Thursday, March 11, 2004

Off-shoring, Jobs and Robots

Title: Off-shoring, Jobs and Robots
Source: Robotic Nation Evidence
Date: March 11, 2004

From the article:
    Off-shoring is not new. It has been happening to factory workers for several decades. However, politicians, white-collar workers and writers like David Kirkpatrick were unaffected. They could smugly say to factory workers, "You may not like it, but this is good for the economy."

    It might be good for "the economy", but I have never met the economy, nor its spouse and children. "The economy" does not care about the lives and families of human beings. So millions of factory workers lost decent jobs in factories and ended up in trash jobs at McDonald's and Wal-Mart. Yes, many people got rich and were able to concentrate massive amounts of wealth. The economy did grow. But millions of people are doing worse now, not better. [And, if you think about it, there is no need for that to have happened -- Wal-Mart could pay workers twice what it is paying them now with no downside.] That same unfortunate process is now happening to white-collar workers, and it is terrifying to anyone with a family and a house payment.
If you look far enough down the road (30 years perhaps, maybe 40), it is possible that there will be only two classes of people in America: the unbelievably wealthy and the unemployed. Right now -- in America today -- the richest 10% of capital owners already own 71% of America. If current trends continue, it will not be long before they own all of it. There will be the capital owners, and everyone else. The reason for that is simple -- every new job that you can think of either: A) can be done by a robot or software in the near future, or B) can be done in India for a tenth of the cost of doing it here.


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