Semi-skilled to lower middle class jobs and automation

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #1
    This conversation has re-appeared lately in several other threads,, and, probably belongs in its own thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-of-megyn-kelly.1952972/page-14#post-22521464

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...lding-in-oregon.1948178/page-29#post-22521050

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-of-megyn-kelly.1952972/page-14#post-22521377

    chown33 wrote:

    I know this is taking something kind of out of context, but, "AI" turns out to be very misleading. True "AI" is not here and may never be, but, in the meantime, apparently true AI is not required in order to devalue blue collar work. There has been tremendous downward pressure on the wages of all jobs in the bottom half -- manual labor, semi-skilled, to skilled.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/wages productivity inequality.png
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #2
    American businesses ought to be very careful about automating jobs. They'll automate themselves out of customers.
     
  3. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    #3
    Consumers are a big part of the problem though. Collectively they demand cheaper goods. Companies can make their goods cheaper by cutting labor costs.
     
  4. jnpy!$4g3cwk thread starter macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #4
    If there is a shortage of workers, supply and demand should result in higher wages for those workers, right? What is wrong with this picture?
     
  5. Technarchy macrumors 604

    Technarchy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #5
    Quite the quandary. You want people buying stuff to keep the economy rolling, but you don't want to pay them to actually buy the things you sell.

    Every single job and each of us is in a John Henry conflict on a long enough timeline.
     
  6. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #6
    What do we do about China? What if China gets 1 million robots before us?

    The real issue is about time and money. When Henry Ford used the assembly line he was able to leapfrog others. He produced similarly featured cars for less cost and could then offer them at a cheaper price. At one point 1/2 the cars in the world were Fords.

    This is an all out race. It's Google vs Bing, VHS vs Beta, PC vs Mac, all over again. 1st one in wins the prize. Being careful means being dead.

    The problem is that if you don't automate, the other guy will. Blockbuster video isn't making a comeback. South.Park_.S16E12.HDTV_.x264-ASAP.mp4_snapshot_03.21_2012.10.26_13.53.24.jpg

    There is no way to control other companies or other nations. Just like moving factories to Mexico or headquarters to Ireland, get'em while their hot.

    As far as AI and true AI (whatever that is): There's a difference between programming a computer to win a game of chess and programming a computer to create a game of strategy that people will enjoy playing for centuries... One we already have, the other we don't need.

    Remember, I don't have to run faster than the bear, I just have to run faster than you, the bear will take care of the rest :D

    http://www.popsci.com/worlds-first-fully-robotic-farm-opens-in-2017

    Soon, you won't even be able to get the jobs you don't want.

    One of the main problems the US has is the cost of living is too high. We've wasted our chance to lower our cost of living to the point were we have no chance of competing with other nations.

    If you think the government or a business will give a rats tail about you, remember what happened to the middle class in the 08 melt down. What bailout did the middle class get?

    Let them raise the min-wage, see what happens next:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busi...f284ea-3f6f-11e5-8d45-d815146f81fa_story.html
     
  7. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #7
    Compared to where? Compared to Ukraine or India - sure.

    But compared to the rest of the industrialized world, the United States is a relative bargain. America's housing; energy; food and fuel; and other significant costs of doing business are markedly cheaper than in most other advanced countries. And given the massive, affluent consumer and business markets in the USA - just about every company in the world has very good reason to set up shop here. The USA remains the one essential place a multinational company has to do business.

    The only outlier in the cost of doing business in the USA is the very high price we pay for healthcare. There are things we might do about that. But, ya know, death panels - so we'll just have to deal with that.
     
  8. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Eventually. Then they'll continue to blame workers for not spending (news articles doing that occasionally already or even in 2010), or unions, or absolving the supply-side of problems the supply-side created... the market will price itself out of the market. It will have to collapse. Then what? Neo-slavery? Neo-serfdom? Or something better? Nobody knows.

    Meanwhile, read up on all the people saying "personal responsibility" or "don't have more children than what you can afford" whining about people having less children (e.g. the Fox news pundits like John Gibson and his out of touch claptrap...)
     
  9. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #9
    The US is <5% of the worlds population and it's the 3rd most populated nation. It's value is almost a rounding error in the entire world market, but beyond that, so compared to Europe and other nations really doesn't matter.

    The only fact that matters is that others are cheaper. Remember Ireland isn't the largest nation in the world, but it sure gets a lot of attention when it comes to tax rates. India alone could provide all the labor the world needs.

    However the issues is automation, robots and AI. Human labor is not needed to do business in the US. What business actually NEEDS humans? This isn't about not doing business in one nation vs another nation, it's about doing business without humans.

