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Manufacturing jobs are not done disappearing. Soon enough, your iPhone will be made entirely by robots, and even the truck shipping it will be driven by robots.

via +Martin Ford
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Antony Rbe Bermuda's profile photoBob Haugen's profile photoRichard Weintraub's profile photoLucas Wiman's profile photo
28 comments
 
Given the iPhone is now made in China under atrocious (by US standards) working requirements, not sure this would be a bad thing.
 
The end game of all industries (including care) is near-full automation. I also think that socio-economic principles will have to adapt to balance the fruits of these efficiencies landing in the hands of a few.

In the modern era, jobs are things that computers or robots can't do yet, which is slowly but surely getting smaller by the day.
 
Our present direction and the obvious advances in technology are clearly incompatible with our current socio-economic system, we cannot and should not restrict technology, we simply have to change our system...

Jobs will be lost every single day to automation, and no one can compete, we need a RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY...

Zeitgeist Addendum
 
+Vitor Fernando Pamplona how do you intend to pay for your nanofactory? Do you really think those millions who are put out of work year in year out will starve to death in silence? You and I will probably be the ones out of work when that technology is available... Capitalism does not care in the slightest for human needs, and without purchasing power, we are all pretty screwed... Watch the video above, it's enlightening...
 
Capitalism pretty much depends upon our purchasing power. Why would a capitalist want poor, unemployed customers? Half of the reason factories are not self-running now is that the producers need the consumers.
 
Do you consider non-US human beings to be less human than US human beings? Just because jobs move doesn't mean the jobs don't exist. To me, the purchasing power of an Asian or African human being is just as important as your purchasing power.
 
I hope Canon's "L-glass" will get cheaper in the process.
 
"But Canon believes full automation will help keep manufacturing in Japan. It denies the move might cause job cuts." <snark>Because someone has to engineer and make those robots!</snark>
 
+Bill DeWitt do you think that companies with shareholders will pause for a second if they have the opportunity to save money by automating? You've got to be joking right? If that's the case, why are Canon doing this move now then? With the work situation the way it is? Why are all companies outsourcing or automating as fast as they can if that's the case?

If you think that capitalism, or corporations give the slightest toss about you or me, you're hopelessly naive... They would sell us out in a second to save having to pay us our salaries... My argument is exemplified across the world, you're argument (without wishing to be dismissive) is simply wishful thinking, and unsupported...
 
Someone +Branimir Vasilić, not a workforce...

The automotive industry used to employ an average of 2000 workers at their plants, now the same work is done by 100, there are more people than ever to feed...
 
Perhaps, then, +Antony Rbe Bermuda, you can explain to me how an auto manufacturer intends to sell a car to someone with no money. Thank you.
 
They either go out of business, or change their products....

They could also specialize in riot vans... They'll sell well...
 
Bill, you really need to think outside of the box... This is a giant issue which is going to affect everyone's lives, save a few already wealthy business owners...
 
A resource based economy is already designed for a world where automation is the norm, where due to the state of technology we can automate key essentials to human survival, supplying what people need without a price tag... Food, shelter, medical care, etc... It liberates us as individuals to pursue our own ideas, dreams and technology... It's not a joke, it's an impressive and entirely human and planet orientated idea... Please, watch the movie... Thanks = )
 
Avoiding the question is important to your argument. Why would a true capitalist destroy the purchasing power of the consumer they require to sell their product to? Your answer is actually above, "They go out of business". The part about changing their product is "naive" because they if they cannot sell their original product because the consumer has no money, they cannot sell any putative new product either.
 
What the hell is a true capitalist?

It sounds a hell of a lot like the no true Scotsman argument...
 
How did I not answer the question? I answered it perfectly...

To expand (since it's apparently required)

They'd just sell luxury cars to the wealthy and have virtually nothing to offer the general public, maybe Tata would offer something to the government for government funding...

It's not naive... I honestly don't think you're up to the debate...

Explain to me what is a TRUE capitalist? lol
 
Since you still haven't answered the original question, I will just move on. Thanks.
 
"Capitalism pretty much depends upon our purchasing power. Why would a capitalist want poor, unemployed customers? Half of the reason factories are not self-running now is that the producers need the consumers."???

I've answered that...

They would be forced automate or outsource through competition... Without that approach they would go out of business... Not even the drug companies work on a moral basis... They only design drugs for the people that can afford them...

Where's your evidence about "Half of the reason factories are not self-running now is that the producers need the consumers."?
 
+Bill DeWitt I don't think car manufacturers are in the business of keeping customers wealthy. There is a myth that Ford purposefully inflated wages, but he did not: he had to increase wages to recruit and retain his workers because many did not like the assembly line. It is entirely possible for companies to make products that their customers cannot afford. It happens all the time. What happens when the customers get too poor? Companies go out of business. This happens all the time in a recession. Just imagine what happens when companies don't need employees anymore... one company can choose to keep its employees to redistribute the wealth, but if the competitor does differently, then the generous company goes out of business... businesses really have little choice: they have to keep cutting costs even if it means firing all the employees. Vast "restructurations" happen all the time. General Motors fired... what?... half its staff in the last 10 years?
 
+Bill DeWitt I'm sorry Bill, please excuse my emotional responses, it's something I feel very strongly about... Please don't take some heated words between us as a blocking point to take a look at where I'm coming from regarding the subject of a resource based economy.
Zeitgeist Addendum
Thanks, and best regards...
 
You know, it took me about 15 minutes to track this post down again +Daniel Lemire? I tried key words, notifications, searching for people lol, it and my input had totally disappeared... does anyone else suffer with this or similar issues?
 
This has been an interesting discussion. I agree with +Antony Rbe Bermuda that the current economic system cannot handle the changes that are coming, but do not agree that anybody's current good idea about how things should work will be the solution to the problem. Unfortunately, the situation will evolve in baby steps from here to wherever. "Wherever" could be a very bad end. So what are the current baby steps that might lead to a better solution?
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