[C]ashier jobs across the country could eventually be wiped out. Last month, Amazon unveiled their grocery prototype store, Amazon Go, in Seattle. You walk in, swipe a bar code on your phone, grab a bright orange Amazon bag and fill it with products from the shelves. When you are done, you just walk out and the receipt is e-mailed to you before you get to your car because Amazon has tracked every interaction you’ve had with their products.
No cashiers. No line. No interaction with another human being while shopping ever again. Great, right? Not really.
There were an estimated 3.5 million cashiers in the US in 2016, the year data was most recently available, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seventy-two percent of those cashiers are female. Many of these women are heads of households or supplementing their husband’s income to make ends meet or save for their children’s education.
The Amazon store could one day pull the plug on all that. It’s “a game changer in an industry where the game has already begun to change,” a food-industry expert, who asked not to be named, told me. “Self-checkout lines have been going strong for years. This is the next level.”
America has a love hate relationship with technology: We love having everything we want when we want it with the least amount of effort, and we also hate the impact it has on jobs — but only after those jobs have been eliminated and leave a devastating impact on families and communities.
On Monday, The Post told the tragic story of Douglas Schifter, a livery-cab driver who killed himself because the new economy had driven him out of business.