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laripu

Jobs, with robotics, going forward

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From this page

    https://www.manpowergroup.com/workforce-insights/world-of-work/skills-revolution-series

you can download a report on robotics.

 

They are claiming that robotics will create jobs. They talk about employers engaging in "upskilling":  training employees to take these jobs.

 

A quote: "Demand for tech and digital skills is growing across all functions yet employers place increasing value on human skills as automation scales and machines prove better at routine tasks. While 38% of organizations say it is difficult to train in-demand technical skills, 43% said it is even harder to teach the soft skills they need such as analytical thinking and communication. Candidates who can demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers. By 2030, demand for human skills – social and emotional soft skills – will grow across all industries by 26% in the U.S. and by 22% in Europe."

 

I have grave doubts that you can train the average "Bazooka Joe" well enough to fit the bill described above. Average and below average people will be left behind again, while "Candidates who can demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers."

 

I think this will - again - leave out the resentful low-ability people, leading to more racism, more right-wing populism, more drug dependence, more crime, and more pimping/prostitution.

 

Any solutions?  Guaranteed wage plus legal pot?

Or can we change the culture to make education and training a desirable end or even means to an end?

 

 

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4 hours ago, laripu said:

They are claiming that robotics will create jobs. They talk about employers engaging in "upskilling":  training employees to take these jobs.

 

I am more than skeptical of claims that increasing robotization will create more jobs than it eliminates.  Robots will create jobs the same as the machine gun prevented war.  (Gatling's prediction).  On the contrary, enough automation and unemployment will deplete the buying power of the demand side, drying-up  markets for the products and services generated by the the robots themselves.   Said robots will then need to be mothballed, having rendered themselves useless.  And the result will be a Great Depression which redefines the word "great".

 

Obviously the most likely solutions would be a fascist state on the right or a welfare state on the left.  A fascist state would solve the problem by concentrating wealth and enforcing tyranny on the majority.  A welfare state would require relative equality to support itself.  But the steadily increasing use of robots will force the adoption of one or the other. 

 

So many forces at play;  And the timeline is so unpredictable, that it's hard to anticipate the outcome.

 

4 hours ago, laripu said:

Or can we change the culture to make education and training a desirable end or even means to an end?

 

This is the opposite direction of where we are going, currently.  The Cult of Ignorance has never enjoyed greater respectability than the present.  On the other hand, demographics are changing and the the oldsters who form Fox's main audience, are dying off.  It may come down to which side can win the hearts and minds of the young.

 

Or, power elites already have so much control that fascism will be hard to avoid, in any case.

 

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On 1/21/2019 at 12:04 PM, laripu said:

Candidates who can demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers.

 

These people are certainly in short supply, and it has nothing to do with robots or technology.  It amazes me how little effort many people put into 'likeability'.  They really don't care about their coworkers.  They don't care if they're liked.  They don't care about the customers.  'Just gimme a paycheck and leave me alone.'  One workcenter had 4 of these out 15 people.  It doesn't sound like a lot.  But, when you've got 4 people who piss off customers, disrupt meetings, miss training, call in sick constantly, leave work without coordination and don't care to do any better...it affects everyone.  

 

Fire 'em you say?  Oh, no.  Not allowed.  Every single one of them can claim protection of some sort (age, sex, religion, etc.)...even old white guys.  One of my supervisors (an 50+ yr old white guy) filed an EEO complaint against  his manager for age discrimination because we asked him to perform work that his employees could/should have done.  He said it was beneath his position...not in his job description.  We were picking on him.  No.  We had a growing backlog of customer orders not being filled.  The section he supervised was supposed to fill those orders.  We needed him to temporarily do some of the work that his employees did (they were short-handed and refused to work overtime) while we hired more staff.  It wasn't punishment.   We took some of his other work off to free up his time.  He was still getting paid the supervisor rate for every single hour.  Age discrimination, my ass.  Sometimes, it's not about 'you'.  Sometimes it's about the team.   

 

Team player is an over-used and under-appreciated term.  Ask them what they think 'team player' means.  Many seem to think it means 'I do my job and I go home'.  No.  A team player does what needs to be done for the team to succeed.  

 

On 1/21/2019 at 12:04 PM, laripu said:

I have grave doubts that you can train the average "Bazooka Joe" well enough to fit the bill described above.

 

Me too.  When I was young, just entering the workforce, I remember how much I respected those who had the advanced expertise.  Those who could solve the most challenging technical problems were my heroes.  I wanted to be like them.  Everyone did.  Today?   Not so much.  Too many want to be like Wally in the Dilbert cartoons.

 

On 1/21/2019 at 12:04 PM, laripu said:

Or can we change the culture to make education and training a desirable end or even means to an end?

 

You are correct...it is a culture problem.  In order to learn, a person must first admit that they don't already know everything.  Then, the student must trust that the teacher knows more and has the student's best interest at heart.  All of that is counter to today's culture.   Today's culture is screwed...no respect for knowledge, no respect for effort, no respect for accomplishment.  Too few believe in merit.  Too many believe we all deserve the best and we don't have to earn it.  

