|Society Needs Good Jobs |
Robots are rapidly replacing humans in performing repetitive and dangerous tasks that people prefer not to do or are unable to do due to size limitations. This includes working in places such as in outer space or at the bottom of the sea where humans cannot survive the extreme environments. Industrial robots are also used extensively for placing products on pallets and packaging of manufactured goods, for example for rapidly taking drink cartons from the end of a conveyor belt and putting them into boxes, or for loading and unloading machines.
|Factories Are Now Full Of Robot Workers|
The changes made in how we tax American companies has been a gift to the rich and added to inequality, however, these changes and the pandemic also have paved the way for companies to build new facilities here in America rather than abroad. This was not the chief goal of the legislation but we should celebrate this small victory. In truth, the structural issues that haunt America's competitiveness far outweigh the benefits of lower taxes. The ugly reality is American companies have little reason to bring jobs home, the logic that lowering corporate income tax will create a massive flow of jobs to our shore is flawed. The tax bill did little to level the playing field when it comes to issues such as healthcare costs and over-regulation. This means these factors continue to act as barriers to doing business in America.
|Capital Buys Machines To Reduce Labor|
Robert Lawrence of Harvard and Lawrence Edwards of the University of Cape Town argued in "Rising Tide", that factories have gotten spectacularly more efficient. They produce more goods with fewer people, their "productivity" is rising. Manufacturing employment is shrinking not mainly because jobs are moving "offshore", but because fewer workers are needed. In most advanced countries, even those with strong export sectors, manufacturing's share of jobs has plummeted. This is apparent in Canada where from 1973 to 2010, manufacturing's proportion of employment fell from 22 percent to 10 percent.
As software and robots improve they will be able to expand the number of functions that they can perform. This suggests that sooner rather than later, the only people working in factories in rich countries will be those who had the time and money to get college degrees. In the past, much of America's middle class consisted of people who started out working in factories with only a high school degree. This path forward is being eliminated with the increased use of robots. How easily human workers can be replaced by robots is a major reason concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society is growing.
What has happened in the manufacturing is part of a larger paradox at the heart of America's economy, while we are creating wealth faster than ever before in history, at the same time, millions of people are being left behind. The median worker in the US is poorer now than in the mid-1990s. Not everyone is suffering, skilled workers, for example, are earning more than ever. So are the very rich, those who own the capital that can be put to work in the world's increasingly person-free farms, mines, and factories. But those who used to make middle-class wages are increasingly slipping into lower-paying, service-sector jobs.
|Automation Is Replacing Off-shoring!|
The possibility of robot autonomy and potential repercussions has been addressed in fiction and is likely to become a growing issue. Even as you read this, huge companies such as Amazon are focused on moving to create robots with the goal of reducing its human workforce. Self-driving cars and delivery trucks as well as drones all have the potential to eliminate work that in the past only people could do. One thing is certain, robots are taking our jobs and learning new tricks far faster than us humans. Automation and improvements in robots is a job killer. When you consider how fast the cost of replacing often unreliable human workers is dropping one must take a dim view of the employment picture going forward.