    BTW, how much of that "massive affluent consumer" market will be here when those people no longer have jobs because of robots?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    Too many children is actually the root of the problem. We don't have jobs for the people we already have. There's a global drinking water shortage. Education costs are thru the roof. Health care costs are thru the roof. The highest growth populations are the lowest average IQ nations with the least ability to care for themselves.

    Automation make the economic need for humans decrease rapidly, having more humans only makes it worse.

    http://www.indiatimes.com/news/indi...m-might-actually-be-getting-worse-249791.html
     
  10. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #10
    The US has a Gross Domestic Product of approximately $14 trillion. Which is about 18% of total World GDP of $78 trillion. And only slightly less than the total GDP of the European Union.

    US consumers have far more disposable income than most Europeans. (Have you seen the cost of an apartment or house in most European countries?) Housing costs in most European cities leave consumers with little excess cash compared to their US contemporaries. The US' vast retail and logistical network - combined with that huge consumer market - make us the indispensable place to do business.

    The US also significant other advantages when it comes to doing business. For the most part our government institutions are relatively free from graft and corruption. (Try doing business in China or Mexico without paying bribes.) Our courts and legal system make contracts and intellectual property rights actually enforceable. Our law enforcement system means your stores won't be ransacked or your deliveries hijacked. Our utilities infrastructure means your call center and data warehouse won't be subject to periodic power cuts. (This is a serious problem in India and other developing nations. Try running a data center with only 97% uptime.) Our universities turn out more engineers, and doctors, and accountants, and marketer, etc. than any other country on earth. (In fact we by a long way the world leader in "producing" high-quality university graduates.)

    And so on. The USA, for a host of reasons, is still the leader of - and the driving force behind - the world's economy.
     
  11. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Again, you've missed the point. The topic is automation, robots and AI. What does any of this have to do with that?

    There isn't ONE thing you listed that would stop or even slow down the loss of jobs to robots.

    You can't related any of that to anything that would even begin to slow down the pace of automation. In fact, I'll take all of your statement and turn them on you with this:
    The US labor force is overpriced when compared to the two labor forces that actually mater:
    1. cheap off shore labor (China, Mexico, Asia, India).
    2. even cheaper robotic labor.

    These two HUGE, cheap labor forces out number and out work any and all Americans for pennies on the dollar. They already manufacture most everything in your home, pick what you eat, fix what you break, hack what you download, and have a copy of your credit report :D

    Heck, they're even building a robot to ship over here to take away your paycheck. The disposable income will not be enough to cover the student loan debt or privately held debt (over 17 Trillion) or the unfunded mandate costs.

    The big bolder of debt will come down and crush the 75% of Americans that are paycheck to paycheck.

    The lazy, under educated, sue happy, over regulated, over paid American worker will fall to China and India. China has the largest growing middle class in the world. China and India have almost 10X the people we do and that's not even counting Asia!

    http://issues.org/23-3/wadhwa/

    And that's not even counting the robots!

    How do you stop the robots?

     
  12. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #12
    You are seriously deluded if you think this is a threat to only blue collar workers.Some of the big professions are squarely in the sights of automation.Not least the medical,legal,engineering and architectural professions.
     
  13. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #13
    Actually those are the prime targets and can take over like wildfire because of AI code reuse.
    IBM's Watson is already doing medical. They already have an AI computer that does 100% of what a lawyer does.

    The lawyer AI is going to REALLY shake things up. Lawyers are dependent on processing big data and spitting out forms. It doesn't really have "moving parts". You can think of it like a spell checker back in the 80's. It's a lot of dictionary lookup and big data analysis. They charge so much, they are a prime target.

    I used a PI atty a few years back. All he did was a search and replace on a prior demand letter. I know because he missed a few replaces :D He wanted to charge me $7,500 for his work. Calendar management, rule logic, etc... Not to hard when we can get a robotic space ship to land on a comet.
     
  14. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #14
    I work in manufacturing and view automation as a natural evolution of any process necessary to continue to compete against continual price pressures that are a result of a global economy and a populace that has become dependent on easily-accessible creature comforts that just didn't exist 40 years ago.

    And it's not just machine automation, all businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve worker efficiency and that doesn't mean just plopping down a robot in their place. Better structuring material flow, ergonomic work centers, JIT materials planning, process documentation and training, reduction of scrap and waste product/ materials are all part of modern lean business practices that pretty much any business with the hopes of being competitive will have to employ.

    The cold hard truth is humans suck at hands on tasks. Even highly compensated, skilled and experienced workers get tired, distracted or lazy and make mistakes that can result in the destruction of thousands of dollars of product, a cost which traditionally has been absorbed, but ultimately passed down to the consumer. Automation has made modern technologies like cell phones, dishwashers, game consoles, lawn mowers, and many other common items accessable to people we consider to be living in poverty in this country. The fact you can buy something like a 70" LCD TV for $800 is just insane considering the cost of a 27" tube TV in 1997 was about the same (in 1997 dollars even).
     
