Reply by Logboy

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Posted on Automation. Taking jobs aways from the skilled

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75 posts in 3790 days

#1 posted 02-17-2017 03:43 PM

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.


Im suddenly reminded of an anecdote often attributed to economist Milton Friedman. He was visiting a canal project in Asia. He inquired as to why workers were using picks and shovels instead of modern-day earthmoving equipment. The government official said “Because this is a jobs program.” Friedman then replied, “Then why not give them spoons instead of shovels?”

Since you are against modern-day equipment improving speed and efficiency because it costs workers their jobs I’m going to assume then that in place of table saws and chop saws in your wood shop you give your workers hand saws. Instead of a planer, you give your workers scrub planes and smoothing planes. Instead of a jointer, you give your workers #7 jointer planes. Instead of a secretary writing emails and answering phone calls, you have a crew of people devoted to handwriting letters and mailing them. Instead of running to Home Depot in a truck to pick up plywood your workers use a horse and cart. If your answer is no, then youre just another self-righteous hypocrite.

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