Human Infrastructure and the Future of the Industrial Workplace (part 2)

Agile Quality International
4 min readOct 24, 2021

In the previous article I began to quote two academics, Jimenez and Taleb, the former representing the administrative class and the latter what I would call the “boots on the ground” observer. This is the second of a four part series.

(above) Chicago Port Facility

So why all of the sudden, are we experiencing shortages and labor disputes? Is it all related to “the pandemic” or is there something else going on? The narrative that “there just aren’t enough workers” being played over and over by the media is known to be absolute bollocks to the industrial worker in the United States.

they refuse to be slaves and they do not buy into the notion that the employer or the State is their benefactor N.N. Taleb

(above) Membrane welding at a Power Plant

With operators, welders, fitters, electrical and mechanical labor being told to take a jab or be fired, it appears this “shortage of workers” is being structurally introduced. To my international readers let me interrupt here for a moment, and explain that here in America we are a divided nation, on the one hand we have people who want to be dependents in a neo-feudal system and on the other we have those that refuse. Labels are useless, that is what is going on. So workers in the industrial sphere are migrating to employers who will not mandate how they run their personal life, their conscience or demand loyalty. In the industrial sphere here in America, if you have the skills, equipment (e.g. a welding rig) and a truck, you are one of the most in demand and highly skilled independent workers in the world.

(above) K street, the location of lobbyists and influence peddlers.

So what does that mean for large multinationals looking for cheap labor here in the USA? Well they lobby, they give politicians to push completely insane policies in the interest of driving down the wages of those skilled and independent workers I mention above, and the American industrial worker is not unaware. One of these insane policies is called replacement migration.

Richard Kudenlove Kalergi

The American industrial worker is not a xenophobe, as for people here, you know the truth. You would be welcome in any country, because you’re a decent person, follow the laws, respect the culture, and come as part of a measured situation. You could live there a honorable life without impediment and get what you can get, and give what you can give. That is America and that is the freedom of the industrial worker here.

(above) Two American Industrial workers completing pipeline welding together.

As a business owner I often have international clients and of course the independent contractors who we contact, two often mutually exclusive parties who only come together when the Professional Engineer cannot waive inspection and the client demands inspection. These parties come into collision in phone calls and messages in the middle of the night, early morning and at all hours from every corner of the world. “This is a good rate!”, “ Rates are very competitive, sir”, “Please will you take XXX USD.” In all cases, seemingly unbeknownst to my clients, it is not my decision, it is the individual that decides, and that is a completely bizarre and unforeseen challenge to some of our international clients. That is the challenge and we meet it every day.

(above) the American Industrial Worker hearing your “offer”.

So lets speak about the current situation. We have much in play; 1. a backlog of industrial orders from the “pandemic” months 2. a current mechanical outage season 3. port facilities delaying shipment 4. some very talented and skilled workers who have not had consistent checks in over 6 months or more. 5. Generational world views that do not address the present

Before we address the above points one at a time I’m going to another point for a moment about the industrial worker. Who are these people? They run the spectrum and I will tell you without a doubt in the United States we are loosing the most productive, talented and skilled industrial managers and workers at a pace I have never seen in my career. The hubris of policy makers and lobbyists is that they believe these people are replaceable, I beg to differ and here is why. There are first, second and third order effects, what we are seeing is the beginning of a very frightening collapse and structural upheaval, which I’m afraid even the current leadership in the industrial sector is not ready for, it is a (pardon me N.N. Taleb) foreseeable event for the 2% who know and a Black Swan event for the majority.

Next week we sill delve deeper into the character of the American Industrial Worker, we will address some of the 5 points above and also have a little fun with current events.



Agile Quality International

I am an industrial worker, I hold certificates and have worked across the nation.