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Guest Post: The Death Of Jobs

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Nicholas Bucheleres of NJBDeflator blog,

A few weeks ago PIMCO's founder and co-CIO Bill Gross penned a piece on "the death of the cult of equities."  It doesn't take a financial wizard to figure out the validity of his statement--I wrote a paper earlier this summer on the Fed's long-term malevolent effects on markets--but it is nice to hear someone with clout actually come out and speak the truth.  The Old Wall St. likes information from the "experts" for some reason.  How else does Jim Cramer have a job?

The S&P over 20 years: Empirical evidence that Old Wall St.'s "buy and hold" strategy died in 1999.

The sit-back-and-relax "buy and hold" strategy that unqualified portfolio managers banked on for so many years has indeed perished in this highly leveraged, central banking dominated environment.  There is also an interesting coincidence between the departure from the old-school investing strategy, and the corporate consumer-engineering that began in 1999,  as highlighted in my last article.

There is something, though, that is more troubling for the US economy, and specifically middle-class laborers: Robotics. 

As old names re-tool plants (Kroger) and new manufacturers conceive fresh production processes (Tesla), the marked characteristic of today's US manufacturing paradigm is the preference for robotic labor over manual labor.  The benefits are obvious: 24/7 production, lower costs of "labor," and more precise assembly.  Robots can produce faster, better, and cleaner than humans can, and US employment data is indicative of this trend.

Civilian employment-population ratio, % (blue, left), and the number of US citizens employed in manufacturing, in thousands (red, right), both since 1975.


The trends in the above graph are obvious: the United States has been shedding manufacturing jobs since 1979, and in 1999 this began to have a strong effect on the employment-population ratio.  This is the same year (1999) as the death of the "buy and hold" strategy noted above, and the same year that the "new consumer" of the United States of Pill Poppers began to be engineered by a handful of short-sighted consumer corporations--this is no coincidence.

For these reasons, it is only logical for politicians, economists, and United States citizens to adapt their expectations for lower unemployment and realize that the new employment system is much smaller.  As we will see over the coming years, robots will not only usurp the jobs of indignant manufacturers, but jobs of really any automated, repetitive process. 

"In the face of rising labor costs, Chinese restaurateur Cui Runguan is selling thousands of robots that can hand slice noodles into a pot of boiling water called the Chef Cui. Runguan says [...] that just like robots replacing workers in factories, 'it is certainly going to happen in sliced noodle restaurants.' The robots costs $2,000 each, as compared to a chef, who would cost $4,700 a year. According to one chef, 'The robot chef can slice noodles better than human chefs.'"

This is the type of phenomenon that becomes clear down the road, but it is an important lens through which forecasts about the labor markets should be made.  The reality is that this atypical Great Recession has forced business owners to become savvy: businesses have learned how to operate--and even thrive--in this dry economic environment, and the main tool that has allowed them to do so is cost-cutting.  Unfortunately for the labor market, these cost-reduction techniques  are sticking, and for the time being business owners (particularly manufacturers) see no reason to add more human employees when they can purchase robots at a cheaper rate.

Granted, many of the jobs lost over the past decades have been due to out-sourcing, but as US-based companies such as Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG), Mako Surgical ($MAKO), AeroVironment ($AVAV), iRobot ($IRBT), Adept Technology ($ADEP),  and the likes make strides in surgery, defense, manufacturing, and everything in between, jobs that were once outsourced overseas will come back to the US and be completed robotically.  This is all the same for the dislocated US employee, because the job will not be returning to him/her, but we will see more "Made in America" stickers on products that we consume.  Do not be fooled, though; very few Americans were actually involved in the production of said good.


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Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:36 | 2726138 hannah
hannah's picture

no company will make money to pay for robots when there isnt any employed workers to buy products.....when you outsourced the jobs, you outsourced the economy.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:40 | 2726149 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Definitely have a point, not only do you lose the job but you lose all that "income" that normally would be spent.

Thats why Jobs should be the number one problem we are addressing now. Without them, the economy stays in stall mode.


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:50 | 2726174 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Income for income's sake is Keynesian thinking. The economy is not improved by purposely doing things less efficiently than they could be done.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:57 | 2726189 r00t61
r00t61's picture


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:02 | 2726200 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

I stopped reading at "jim cramer".  I gagged a little at the mention of his name.  Why defile us all and the mention of the fucker?   Might as well deficate on my face, or...say....'boooya' and stick your finger down my throat. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:20 | 2726233 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I stopped reading your post at " Jim Cr...." ;->

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:01 | 2726298 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

".....when you outsourced the jobs, you outsourced the economy."

They don't think that far out, only as far out as their next bonus check.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 04:54 | 2726484 i-dog
i-dog's picture

What the author is saying is that the concept of the Western economy within the world economy needs to be re-thought.

As I have been saying here, over and over, labour-intensive manufacturing is never going to return to the US ... just as it never returned to the UK after it left for the US (due to mass production) ... just as it never returned to Europe after it left for the UK (due to the industrial revolution) ... just as it never returned to the cottage after it left for the factories (due to the rise of the city state).

So ... what I'm saying is that 300 million Americans (and 300 million Europeans) are going to have to find another way to make themselves useful to the other 6,000 million on the planet who haven't progressed through all of those stages yet.

At some point in the future, all manufacturing and most services will be automated. So, do we discuss how to deal with it - or just bury our heads in the sand [again]?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 05:31 | 2726505 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

But first let the stockholders replace CEOs and top management with HFT algos and save a bunch of moola, bonuses and stock options. Hell any robot can Corzine funds away better than the real deal.

How about robots to replace POTUS, Senate and House politicians? Damn I'd bet they could run up deficits even better than carbon based twats we have now.

Yeah.. that's the ticket.. time to replace all upper management with Bots and when they go rogue we can just pull the plug.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:06 | 2726524 Carmagnole
Carmagnole's picture

You'd have to have a plug-pulling bot on watch, to pull the plug on the next tick of the nanosecond roguery, or the world is gonna flash-crash the next time you blink

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:09 | 2726528 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Let's not get carried away, these people earned their elevated place in our society. /sarcasm

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:17 | 2726581 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



these people earned their elevated place in our society.


I'm a blacksmith in Detroit......I earned my job 52 years ago. Why should I have to do anything now?


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 13:02 | 2727841 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

It's a huge benefit having software and robotics to do everything for people. The only issue is such a society would be in direct opposition to capitalism as there would be very few human jobs. 

But that doesn't matter - end of human labour is inevitable. 

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:19 | 2726689 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

For a darker view of relying on a computer/robot to run everything, revisit the novel (and movie) "Collosus, The Forbin Project". That computer basically took over everything and refused to let anyone 'pull the plug'.

