Saturday, February 4, 2017


There was an article in the latest Discovery Magazine about robotics taking over manufacturing.   There are great advances in robotics and the latest is programing robots to teach themselves and to be able to communicate.   This is a breakthrough that will allow factory robots to work as a unit: detecting flaws in manufacturing and self-correcting.

At present, about ten percent of manufacturing is robotics.   As robotic programing advances, more and more manufacturing jobs will be lost as factories become robotic. 

 It is a goal of most manufacturers to eventually move to complete robotics: manufacturing in the dark.    Robots don’t take breaks, they don’t work in shifts and they don’t require medical and pension plans. 

A robotics factory can run 24/7: non-stop manufacturing.   The article proposed that by 2030 most factories will be ninety percent robotics.

Manufacturing centers, like the mid-west, are going to have to move on.   Manufacturing may return to the U.S. but jobs are not coming back.  

There was a time when blacksmiths and wheelwrights realized that their skills were no longer needed.   The same now goes for laid off factory workers.   Their day and their time is quickly passing. 

It is difficult for a man or woman who has worked for most of their lives in steel mills or paper mills etc. to find themselves unemployed and unemployable.  

Especially now, with Republicans in charge, programs to assist the unemployed retrain or just survive are on the chopping block.    It is ironic that the people who supported Trump are the ones that will suffer the most by the Republican takeover.   

the Ol’Buzzard


  1. The jobs have been disappearing for almost 50 years now and the decline has been accompanied by creeping credentialism. There are jobs out there that require minimal skills but even when the job itself is anyone walking in off the street could do employers insist on a more educated workforce. I think it was about 20 years ago that one of the paper mills in the U.P. let it be known that anyone wanting to work there had to have at least an associate's degree, and for what? To do the same work that hadn't changed in decades and used to be done by guys who had barely an elementary school education.

    It's going to take a real change in mindset by men when it comes to work because where the job growth lies is in the service sector, work that is traditionally women's work (nursing, for example). Men don't want to do jobs that strike them as pink collar.

  2. Just yesterday I watched a video on Automation & bots...

    My key was the part where he pointed out that the bots don't have to be better than men just make less mistakes.

  3. As Nan said, these things have been going on a long time. Back in the early 1800's Luddites were protesting against changes they thought would make their lives much worse, changes that were part of a new market system. Before this time, craftspeople would do their work for a set price, the usual price. They did not want this new system that involved working out how much work they did, how much materials cost, and how much profit there would be for the factory owner.

    The only thing that's changed is how many more of us there are now. Without income, how do they expect the chronically unemployed to purchase all the new robot made products?

    1. IMHO, eventually we as a society are going to have to admit there will never be enough jobs to go around and either institute a system that provides a guaranteed basic income to everyone or accept a world where you have shantytowns of homeless people living in squalor and trying to survive by picking through landfills like you see in the most depserate settings in third world countries. I think a lot of right-wing types are fine with the second option because none of them believe they'd be the ones knifing their neighbors to get a decent tarp for the roof of their cardboard hovel.

  4. and the robots revolt and take over the world..we're fucked.

  5. There is an old story about an automated plant that had only two flesh and blood employees, a man and a dog. The man's job was to feed the dog and the dog's job was to bite the man if he touched anything.

  6. I always thought automation was terrific. We'd all be able to live like the Jetsons. Funny it didn't turn out that way.


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