  15. jnpy!$4g3cwk thread starter macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #15
    Which US consumers? The bottom 20%?

    How does that help a gardener making minimum wage?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    What if there are 20% or so of people who will never excel at any non-hands-on task? People who will never get a university degree? Not your problem, sure, but, don't you think they deserve a roof over their head and food to eat?
     
  16. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #16
    Automation isn't taking jobs, it's just shifting them towards higher skilled jobs.

    Things like this make me very glad I work in IT. Automation might replace a bunch of jobs, but for the foreseeable future you are still going to need people like me to set up and maintain the machines and networks that run these automated systems.
     
  17. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #17
    Automation cannot make a decent omelet. It can't change a diaper. It can't paint a bedroom, or a bridge. It can't teach a kid to read.

    People have been complaining about machines taking their jobs since (at least) the days of the Luddites. (We get the word "sabotage" because French and Flemish mill workers would sometimes throw their wooden shoes into the machines they felt were taking their jobs.)

    And, without a doubt, technological innovation does cause disruption in labor markets; and sometimes great harm to individual workers and their families. But it is also the process that has made all of our lives incredibly richer. So that no one needs go hungry; or wear worn out clothes; or be homeless.

    Automation will continue. It may replace some work presently done by lawyers and bankers. By scientists and salespeople. But trust me - for every job a machine or Artificial Intelligence takes away - it'll create many more new opportunities for people willing and able to adapt to the new reality.
     
  18. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    If automation starts forcing millions out of work the government will ban automation.
     
  19. jnpy!$4g3cwk, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

    jnpy!$4g3cwk thread starter macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #19
    When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, guys who were strong and had a lot of endurance, guys who had what we would call ADHD today but who could physically move freight around all day, etc., still commanded a premium, while companies tended to undervalue, say, engineers. Now the roles have reversed. Turnaround is fair play? Not exactly. Because from the early 50's through the early 70's, anyone who wanted to work and had a good attitude could find a place. Today, there really isn't a place for all those physical guys who have trouble sitting still for 8 hours a day. They need jobs, but, more than that, we need economic innovations that will allow them a valued place in society.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    (Map of mortality gap for middle-aged whites)

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...americans-left-behind-and-dying-early/433863/
     
  20. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #20
    I'll bet it can make a decent one. But how good beyond that?
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #21
    Depends how many hairs it can throw in.
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    People who don't like desks can become builders or electricians or plumbers or carpenters. And other people can get degrees to do more educated work.
     
  23. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #23
    It should be that a blue collar worker can still support a family. I'm in favor of a large enough social safety net to ensure that's possible.

    But at the end of the day, if a worker's skills are in an industry that is either obsolete or no longer economically viable in the US, then they need to learn a new trade. The world has changed dramatically since the 50's-70's.
     
  24. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #24
    Automation cannot make a decent omelet[​IMG]

    It can't change a diaper.

    It can't paint a bedroom, or a bridge. Not only can they paint a bridge, they can Build the bridge.

    It can't teach a kid to read. They're call educational apps, kids love them.

    ... They've left you ONE of those jobs :D
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    This assumes we actually manage our economy. We manage our economy like California manages it's drought. They saw it coming decades ago, and STILL have no long term solution in place for something as basic to life as water.

    What evidence do you have that automation is creating more jobs and that these jobs are actually created by that automation? This is nothing but speculation. BTW, we have a RECORD high number of people living on the government programs.

    If you were even close to being right, we'd have fewer homeless, yet HI, NY, SF and many others cities/states are in a state of emergency over homelessness.

    How do you explain the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? If what you said were even close to being true, the GDP would be growing fast, yet it's slowed down.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    Still trying to make that plane fly? Did you not bother to read the posts last time?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    Those are the jobs the robots are taking. The robots are now 3D printing the whole house. The robots are the carpenters, plumbers and electrician.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    We tried the large social safety net and the government raided it and spent every penny of it getting themselves more votes.
    New trades are great, but the costs of learning and the lag time can crush someone living paycheck to paycheck. We need more direct on the job training vs out of touch schools training. Min wage should have a 'training wage' exception.
     
  25. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #25
    KarlJay...you keep on harping about how the robots are coming to take over everything, and nobody will be working anymore.

    Since you seem to get a hardon thinking about all the lost jobs, what exactly will these robots do, since there will apparently be nobody with jobs giving them an income to buy the products the robots would otherwise be producing? If no one can buy the product, then no product will be made, thus the robots are pointless.

    I might ask you the same thing...
     

Share This Page