Ever since the 1970’s with the advances in automation we have seen the decline in manufacturing jobs. Between 1990 and 2007, machines killed off up to 670,000 US manufacturing jobs alone. These jobs will never return because it’s cheaper to have many machines and one operator maintain them.
In my last post on this subject I was pondering how different countries are dealing with the advent of AI taking over many of the manual jobs done by people today and how this will change the idea of work when it relates to a persons identity.
Governments will be playing a big roll in the transition to an economy with 46% of the population not actually having a job. Because this is something that companies will not do, it’s not their roll. And to be brutally honest the United States Government with many crying socialism at the hint of the government actually helping a citizen has a shit reputation in this regard. With the advent of the driver-less vehicle, cars and trucks no longer needing a person will add millions of people to the lines of the jobless. Manufacturing jobs while in some markets (next generation energy production), may expand in the United States for the most part they are not coming back.
In the US there seems to be a cry to go back to the 1950’s when there was lots of manufacturing jobs and people were paid a wage that led to a decent life. I agree it was probably great and why not want that again. Those jobs are not coming back, if someone tells you they are they are bullshitting you. Whether we like it or not it’s a global economy now. And however altruistic you might like Apple to be they cannot and won’t be bringing production to the US, all the parts are made in Asia and they have many more qualified engineers than in the US.
Alas the United States is its own worst enemy, China has universal health care, that’s 1.6 billion people, while it is always a work in progress for health care they still manage it and it’s cheaper per person than in the US. That’s a big saving for any company, and with a state educational system they are bouncing out many more engineers and scientists than the United States. The US could and should be competing but it’s not. This is because in the US it’s not about workers or education or healthcare. It’s about the people in government making a dime and convincing the people that their problem is because of other people in the US, people of color, migrants, homeless, mentally ill, when in fact in the end it is always been about money.
I really don’t mean to bitch about this but it breaks my heart to see waste, and while some in the US are crying take America back. it’s not going to happen and any politician that promotes this crap is doing them a injustice. We must look to the future and find the kinds of jobs that will be open for people. And for those that won’t be able to work because the job just isn’t there. It will be OK because the government had made plans to give you some dignity & options to try because you don’t have to worry about where you are eating next.
The issue of the race against the Robots is not just a issue for the United States, it’s a global issue which every nation is going to have to grapple with. Some will do better than others because the population is better educated and can adjust to different types of jobs that will be needed in the future. Other nations will be hit harder because they had their head in the sand, for either politics or personal gain. We shall see!