Replacing politicians with robots may sound good, but unless they're individualized (as in Futurama, Hitchhiker's Guide, or I Robot the movie) we might as well stay with the mind-numbing sameness of living politicians. Do Democrats ever stray from the "Republicans want to kill grandma" theme? Do Republicans ever stray from the "Democrats are soft on defense" theme? Before trying robots, let's try having the elective offices vacant for a term or two and send the bureaucrats home on unpaid leave.

More generally, I have never seen a serious study about a situation (an extreme one, granted) where 1% of the population could produce everything needed by the other 99%. What would the 99% do to occupy their time? Read ZH? This actually happened in agriculture in the US, but when it did the factories were expanding and using humans for production. With automated factories becoming more dominant, where do the displaced workers go? What do they do for income? Everyone can't be a plumber or hedge fund manager, after all.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:18 | 2726868 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 ...Replacing politicians with robots may sound good, but unless they're individualized (as in Futurama, Hitchhiker's Guide, or I Robot the movie) we might as well stay with the mind-numbing sameness of living politicians.

Wouldn't replacing our current crop of politicians with robots would just be replacing carbon-based robots with metal ones?

As for what will occupy/employ the vast majority of the population if manufacturing goes the way of farming, it's a good question. Have a look around you - is everything in your property and neighbourhood the way you want it? Do you have all the spare time and art in your life that you would like? Time enough to spend with your kids and grandkids?

I suppose it depends how cheap things are, in real terms, if manufacturing becomes fully automated (yes, I know it will never be fully automated, we'll still need designers and maintainers, just as we still need farmers despite farming's automation). If you could buy everything you need while only working a few hours a week, would this be so tragic?

I would posit we're pretty much there already... although central planning has introduced so many distortions in wealth creation and wealth 'distribution' it's practically impossible to know.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:23 | 2726236 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Wait till unions get a drift that robots don't pay dues.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:36 | 2726261 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

LOL, + 1!

Actually robots have worked out VERY WELL for us.

We (our import company in Peru) buy automotive bearings from Korea, where the plants that I visited were super-advanced (at least for bearing plants), one guy or gal per 20 - 25 machines.  So, they can really crank out serious quantities of product.  At a good price.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:05 | 2726300 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

What makes you, or anyone, think that unions haven't worked this out with the Corporate hand that feeds them, much like political leaders have done with the unions? Too funny. If you actually think the union gives a flying ____ , join one and find out for yourself!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 02:48 | 2726403 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture



Any union that would take me I don't want to be a part of.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:24 | 2726708 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

When you talk about whether of not 'the union gives a flying' whatever, are you talking the leadership or the dues-paying members? I've read and heard that there is often a big gulf between the two, but have no direct knowledge. Is that relationship - leaders vs. members - anything like the relationship between elected politicians and voters? You know the attitude, 'give them just enough so they don't throw us out'?


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:21 | 2726878 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Yup, unions are just polities writ small. In some countries, you even have enforced union membership before you can work in some places, so you're getting a double whammy of government.

Yum! When one set of coercive parasites just ain't enough!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 02:29 | 2726413 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
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If you look at films from the 1940s about the future, they always show everybody lounging around not working since robots do the work. That's how it should be, but that can only happen if deflation is allowed to occur. The moneylenders want to lend more and more though, and the only way to do that is to inflate away previous debts.

Set the price of money free and we can have a better standard of living

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:02 | 2727035 Grifter
Grifter's picture

I read this a few years back, came back to me as a result of reading a Charles Hugh Smith article on here and it took me forever to find it again as I couldn't remember specific details of the story (proper names) to do a proper search.  Anyway, your comment reminded me of it again:


Manna -

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:56 | 2726564 Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"Wait till unions get a drift that robots don't pay dues."

And no retirement plans to steal from!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:11 | 2726356 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope and Change with the islamic from Indonesia.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 05:17 | 2726496 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

FrFreddie is to "the islamic" as AnAnonymous is to "US citizenism".

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:24 | 2726887 BigJim
BigJim's picture

LOL +++++

Freddie's 'Muslims', AnAnonymous's 'US Citizens', LetThemEatRand's 'Randians'... so many trolls, so little time!

ZH really is the greatest show on earth.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:20 | 2726534 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

At least plastic man Romney is smart enough to offer neither hope or change.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:48 | 2726279 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Without income from employment people end up as a drain on society - directly through 'the dole' or some form of government aid or indirectly through crime or other activitiues injurious to society.  

Any society (define that as a nation or the world or any other measure) can be defined as 'prosperous' by any number of measures but on a fundamental basis, a society's prosperity is directly linked to the employment of its populace.  Jobs - providing 'purpose' as well as an income that allows living at some measure beyond fundamental needs - are directly responsible for the level of prosperity in a society.  And income disparity is directly linked to severe problems in ANY society so a very few who have 'good' jobs (or at least have large incomes) is historically indicative of a society with serious problems.   ANy society with a large number of unemployed - or marginally employed - STILL has to provide basics for theose people or face insurrection.  Rome and other ancient societies provided bread for the poor - look at what happened to France when teh poor wer left to starve.  

SO, you can either have a society where employment is available for its members - 'good' jobs providing a decent standard of living and means to buy goods made by others -  OR you have a society witha a few 'haves' trying to keep the far larger number of 'have-nots' from rebelling by providing them with the bare minimums of existence (an expensive form of bribery and basic support).

It is not amatter of doing things less efficiently - but a matter of the endless purssuit of the cheapest possible labor to increase profits (while not sharing those profits with those who DO labor to produce the productd being made).  I is NOT  a level playing field - the world is NOT 'flat' but full of peaks and valleys..... We have seen blue collar jobs shipped overseas where hourly rates are low and working conditions akin (or worse) to those at the beginning of the industrial revolution.   Lack of worker safety, pololution controls, benefoits and any number of other issues make for a wide variation between various nations - though the total cost to the planet as a whole remains.

You can reduce human labor to a minimum - throughout the world.  But then what do you do with all the unemployed?  do you somehow 'support' their basic existence, kill them?  They are still there - employed or not.   Better to have them productively employed.  By the same point - it is absurd to pay people NOT to work for 2 years when you could have reinstituted a WPA or CCC where those funds would  have been EARNED and prodiced somethign of value to society at the same time.  


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:24 | 2726315 Element
Element's picture

Look on the bright side, robots make guns, so humans are freed up to become cannon-fodder.

Robots make bombs, humans get bombed by robotic drones, human pilots of drones are replaced with autopilots - much more efficient.

It closes the virtuous economic circle, and eliminates many social and political issues in one exquisite movement.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:30 | 2726723 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

As for "look at what happened to France when the poor were left to starve": at least Marie Antoinette was willing to let the peasants eat cake, or so the cliche goes. Compare that to what Michelle wants everyone to eat while she and Barry get Kobe beef.

