Reddit, and like a lot of you I thought it was pretty funny.
But then I started to think that it was also a great commentary on progress and the importance that folks place on only certain lost jobs from certain industries.
Now I was not sure if Blockbuster ever really had a workforce of 60,000, but as it turns out it did:
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and 9,000 stores worldwide with a market value of $5 billion and revenues of $5.9 billion.
So the meme is accurate in that regard.
However its larger point is that changes in technology, consumer tastes, and even government regulations often means the loss of certain jobs that communities have relied upon.
The example that always occurs to me is the impact that automobiles had on the buggy manufacturers, not to mention the ranchers who raised horses to pull them, and the farmers who grew hay to feed those horses.
That is at least three industries that suffered in the wake of the new technology, and yet I would bet that very, very few of us are sorry that those advances were made.
So yes coal miners are going to lose their jobs, and in the short run that is going to cause a negative economic impact to those families and to the states that rely on that industry.
However in a hundred years from now will any of our great, great grandchildren REALLY shed a tear for the coal industry or regret the move toward renewable clean energy sources?
No, I seriously doubt that they will.
Besides that you can bet that in a hundred years Netflix will have gone the way of Blockbuster and there will be some new entertainment giant that has taken its place. (Probably one that sends movies and television shows straight into our brains via microchips we will have surgically implanted for that very purpose.)
So yes progress will continue forward, and I am sure that politicians will continue to argue against it for the sake of their constituents still laboring in the soon to be obsolete industries, but that does not mean it will not happen. Nor does it mean that it should not happen.
By the way, where is my damn flying car?