Reply by clin

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Posted on Automation. Taking jobs aways from the skilled

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1072 posts in 1563 days

#1 posted 02-17-2017 06:50 AM

As you just said, it is too labor intensive. What is happening is you are now producing more with less labor. It works better for you, because it s your business. But when you can produce more with less work, it means someone else won t be paid to do it. Works great for you, but not for the guy who loses his job.

This is the issue. Business has their foot on the gas, embracing technology to reduce labor costs. The problem is we re heading right off a cliff. I m not saying this is business s fault, it s the way it has always been. Up to now it s been a great thing, since it freed up labor to do something else. The problem is, there is no longer something else.

- clin

You have it completely backwards. I m now able to produce products that otherwise would have been too labor intensive to produce. For example, I just took an order of 150 live edge cribbage boards. They could never be made on a drill press or with a jig profitably. With the CNC I can drill all the holes and the pockets for the magnets and pegs in minutes. But I still need people to run the blanks through the jointer, plane them, sand, debark, etc. I m actually adding employees because Ive expanded my capabilities and added other facets to my business that otherwise would not have been possible without the CNC. I m about to go begging the local college to see if they have any decent design kids coming through.

- Logboy

Nothing backwards. The fact that you may hire people doesn’t mean you created a job. It just means your business is doing the work, rather than another business. I’m talking about total labor. In the end, more product is getting made, using fewer people. While your CNC machine improves your businesss productivity, and therefore you may gain market share and hire more people, some other business losses market share and lays off workers.

In grossly simple numbers, you hire one person to do the work that your competitors used to do with two people. Net jobs lost, not gained.

In the past, the new tech freed up those other workers to do something else. In the end, everyone is more productive, and this improves the overall standard of living. The problem now, is the new tech frees up people, but there is no longer something more for them to do. This is getting worse everyday. It’s the gorilla in the room, that is only just now being discussed.

People are still clinging to old labor market principles. That’s understandable, since these have been reliable since the first cave man traded a pelt for fire wood. I have no idea what the solution will be. But something very different than what we have now.

-- Clin

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