Maybe every citizen should receive, at birth, a robot. The robot can be hired out to any company needing work done. The rent for the robot goes to the citizen. Now if only I could come up with a mechanism to fund the creation and distribution of the robots to begin the cycle.

Sun, 08/26/2012 - 21:07 | 2739775 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

get over the false right/left, Red/Blue dichotomy.  You think Mitt cares any more about you?    He'll give the Pentagon trillions MORE (for what exactly?) while cutting taxes for the uber-wealthy.  BOTH parties serve the rich and powerful - YOU are cannon fodder if you complain - and ultimately, Soylent Green.  In the mean time you exist to fund the state.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:19 | 2726450 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The economy is not improved by purposely doing things less efficiently than they could be done.

In 'American' economics, nothing is more efficient than the successful externalization of negative consequences' costs.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 05:21 | 2726501 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

In Chinese citizenism excrenomics, nothing is more efficient than the successful externalization of digested dog meat onto the roadside.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 04:58 | 2726490 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Be sure and use self-checkout with no discount so you can pay for the fancy computer hardware, and your kid or grand-kid won't have a job functioning in society but can draw unemployment or become a shadow banker raping retirees on Wall Street or in Washington.

I hate the Keynesian's and their ilk but you can't argue that our country could make a tank or jet or dishwasher without begging China or some third world country for materials and labor, much less a can opener or door knob.

What happens when there are no more career jobs or productive employment?  Why, they rob the assets, any assets, of anyone who has any left (except of course people like JON FUCKING CORZINE).

We're screwed, completely screwed.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:07 | 2726525 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

"Income for income's sake is Keynesian thinking. The economy is not improved by purposely doing things less efficiently than they could be done."


Then the economy was very efficient at killing itself.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:33 | 2726550 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

When the government provides income they keep citizens in the game, instead of going DIY.  There are political and psychological considerations.  It's not all about economics

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:18 | 2726869 cherokeepilot
cherokeepilot's picture

Please explain where the "government" gets the income to provide to the citizens when very few citizens are employed and paying taxes.  My problem with your statement is the word "government".  Government rarely does anything correctly.  Having been in a high level postion in goverment and seeing the waste and inefficiency existing there (Command level, Chicago Fire Department), I was amazed that anything the government touched worked at all. 

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 16:37 | 2728652 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The robot owners will send the government the money to disburse.  The government will advise the robot owners on the best means of dispersal to ensure order and maximum participation.

Will the government make mistakes?  Sure.  Suck it up!!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:42 | 2726459 fredquimby
fredquimby's picture

Thats why Jobs should be the number one problem we are addressing now. Without them, the economy stays in stall mode.

I have said it before and I will say it again.

Jobs are just sooooo passé!

Until technology is embraced and we TRY to mechanise everything we possibly can, the "unemployment" problems will continue. We have outsmarted most jobs with technology and just wishing for more "jobs" is not going to change this situation.

If technology does not liberate all people for the pursuit of higher aspirations in human achievement, then all its technical potential will be meaningless.

Jacque Fresco


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:44 | 2726160 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Unfortunately, there is always going to be a business next door that will use the noodle slicing robot, forcing the other guy to get one, even if both of the businesses can foresee that one day there will be no one left to buy the sliced noodles, meaning there will be no one left to buy the noodle slicing robots, and so on.    The usual way of dealing with the inevitable downward spiral by the oligarchs involves large scale war.  Someone here on ZH made a good point the other day, however, that full scale war may no longer be an option given weapons of mass destruction all over the planet (do you think any major power would not use them if tanks started rolling over their borders)?  Perhaps that's where the FEMA camps come in to play.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:58 | 2726193 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's right it will be the one world government against all of us. They are coordinating their monetary responses right now. Why would they stop there? The only countries that will be invaded are those that don't play along and those that can't defend themselves.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:18 | 2726449 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Unfortunately, there is always going to be a business next door that will use the noodle slicing robot, forcing the other guy to get one, even if both of the businesses can foresee that one day there will be no one left to buy the sliced noodles


Competition reduces choice.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:38 | 2726742 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Competition reduces choice? I'm pretty sure that there was little competition in the Soviet Union when it came to household appliances, cars, food, clothing, etc. I don't recall hearing that their consumers were bedazzled by the vast array of cars to choose from, or the mulitplicity of refrigerators, or...well, you get it. Perhaps - and this is just a guess - the only product that may have afforded those consumers a variety of choices was vodka. They did seem to consume a lot of it.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:23 | 2726883 DOT
DOT's picture

"Competition reduces choice."

Boy !  That's a WOPPER !

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:00 | 2726194 DormRoom
DormRoom's picture

America hasn't needed robots.  She has millions of unpaid interns at her disposal, and to exploit.



Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:07 | 2726661 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

We did bring in some interns from a local community college.  Some were slackers and we let them go.  Others were really working hard and smart.  I don't think any of them are making less than $50,000.00  Have a nice day.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:05 | 2726208 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

eugenics much?

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:34 | 2726258 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

The ultimate question is how does (or pehaps should) society as a whole benefit from this massive increase in productivity, instead of it all going to the .0001%?  Then again, there will be new industires popping up that we cannot yet imagine, so maybe that will take up the slack.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:17 | 2726309 Element
Element's picture



no company will make money to pay for robots when there isnt any employed workers to buy products.....when you outsourced the jobs, you outsourced the economy.


Nah, you just invent robots with a credit account and program them shop for shoes or whatever, and you know you can get them to work it all off again.  Win-Win!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:13 | 2726362 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Robots already do all the day trading in the stock market.   Maybe they can be trained to flip condos.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:25 | 2726372 johnconnor
johnconnor's picture

Just wait until the machines raise against their former masters...

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:23 | 2726536 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Will you lead us to victory over the machines?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:28 | 2726543 petolo
petolo's picture

Can,t these walking automotons build some robots that go to Chinese restaurants and consume huge quantities of Chow Mein?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:12 | 2726573 tranzvient
tranzvient's picture

seems like socialism is inevitable

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:18 | 2726584 tabasco71
tabasco71's picture

Thanks for this post.  The current credit crisis and economic downturn is distracting people from seeing the other big impact on their future coming from automation and the creeping redundancy of the human in the workforce.

Despite not working perfectly the first time around, by 2008 the theories were actually making processes more efficient, and as such removing humans from the cycle.

Add into this the loss of jobs to China.

Add into the this the increases in automation (pls read Wired for War by Singer)

Add into this ongoing R&D for cyborgs (not terminators - instead returning the quality of life for injured/handicapped individuals).

