people displaced and struggling to find a footing in a computer-based economy. We must train Coloradans now to master and maintain the coming technological takeover of our economy that we all know is well underway already. By getting ahead of this problem we will develop an advanced economy while providing new paths for people already finding it hard to get by in today’s job market.