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Robotics, Unemployment, and Loss of Jobs

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by OldTrapper, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Just something else to consider when trying ot blame Obama for the ills of the country:

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Artic...eality-Service-Jobs-are-Next-to-Go.aspx#page1


    Rethink Robotics released Baxter last fall and received an overwhelming response from the manufacturing industry, selling out of their production capacity through April. He’s cheap to buy ($22,000), easy to train, and can safely work side-by-side with humans. He’s just what factories need to make their assembly lines more efficient – and yes, to replace costly human workers.

    But manufacturing is only the beginning.

    This April, Rethink will launch a software platform that will allow Baxter to do a more complex sequencing of tasks – for example, picking up a part, holding it in front of an inspection station and receiving a signal to place it in a “good” or “not good” pile. The company is also releasing a software development kit soon that will allow third parties – like university robotics researchers – to create applications for Baxter.


    And related:

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Artic...Robots-and-Decline-of-Jobs-Is-Here.aspx#page1

    Last night, 60 Minutes aired an interesting report on the rise of robots in the workforce – a subject we’ve covered extensively. What they concluded was the robots we’re seeing aren’t necessarily the R2-D2’s and Short Circuits of science fiction – the ones that become so self-aware that they challenge our authority, or in the worst-case scenarios (think Will Smith’s I, Robot or 2001 A Space Odyssey), stage a coup and take over.

    Instead, what’s happening might be even scarier: they’re taking our jobs. Lots of them – and it’s already begun.

    Correspondent Steve Kroft calls it “technological unemployment,” and we’ve already seen the effects in manufacturing; but the same thing is happening in nearly every industry: health care, retail, media, and in businesses large and small.

    “There are lots of examples of routine, middle-skilled jobs that involve relatively structured tasks and those are the jobs that are being eliminated the fastest,” Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor of information technology at MIT, tells Kroft. “Technology is always creating jobs. It's always destroying jobs. But right now the pace is accelerating. It's faster we think than ever before in history…and we’re not creating jobs at the same pace that we need to.”
     
  2. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    and saddle makers were angry until they discovered that autos were in need of seats.

    this process of tech growth has permitted us to have 5 day work weeks and longer lives. it also demands we be diligent in expanding our skills as failure means obselesense.

    the sweet life is not an entitlement, its a goal to be worked toward.
     
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  3. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the saddle makers were upset, however, that was when leather seats were made by hand. Now we have fabric seats made by machines. We have American jobs being replaced by cheap illegal labor, and legal labor. Note the Zuckerman has now taken the place of Gates in arguing for more H-1B visas for more cheap labor while American IT's are fired. Note that the Republicans, in support of the Democrats, are about to legalize 11 million workers that are taking jobs from Americans.

    Yes, tech growth did benefit the American worker, however, circumstances change, and not all advancements are of a benefit to the worker any longer.
     
  4. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    are they supposed to ?

    the american worker stopped theying to improve himself but expected comoensation to remain in.high tech levels. this cannot happen.

    as a.product goes from high tech to commodity the price.goes down. same applues to people as well as.gadgets.

    may not be pretty but thats the way it is.
     
  5. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    here is one key area I blame...Amazon.com....Just think how much is lost in local retail jobs ...and on high end products they use those workers to get info, then buy online from a company that does not have to pay workers to educate people on products...because they use the other stores. ( note not talking about just amazon, just the biggest one)
     
  6. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    of course this phenomonon began generations ago with dept stores supermarkets and such.

    people like lower prices, conveniece and choice. and so ratings.mechinisms came to be (consumer reports etc).

    just another natural progression.
     
  7. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Prices didn't go down, did they?

    As to dogtowner, at what point do you suppose technology will become so advance that man will no longer be necessary as a laborer to provide for his needs? It was not that long ago when a chess playing machine beat a human. Google is not introducing driverless cars. Trees are not cut down, delimbed, cut to length, and loaded with no human hands touching them. Farmers can plow 23 rows at a time.

    So, what are people to do? Oh yes, when we have some 12 million unemployed, and that is not the real number, why does it make sense to legalize another 11 million workers, and over 1 million a year through legal immigration?
     
  8. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    does not mean its good. If your wages go down with inflation, and prices go down, but not as much...it may as well be going up still. and if they drop 10% and you lost your job...you don't really care about that 10%
     
  9. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Technology has increased American oil production by 20% in the past 4 years. Where are gas prices at?
     
  10. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    if you did nothing to increase your value then inflation deflation whatever were going to have that effect. no such thing as treading water its either moving forward or back.

    this was the flaw in the union model. they assumed that there would be no improvement in a worker but instead of compensation going down they wanted it to go up. even took to violence to force it. now they're griping that robots take their places and STILL dont take the opportunity to be who maintain/programs those robots.
     
  11. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Actually, neither comment is true. In the first comment there are physical, and mental, limitations on most workers which need to be considered. Not everyone has the ability to advance, and in fact one could argue the majority do not.

    In the second comment, unions promoted the improvement in a workers abilities, or skills. Products made by unions had some of the highest quality requirements which have basically been eliminated by globalization, the elimination of jobs for the American worker, and the search for ever cheaper labor. As to violence, if you were to study the history of the violence during the union formation years, you might be surprised at the amount of violence used by companies, as an example, the coal wars.
     
  12. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me see if I got this right, if you choose to not improve yourself whether by choice or some perceived limitation, there is some obligation to overstate your worth ?

    After the government enacted into law the workplace improvements the EARLY union movement worked for, their was no purpose for unions apart from extortion.

    You can ignore the real cause of diminishing worth but it does not alter the facts. Once power tools abated the need to screw that screw quickly, such skills were meaningless. And on and on.
     
  13. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    No one, or not the majority anyway, chose the limitations they were born with. If everyone was an Einstein you might have a point.

    Second point, Adam Smith would disagree with you. If not for the surveillance of the unions, and this is not to deny their corruption, then wages would be the same here as in China. In fact, China is a great example of how American employers would act if not for unions. And as unions disappear here in the States, beginning with the Reagan years, wages have been stagnant, or in decline, while CEO salaries, and those in the upper management brackets, have greatly increased.

    Third, I do not ignore the laws of diminishing worth, or of returns. However, that is not the case here. In todays society it is simply greed that has created the current situation, and robotics will cause even more in the future. The question is going to be how are we to prepare for a world where technocrats rule?
     
  14. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    There was a blind dancer on tv the other day and a damn fine one she was. She had dance within her and found a way to get it out. There were legless runners in the recent Olympics, and countl4ess tales of people overcoming lack of education or any other resource to success.

    Perhaps there are limitations that cannot be overcome but they do not serve to allow forced overcompensation. Its also perfectly within someones rights to choose to stand pat on their worth but they need not expect overcompensation as well.

    Todays fixation over this sense of greed is so interesting. Its as if it is somehow new and somehow not the same driver on either end of the compensation spectrum. Poor want more money only they expect it to be given to them, but its still greed. Moreover its been the driving force of mankind since Og wanted Nid's rock.

    Some political ideologies take advantage of this fact by appealing to the bottom as a means to redirect the wealth of nations from one group to another. Envy is little different from greed.
     
  15. OldTrapper

    OldTrapper Well-Known Member

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    Just as a question, do you understand how Plutocracies come into existence, or Oligarchies?

    Have you ever seen a country run by poor people?
     
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