Pretty much the only thing left which a robot will 'never' be able to replicate is art as it reflects independent thought at a unique moment in time.  However, given the evolutionary pace which computers exhibit, its possible that this will occur before you think it can.

Please google "singularity"

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:39 | 2726606 Debugas
Debugas's picture

if we all become companies owners we can keep buying goods from each other (all produced by robots)


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:53 | 2726620 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

Sounds good, but wrong.  My company has made major investments in robotics.  The payback has been over the top.  Aprox. 70% of our business revenue is from offshore.  We keep the profits offshore so are tax burden is lighter.  I have said this many times on this blog, but it just does not get thru.  I am not Santa Claus.  I don't owe anybody a job.  Our marching orders at my private company is to make a superior product and deliver on time.  My partners want to become wealthy and so do I!  In fact, I am approaching 1% status.  We are very competitive when we hire someone with the skills we need.  We just hired someone from Argentina that has a work permit.  He is a robotic tech.  We started him at $83,000 a year.  Not bad for a twentysomething just out of school!   Why did we not hire an American?  Because we could not find a qualified individual.  There are a lot of idiots on this blog that have absolutely no concept of what business is all about.  Have a nice day!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:32 | 2726911 lightning
lightning's picture

Your post brings up a good point about robots replacing humans and that is that someone is going to have to fix said robots when they break down.  This is the conversation that teachers had back in the 80s.  I had a couple that told me there wouldn't be any jobs when I graduated because computers were going to take over.  Well, it is now the 21st century and although computers are everywhere and robots are widely used, even your company needs the boy from Argentina to fix them.  Right now, the problem with jobs is not that you use robots, it is that the government and the banks are stealing capital which had in turn killed jobs.  Forgive me if I continue to focus more on the job killing bankers and politicians than the overly exaggerated threat from computers and robots.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:38 | 2726934 Postal
Postal's picture

Why did we not hire an American?  Because we could not find a qualified individual.

And since when is it my responsibility to ensure that you can find a "qualified individual"? If you "can't find" somewone with the skills you need, then it is your responsibility to train and develop your workforce. "We can't find anybody!" is a flat-out LIE. I've heard it for 20 years.

Why do Americans not go into these fields? Becasue employers like you hire forigners anyway. I have two STEM degrees, and I'm trying to get out of STEM--because there are no jobs! If the jobs were there--I mean really, seriously there--employers would have absolutly no trouble finding "qualified" people.

Stop expecting society to provide you with brand new, no investment required, plug-and-play employees every two years.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:24 | 2727438 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

I'm really sorry you are so frustrated with your career.  We have trained a number of people in our  business organization.  Only when our management team considered it a good investment in time and money.  We have been burned before.  Is it to much to expect someone to stay with us after we spend money training them?  One guy left us right after the training ended.  Really played us.  He went to the competition.  We bought the competition last year and did not take him back.  I do not expect society to supply me with trained employees.  We make investments in our people all the time even after were taken advantage of.  I'm a businessman, don't take your frustrations out on me.  I am not a politician and have no desire to run for public office.  I'm sorry it is hard out there pounding the pavement.  But hell, I did'nt do it!

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 09:08 | 2729877 Postal
Postal's picture

You personally may be a good guy--sound like it to me. But in general, your complaints are typical of the business community: It's "somebody else's" responsibility to ensure that there is a steady supply of skilled labor.

As far as employees bailing on you after they're trained, I doubt you have lost one wink of sleep from doing exactly the same thing to your competition. How about forming a training partnership with others in your industry so everyone can benefit?

Forget employees trying to train themselves. I know from several personal experiences and anecdotal discussions with others that the worst possible thing an employee can do is let an employer know about additional certifications, training, or education. It instant management finds out, they think, "You're just using this job to fund your training so you can leave us!" So, employees are screwed no matter what.

Workers who are currently unemployed are, by definition, "not qualified," and, being unemployed, can't fund your required training.

Only when our management team considered it a good investment in time and money. 

Fair enough; however, this tells me that you don't have a comprehensive skills development plan. What, exactly, is your training plan for your current workers? What do you offer to help them keep up-to-date with changing technologies? Are you going to work them 12 hours/day, six days/week, then toss them out when their skills are "out of date"? What critical skills are you going to need in five years, and what is your plan to develop your workforce to meet those needs so you're not scrambling at the last minute?

I do not expect society to supply me with trained employees.

Yes. You. Do. Or seem to. If you were not expecting society, or at least industry, at-large to produce skilled labor, then why didn't you have a development plan in place five years ago? Why did you wait until there was a "need," and then--and only then--start looking for an employee? This is exactly what I'm talking about: You fail to plan for your future skill needs, then complain when you can't find it. Why, exactly, do you expect to be able to just "find" skilled workers?

I'm a businessman, don't take your frustrations out on me.

Ugh! But your business decisions led to my frustration! That's my entire point! You hired someone from outside the country instead of investing in someone who was all ready here. You were the one complaining that you "couldn't find" a qualified American. My (frustrated) argument is that you haven't done enough to develop the skills you claim you need.

American business spends three times as much money on lawyers as engineers, then has the audacity to complain there's too many lawyers and not enough engineers! Despite the government's best efforts, we still have a basic market economy: You get what you pay for.

Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:31 | 2730426 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

Since your such a fucking genius, and I'm a louse, I'm gonna blow my brains out w/ my 45.  But first I'll give you all my money and company and you can run it.............

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:32 | 2726726 midtowng
midtowng's picture

It's a chronic problem for capitalism. If it makes economic sense to get rid of all your employees, then employers are going to do it. But if everyone is unemployed then there is no demand and capitalism collapses.

  It looks like our current economic system has outlived itself.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:38 | 2726141 ShortTheUS
ShortTheUS's picture

Just wait til these robots start unionizing or working for government... or worse: BOTH!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:01 | 2726638 SanOvaBeach
SanOvaBeach's picture

Have you considered the Comedy Store on the Strip in LA?  They start at a few bucks over minimum wage.  I think that is about $12 an hour.  If you have a bunch of tatoos, they well start you at $13.00

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:41 | 2726151 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

So every job is eventually outsourced to technology and nobody actually works.


I'm sure central banking works well in that system. Good luck, Fed.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:46 | 2726164 Shocker
Shocker's picture

Technology is great, and has done wonders for manufacturing. But can't just have technology run everything

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:41 | 2726152 km4
km4's picture

The trends in the above graph are obvious: the United States has been shedding manufacturing jobs since 1979, and in 1999 this began to have a strong effect on the employment-population ratio.

Yes but the big and steady drop off started in 2000 which preceded a huge and fast drop in Civilian employment-population ratio, %  in 2008 and there's something like 7 million jobs lost ( but not all manufacturing ) since 2000 most of which will NEVER come back.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:42 | 2726155 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

Didn't like this article much as it conjured memories of the horse-and-buggy sympathizers from similar editorials.

Not that I doubt robotics can/will/are replacing productive manufacturing workers worldwide, but the Austrian in me thinks this is a good thing because it frees up labor to pursue more productive endeavors. Ideally, anyway.

Given the f'd up state of today's world economy, however, no one really knows what the outcome will be. Therein lies the beauty.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:51 | 2726172 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

You're absolutely right...this article is pandering.

As long as humans have wants and needs, there will be NO shortage of jobs.  

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:55 | 2726179 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

What's the unemployment rate right now? I guess that 16% of Americans have no wants or needs.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:56 | 2726186 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Or have no idea how to identify those wants and needs and/or start their own business.  It's the culture...not robots.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:10 | 2726213 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

A lot of noodle slicers simply are not built to start their own businesses.   Even among the small percentage who have what it takes, many will find they have no means of raising capital (just try getting a new business loan these days if you don't have a history and you have no collateral).  A few exceptional ones will find a way, but that does not mean the others are just lazy scum who chose not to work.     It's easy to sit in the comfortable chair and say "get a job."  

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:17 | 2726224 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Refer to my post above - it's the culture.  Ask yourself, why aren't they prepared...why is there no capital?

The answer ain't "robots" caused it.

P.S.  I was once I've never ever "[sat] in a comfortable chair" and looked down on others.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:29 | 2726249 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I think the primary reason there is no capital is 40 years of ill-advised trickle down economics and crony capitalism and bubble + debt creation to replace real wealth for the middle-class, all of which reached a fever pitch that led to the financial crises of 2008.  Dynastic wealth was built by lending money to people who would not pay it back, and then added to when the banks were bailed out and backstopped by taxpayers.  Banks are now hoarding cash so they can pretend they have more assets than liabilities.  This is a global problem that is not limited to any single culture, in my view.  Most of the perpetrators are international.   

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:40 | 2726336 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

I was arguing "local", but yes, I'm sure it's a global, structural problem.

You and I spoke once before about this:  I said we should be teaching children Austrian said we should be teaching them the beliefs of the Founding Fathers.  

The problem will not be solved by our generation...that's why I invest accordingly.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:23 | 2726317 infinity8
infinity8's picture

I cry bullshit on you. Your argument that it's "the culture" is no different than someone saying that it's "the robots". LTER's statement that not everyone is equipped to be an entrepreneur (paraphrase) is true. Income is and has been eroded at an ever quickening pace. When the average guy ends up working for a (hooray!) livable wage that keeps a roof and utilities and food and gas paid for with NOTHING left over and the credit's gone, who needs widgets? Fuck I keep getting interrupted by someone who won't stop talking. . . *sigh* . . .well, at least I'll get laid tonight.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:36 | 2726330 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Fine, but my argument still holds given that those who ARE capable would be hiring those who had their jobs eliminated if the structural problem of an entitlement mentality were eliminated.  Erosion of income is a result of the structural problem, not its cause.

Congrats on the other thing!  :)


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:58 | 2726347 infinity8
infinity8's picture

I'll have to cogitate on your statement that erosion of income is a result of the structual problem of an entitlement mentality. . . you're right in that, if basic needs are going to be covered by the smorgasbord (sp?) of entitlement programs, it's a dis-incentive to go work some shitty j-o-b. Chicken, egg.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:13 | 2726360 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Yup, but not quite a chicken and egg problem.  It's a violation of Say's Law:  Production comes before consumption.  The only way to violate that is to take from those who are producing and give to those who are know, to make everything "fair".  But Say's Law is the LAW!  :)  

Hence my comment above that seemed to set some people long as there are wants and needs, there are opportunities for one to produce something (a job)...whether it's a service or good, the opportunity will exist.

When ALL human needs and wants are met, then there will be no jobs available.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:27 | 2726373 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Wants and Needs are not equal (supposedly former homeless person). And it's not a matter of jobs available - if the available jobs pay shit, it's game over. "Production" that comes before (unknown) consumption is retarded.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:50 | 2726394 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Wants and Needs are equal to a business person.  They are equal to someone providing the goods and services.  Your point that there is a difference is a subjective statement.  I agree there is a difference, but that is NOT pertinent to the argument of jobs being created to fill them.  

It's not game over if jobs don't pay - goods and services must cost fact, without an ongoing expansion of the money supply (an environment we ALL grew up in and are acclimated to), costs would indeed decrease...they would have to.  The way things are now, money adjusts to costs where it should be the other way around...hence the money printing to ease all our pain.  Last thing, without a constant printing of dollars, they would purchase more at the lower prices and increase everyone's standard of living.

Production that comes before consumption is "retarded"?  Is this really what you meant to say?  So your position is that I don't need to produce something, sell it for money, and then spend that money on a consumption???  This coming from someone moments before agreeing consumptive entitlement programs were bad???

It's called Say's Law for a reason.

I'll let you have the last word; clearly this is a waste of my sure to use cuss words and call my integrity into question...that seems to be a popular approach for many on this forum.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:49 | 2726613 Debugas
Debugas's picture

i want to go to mars but i have no money to do that

Bill Gates has the money but he prefers researching vaccines that make people infertile

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:15 | 2726307 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

I believe that there are two possible alternatives to provide gainful employment for those who, like myself, are reasonably intelligent yet lack the "right stuff" to start and run a small business.

One would be training to repair and maintain these machines. If it's manmade, it's gonna eventually fail. I've heard service managers in several industries complain that most of the guys applying for service technician positions want to plug the computers in and do the diagnoses, but they don't want to actually turn the wrenches. I made a good living for many years being able to either repair a machine or fabricate a solution to a problem.

The other is to develop a high-end craft and market it to those who can still pay for it. The chances of this succeeding seem to me to be less than my other idea; nevertheless, it may work for a dedicated craftsman who can find an underexploited niche.

Just my $.02...

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:38 | 2726332 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Yup.  There's actually more like a thousand ways to provide oneself with employment.  Besides, everytime you hear a complaint, that IS an opportunity!

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:43 | 2726340 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

P.S.  I like how you get green arrows for a 180 degree misunderstanding of my post.  It is the "16%" that should be satisfying the needs and wants...not entitled to have them satisfied.  :)

Normally your posts are thoughtful...not sure why this one happened.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:11 | 2726571 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I think you misunderstand my post. I am not talking about the entitlement segment of society. For them they have what they desire with their government checks. We will always have that segment. I am talking about those peole who want to work in a meaningful productive job. For those people there is no opportunity. Sure there is low paying serfant ( spelling intentional) jobs to be had, but there is nothing where they can provide for their families. Some of these people may try to start a business of their own and some may be successful. Some just don't have what it takes to run a business. They may have a strong back and a good work ethic but they may not have skills or mental faculties to do so. Even if they have the ability they may not find access to capital. Being a business owner myself , I speak from experience. If I didn't have savings it would have been much more difficult to get started up. And don't get me started on the government impediments to get started. I've never seen such foolishness. On one hand they talk about the need for jobs and new businesses but on the other the throw up so many barriers I can see how it can be overwhelming for most.
To be clear I agree in theory that the freeing up in labor should direct said labor to more meaningful production. But when there is an oversupply of labor I don't feel there is enough demand for that labor to be absorbed. There can be only so many roofers, lawn care people, plumbers... Etc.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:12 | 2726218 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

"As long as humans have wants and needs, there will be NO shortage of jobs."

Mr. Squad,

I suspect you will not understand my reply, but there are those who think about such things through a vastly different lens...

and you would be considered part of the problem.

Good for them.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:20 | 2726232 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

If Austrian Economics is part of the problem, there is no solution.  

And no, I know nothing about different paradigms nor do I have the mental faculty to view one's position from them.  [/sarc]

Thanks for the constructive comment and the advice you gave to remedy us from the strawman problem called robots...oh wait...


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 23:27 | 2726244 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The problem can be best understood as the productive efficiencies of technology being overwhelmed by the parasitic inefficiencies of government.

If you removed government from the picture, people could live comfortably off of twenty hour work weeks.

Government makes people do things that aren't necessary, pay for things that aren't necessary, and causes the price of items to be much higher than would be without government.

Everything government touches turns to crap.  Ringo Starr

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:53 | 2726177 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It makes me think of a world like in the movie Minority Report. Factories without humans and people sentenced to stasis when ever they have an unapproved thought.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:10 | 2726215 Pants McPants
Pants McPants's picture

Don't disagree with you one bit, you're likely closer to the truth if present trends continue.

Nevertheless, I suppose a few slave owners prophesied widespread famine should slavery end. Anyone predicting mechanized harvesters would find themselves in a psych ward.

That's the beauty of the unknown. Each case is unique and, because I'm in a good mood tonight, I hope the doctor is wrong (even though I suspect he's right)

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:48 | 2726166 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

There's a hell of a lot more going on than mere automation. Government is tanking the entire lower half of the labor pool through handouts and regulations and fucked up laws that price labor out of where it needs to be to effectively utilized.


Previous technological advancements did not have the same impact on labor - saying robotics is the reason for the sustained drop in employment is lazy thinking. There will never be a situation where there is nothing useful and productive for human beings to do with their lives; there are always and will always be things people can do to increase their quality of life and the lives of those around them, in order to make a buck.


If the robotics theory were correct we'd see a sustained rise in the standard of living (due to all this "free" robotic labor doing stuff for us) and we aren't - we're seeing the opposite.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:01 | 2726203 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture


If the robotics theory were correct we'd see a sustained rise in the standard of living (due to all this "free" robotic labor doing stuff for us) and we aren't - we're seeing the opposite.

Short term, yes.  But that's more a consequence of unconstrained credit expansion and TBTF.

Long term?  The poorest in America enjoys things the Roman Emporers couldn't even conceive of.  Rest of the world is catching up quick...

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:42 | 2726269 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

CORRECT, the poor in Peru are MUCH poorer than the poor here.  EVen though Peru has been growing really fast for almost 10 years, there is still a huge gap in levels of poverty.

+ 2 for the other comment as well on the rest of the world catching up, that matches my own observations.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:19 | 2726311 GoldenTool
GoldenTool's picture

Wow I know this is an investing sight, so most people on here are going to be financially advanced, but when are "you people" going to see the forest for the trees.  Economics is a flawed system posing as "the" answer when it is "the" problem.  We, meaning humans, are so close to paradise it is scary.  Are we out of raw materials?  Are we out of resources?  Food?  We just need to work more that's the answer, right?  It is all these people retiring at 55, they are the problem.  Wrong.  Lets see if I can get this point across.  100 years ago it took 100 people to farm 500 acres to feed 2000 people.  Now it is 1 farmer with a tractor and 2000 acres harvested.  THIS is a simplification, to get the over all point across, so I will not argue numbers and consider this writing on the back of a napkin.  Gee 99 people without work, but still the same amount of food.  It is how the money is allocated, which it is allocated don't doubt it, economics is the system trying to impose its belief structure on the world.  O look over here there is a shortage.  O look over here is unemployment, this situation is bad even though the amount produced is higher then ever.  Most false, all creating problems to push agendas, and only about who controls what.  The fact that people still buy into this, especially on this site of all places, just horrifies me.  Most jobs are so simplified, to squeeze every last bit of extra production out, that you could train monkeys to do them.  Here rubber stamp these loan applications 8 hours a day and make sure there are no typos.  This is considered productive work.  At this point in history 80% of the world population could probably be a non starving artist and no one would even notice because there is that much over production or useless work done.  I'm not saying some groups don't have it hard or don't work hard, but givin the advances in technology most of that work should be getting easier or there are other reasons for the failure.


Unfortunately, I don't see anyone pointing this out.  So cue death and destruction as the answer to world problems in a couple of years.  So sad and unfortunate.  Although I think I see now why the pyramids were built.  Someone at some point and time had the leisure and ability to... I couldn't think of a better reason to do it.


"do unto others."

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:53 | 2726345 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Not all economics is the same.  Mises recognized your point and strove for equality and a better way to distribute resources.  That's a fact.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:16 | 2726448 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The poorest in America enjoys things the Roman Emporers couldn't even conceive of.

After this comment, doubtful the poorest in 'America' was ever met.

But hey, fantasy is a strong addiction to 'Americans' and making things along the way to try and live in another place than reality is the 'American' way of doing things...

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:31 | 2726548 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

But hey, Tibetan territory is a strong addiction to 'Chinese leadership' and making things up along the way to try and justify taking over another persons rightfully aquired property  is the 'Chinese' way of doing things...

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:56 | 2726565 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

We hand the poorest of the poor a lot in this country. Maybe the rest of the world doesn't hand people SNAP cards, welfare, and disability.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:11 | 2726217 worbsid
worbsid's picture

That robot doesn't work for you and me.  It works for the CEO and he loves them.  The free time previously employed people have come with minimum compensation and food stamps. What is it? 43+ million on food stamps now.  As you know, they aren't stamps any more, it is a like a credit card for food.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:08 | 2726839 DOT
DOT's picture

Indeed, the chains we have been hearing about are made of plastic.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:24 | 2726709 fajensen
fajensen's picture

there are always and will always be things people can do to increase their quality of life and the lives of those around them, in order to make a buck.

You said it right there: People have orders to make "a buck", not "things" and especially not "improving the quality of their lives" - that would be slacking and they might even get non-sanctioned ideas in all that spare time!

We would indeed experience a sustained rise in living standards at a steadily lowering expense in ressources, energy and labour if the controllers of the "the buck", the central banks, were not actively counteracting the trend by feeding limitless free money at zero cost to their oligarch friends, allowing demand to outstrip any supply, maintainting scarcity. At least for as long as "money" is a medium for the exchange of goods and services (we can forget about storage of value).

'Fabbing' is coming up, now about where computers were in the 1980's.

If the growth in performance and capability follow the same track as the home computers did, then in 20 years time most Mom & Pop shops can make anything legal for a fee, while you wait. The enthusiasts will be able to make unlicensed/pirated stuff also. Money will not control the economy because most of the economy will be in peoples garages, the value will be stored in good designs for fabbing attractive goods. The price of most items will be miniscule, the same as the production costs.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:54 | 2726176 Conman
Conman's picture

Its not just robotics, its also SOFTware. look at SAP, oracle, google, amazon. Yes amazon is almost the biggest cloud provider. What do you think used to run datacenters? Not robots. Who do you think used to run reporting, again it usedto be a bunch of humans. More and more administrative work is being automated and consolidated.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:54 | 2726182 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

How's that hope and change workin out for you? The man with no plan. Catchy tune.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:59 | 2726197 Billy Shears
Billy Shears's picture

Isn't buying the whole notion that robots are going to do most things in the future a sort of perpetual motion machine chimera. I mean robots cannot create wealth by themselves, can they? So if everyone in the "productive" sector of the ecomony is replaced by a robot and there are very few people to buy the widget produced what is the point in purchasing the robot if it only reduces your customer revenue?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:31 | 2726325 GoldenTool
GoldenTool's picture

Or gee maybe you just hand out free money because ever more work gets done.  Yes, what ben is doing, imho, actually is smart until you hit a resource snag, or until that human psyche of greed kicks in.  Why is that person getting 20k in free stuff when I work my, meaningless and super easy job, for 80k a year.  I'm more important then them.  I have a college degree.  I should be better compensated.  


Better yet lets have everyone worried about there not being enough work so we can pay everyone less.  /sarc


It's the system and human nature.


"do unto others."

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:02 | 2726204 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture


this is your utopia. life of leisure. computers and machines do all the work. brought to you by the mediumOfTomorrow

"a color coded city. bright. rational. completely planned."
Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:04 | 2726206 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Markets are Uber Distorted.

The Shanghai Index is down 38% since 2009 and the Dow is up during this same period over 48%.

Who is wrong?

Even GS predicts a major "correction" downward of the S&P.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:07 | 2726211 max2205
max2205's picture


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:24 | 2726237 worbsid
worbsid's picture

HAL one letter less than IBM

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 07:54 | 2726622 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

I love ZH, where stating a fact gets you a down arrow!


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:10 | 2726214 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

its gonna be like a shitty low budget remake of the matrix, where neo has to take down systems to get his job making solar panels back.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:16 | 2726220 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

There will always be a human element in production/manufacturing. Robots will be used to carry out the tasks they are suitable for. Usually it isn't worth automating the complete process due to cost. You may never recoup your investment.

The goal is to try to automate the most difficult/dangerous/tiresome task and let people due the delicate work or the steps in the process that would cost to much to automate.

I wish I could fully automate my manufacturing. Next to the guberment, employees are my next biggest head ache. But there is no way to automate the process without spending  more than I can afford or its worth.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:26 | 2726243 worbsid
worbsid's picture

Get the government to give you a green jobs loan ... paint your robots all green and you will qualify. 

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:37 | 2726262 Conman
Conman's picture

Dont worry one day your dream will come true. Technology get cheaper as it gets more developed. 3D printers getting cheaper and cheaper. In 50 years there will be no need to make molds or have assembly lines. The product will be printed for you while you wait. Yes that iphone 40 - plastic, metal -glass and all printed to order at the store,  layer by layer while you wait. No need for apple stores either. Just be a kiosk at the 7-11.

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:46 | 2726275 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ El Tuco

+ 1

In Korea, the robots and other machines did the heavy & dangerous work.  Unlike other bearing plants I have been to, I did not have to worry about having my finger lopped off by putting it int he wrong place...  Also, the Korean plants did NOT have sweaty strong guys pulling around a pallet-load of bearing parts to the next process.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 06:37 | 2726555 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The goal is to try to automate the most difficult/dangerous/tiresome task and let people due the delicate work or the steps in the process that would cost to much to automate.


Back to the 1950s and US citizen propaganda.

Reality is here though: when involved, robots are to take the delicate, harmless work while human beings are reserved the life endangering tasks.

But hey, US citizenism is as US citizen does.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:39 | 2726747 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Yeah, totally automated production is not feasible unless you're making extremely high volumes of a product that has an extremely long life-cycle; -beer cans, for instance.  Who the hell wants to make beer cans anyway?

That said, I have CNC machines which once tooled, programmed and set up, can run as much product as ten or twenty guys could do manually- and with much higher quality.  Still need operators to tend 'em, though.  And you'd be surprised how hard it is these days to find people who can do even that.

Anyways, good to hear from somebody else who actually adds something productive to society.  Good on ya'!

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:17 | 2726225 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture

Jobs is dead! Long live the AAPL stock price!

And all the over-subscribed hedge funds whose short-sighted capital inertia ensures no real financial growth, innovation, economic diversity...or jobs

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:25 | 2726240 PersonalRespons...
PersonalResponsibility's picture

Tyler(s), didn't Mish just do an indepth double post on this; Part1 Part2...





Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:26 | 2726242 laomei
laomei's picture

I'm gonna build a robotic factory that builds robots.  See you all in hell.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:05 | 2726350 mkhs
mkhs's picture

You mean we are not there yet?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:02 | 2726436 potlatch
potlatch's picture

It's just a test, Leon, relax...

Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:34 | 2726255 WilliamShatner
WilliamShatner's picture

James Dines has been talking about something he calls "the end of the age of jobs" for some time now.

That guy has been spot on regarding many things more times than not.


Tue, 08/21/2012 - 23:52 | 2726281 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The enemy, England, in Total Recall 2 tried to do the same thing but the colonists blew up all the robots and killed the evil English Elite.

I liked that movie (a little.)

No this automation thing is exactly why the wealth that is being stolen from the masses needs to be confiscated and redistributed. Technology has finally rendered labor obsolete. Without anyone that can afford the spoils of technological advancements there is no longer a realistic means to become wealthy except through crime, monopolies and fraud. This social condition, a result of technology, necessarily demands evolution of life through annihlation of the population. The very beings that brought about its existance must be sacrificed to future possibilities.

Its whack a mole on a grand scale.

Ok then just pay for my Spring semester tuition and I won't say another word.


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:04 | 2726302 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture


Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:39 | 2726333 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

answer: ROBOTS

it's robots all the way down

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:06 | 2726437 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Deckard himself  was a replicant.


robots working for other robots.  robots creating jobs for humans.  Humans keeping robots under guard in one facility, and another robots keeping humans under guard.  it will all just get to be a blur soon enough.  The Japanese are already planning on all sinking into retirement with robots, i think.  They lead the way.  They are the US Army Rangers of economic nihilism.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:44 | 2726763 acetinker
acetinker's picture

Somebody once said, "The factory of the future will be populated by two living beings- a man and a dog.  The man will tend to the dog, and the dog will ensure that the man doesn't fuck with the equipment."

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:14 | 2726306 Element
Element's picture

Book:  "The Lights in the Tunnel" - Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future - by Martin Ford, 2009.

He sees slowly growing mass unemployment as entirely foreseeable with current technology trends, and that this is just the beginning of mass unemployment and unrest as it will get steadily more accute, and not be possible to reverse it.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:09 | 2726444 potlatch
potlatch's picture

I suggest everyone return to college and take some philosophy classes.  you know, chill.  maybe some jobs will show up later. 



Wed, 08/22/2012 - 09:25 | 2726891 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

And now we can understand why DHS ordered 450m hp rounds.

The White House Plan to reduce unemployment and associated costs.

"Take one in the head for a better America."

Am I joking?  We'll see soon enough.

You think NYPD etc. was a bit rough on OWS?


These laws that bypass Constitutional rights are not coincidental.

It's simply a logical, albeit criminal, permanent solution to an otherwise insolvable problem.

Did you see any rubber bullets used on the SA miners strikes?

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:51 | 2727295 Cthonic
Cthonic's picture

Rehash of "Riders of the Purple Wage".

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:18 | 2726310 hannah
hannah's picture

we need everyone to have to go thru renewal at age 30...of course i will be 'grandfathered' in so i aint one of the fried ones.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:12 | 2726358 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Wanna check out my crystal? I had it moved someplace more interesting.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:20 | 2726312 monad
monad's picture

Someone has to build & fix the robots. A noodle slicing robot run amok is an expensive, messy scene. 

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:13 | 2726445 potlatch
potlatch's picture

Just think, the whole possible joke of a Samurai Noodle Chef will not make any sense in a few years..  Kids will make fun of us for being old.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:26 | 2726321 catch edge ghost
catch edge ghost's picture

"Culling is the process of removing breeding animals from a group based on specific criteria. This is done either to reinforce certain desirable characteristics or to remove certain undesirable characteristics from the group.  For livestock and wildlife alike, culling usually implies the killing of the removed animals." - wikipedia

 "Central Planners are Serial Cullers." - me

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:14 | 2726446 potlatch
potlatch's picture

they have zero culling strategy, that is the problem.  it's a system that will cull, but they are promising roses and sunshine and sexy young retirees on beaches everywhere.  but its a slaughterhouse they have built.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:36 | 2726322 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture


Manufacturing Of the Future does not include unionized government leechfucks or chinese peasants.

Get used to it.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 00:29 | 2726323 DeFeralCat
DeFeralCat's picture

I switched from working for the Ponzi scheme to teaching emotionally disturbed children. I figure I have job security for at least a year. More importantly, no foreigner is going to outsource my job as the kids would simply have a field day with a foreign teacher. And you need at least one breathing adult in the room.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:10 | 2726355 poor fella
poor fella's picture

The only problem I forsee is that people will realize that children acting like children are not emotionally disturbed and do not have some new disorder... Not hating, just saying - emotions aren't a boogey-man.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 03:16 | 2726447 potlatch
potlatch's picture

as a fellow teacher, hello.  noble profession and whatnot.  and the cosmic joke is: it actually is a noble profession.  but too many sophists ply the market.  good on ya for doing right by the kids; I find myself a much happier man

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 02:44 | 2726341 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

Bohemian Grove Robots do not ''care''.... good thing about the borderless new world order robot, of the Suicide Vampire Squid, it has destroyed human prejudice(s) and eliminated religious claims based on; (Antichrist) sacrificing (killing the human/Host/Christ/ of the Mercy of God) the risen Word and flesh of God in agreement (Christ) in order to sustain the souless image, caused to both speak and as many who do not worship the robot (idol) to be killed, if not in like manner. It does not get anymore Suicide Vampire Squid than this singularity of self destruction. LMAO... 

                                        (song title) Robot Bitchez


                                          To Hell with you Chairsatan 

                                        To Hell with every Antichrist freak 

                                     You are all nothing but a Robot Robot  


                                          Wake up your children for war

                                      Teach 'Em how to be a Robot Robot 


                                 Take your Grandma to sit in the 501C3 pew 

              Giver her some Pyramids to put in the basket to pay to keep people poor 

                                         Love like a Robot Whore ...Baby 


                                        Now Johnny came marching home


                                                He's got nothing to do 


                                              Replaced by a Robot Robot

                                         So he sits in front of the 3D Screen

                                            He's a useless killing machine 

                                                Just Like a Robot Robot 


                                                     Do it good Baby 

                                                  You're a Robot lover 

                                   Johnny Mnemonic ain't got nothing on you 

                                          homo erotic

                                                      Robot on Robot 


                                    Now whatcha gonna do in the matrix now?

                                 You gonna fly your Robot Control into a building?

                                             Are you gonna start a robot war? 

                                     Are you going straight to Chairsatan's Hell?




                                             Nothing but a Robot Robot



                                            NOTHING BUT A ROBOT ROBOT 




P.S. Hug a human while you still can.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:02 | 2726348 houserich
houserich's picture

The crew of ditch diggers stood on a hill. A man approached and asked what they were looking at. One of the crew said, "That's the new excavator machine - it put us all out of work!" The man replied, "The invention of your shovel put many out of work too."

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 01:07 | 2726352 poor fella
poor fella's picture

People are the greatest asset of any business. Robots cannot improve processes or products and never create anything original.

Kurzweil is a boob and robots don't hang out, drink beer, and are never friends.

Robots can go fuck themselves and nothing will ever come of it.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:19 | 2726691 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

"People are the greatest asset of any business."  This is not a true statement.  Were it a true statement, all businesses would add people in order to increase their value.  Nearly all businesses do exactly the opposite, however.  So, either nearly all businesses are behaving irrationally, reducing what they hold in their greatest asset, or the statement is not true.

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