 

On 1/21/2019 at 2:53 PM, bludog said:

I am more than skeptical of claims that increasing robotization will create more jobs than it eliminates.

 

Remember telephone switchboard operators?  There used to be hundreds of thousands across the nation.  Today, they're almost extinct.    Automation kills jobs.  Tractors put millions of farmers out of work.  Without a horde of unemployed farmers sitting around, desperate for any employment, could industrialization have happened?  Who would Ford have hired?  

 

I don't know what comes next.  Not everyone can be a database analyst, UNIX programmer, or genetic biologist.  But, I suspect that some jobs we've never thought of will become commonplace in the future.  Can you imagine trying to explain to people in 1960 what their grandchildren would be doing in 2020?  Just to cheer us up a little, here's an article about 10 jobs that didn't exist 10 years ago.

 

We have to take care of the 'left behinds', to a point, just not as well as the UNIX programmer.  Tax the rich to take care of the 'left behinds' and we're all good, right?

 

On 1/21/2019 at 12:04 PM, laripu said:

Guaranteed wage plus legal pot?

 

I think you've got the basic workings of a solution there.  I'd add free broadband internet.   And maybe free wine (my drug of choice which I'm enjoying at the moment and which is triggering my rant).

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:53 PM, bludog said:

On the contrary, enough automation and unemployment will deplete the buying power of the demand side, drying-up  markets for the products and services generated by the the robots themselves.

 

Or drive down the prices of things to the point that anyone can afford them. It's a balance, right? If no one has any money, there's no commerce, and as you said, a great depression. If everyone has little, but things are very cheap, there's still some commerce. (But also ecological damage. That's another problem.)

 

6 hours ago, Renegade said:

You are correct...it is a culture problem.

.

.

Today's culture is screwed...no respect for knowledge, no respect for effort, no respect for accomplishment.  Too few believe in merit.  Too many believe we all deserve the best and we don't have to earn it.  

.

.

Without a horde of unemployed farmers sitting around, desperate for any employment, could industrialization have happened?  Who would Ford have hired?  

.

.

I don't know what comes next.  Not everyone can be a database analyst, UNIX programmer, or genetic biologist.  But, I suspect that some jobs we've never thought of will become commonplace in the future.  Can you imagine trying to explain to people in 1960 what their grandchildren would be doing in 2020?  Just to cheer us up a little, here's an article about 10 jobs that didn't exist 10 years ago.

 

We have to take care of the 'left behinds', to a point, just not as well as the UNIX programmer.  Tax the rich to take care of the 'left behinds' and we're all good, right?

 

Yes, there will be new jobs. There will always be those who can build a life by earning money in that new economy, but also those who can't. I think that as ability becomes more important, "the can't cohort" grows too big.

 

Welfare is never enough. The right will never make it comfortable.

 

So there's going to be a class issue. People with ability will make middle class money. (A few in upper management will be very rich.) That's already happening, not a prediction People who can't fit in to this modern wealth production will still find a way to live because no one starves and dies willingly.

 

There will still be gardeners, plumbers handymen, roofers, etc, getting paid by people like me, to do jobs I can't or don't want to do.

 

There will still be minimum wage MacJobs, and I suspect these will slowly get slightly better, with more benefits, not more money. (Benefits like healthcare, education subsidies, cheap company-supplied housing eventually, entertainment and events.)

 

Where I see something new happening is if society doesn't accommodate the lowest-ability people. As I said above, I expect that to lead to more racism, more right-wing populism, more drug dependence, more crime, and more pimping/prostitution.

 

Unhappy people soothe their anguish with illegal drugs. Drug dealers make money supplying. Low-quality men have trouble attracting mates; low level pimps and prostitutes make money supplying.

 

Crime can be punished, but gangs will protect people that can't make a living any other way. Gangs protect the desperate from law enforcement. We're going in the direction of Central America.

 

On 1/21/2019 at 3:53 PM, bludog said:

Or, power elites already have so much control that fascism will be hard to avoid, in any case.

 

I'm afraid you're probably right.

 

The right wing never sees problems like this, and rarely does things to improve the situation so that it doesn't get to the point of desperation.

 

Bludog and Renegade, thanks for these thoughtful responses. That's what I like: the opposite of NHB.

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There was a concept called "designing a job".

Haven't heard the term much in years, but the idea was that the engineer was to consider the operator when he/she was designing the  machinery that would make/do something.

In other words, make the job meaningful to the person, so that they were doing more than just watching the machine.

Performing quality checks, rotating duties with other operators, performing preventative maintenance on the equipment.

 

Simple things like color coding pushbuttons, and graphic displays can make a job able to be done by someone with a lower skill level.

Had a guy run a $5million production line for about 6 months before we realized he couldn't read or write.

 

Designs that were "user friendly" pretty much always went over budget.

They always performed better than projected, but management seemed to not notice that point.

Every time I got fired, I had another job in a couple of weeks, managing another multi-$million project.

 

It is good to be retired, and not deal with "venture capitalists" who "re-capitalize" the values of the equipment,

so that it is suddenly on the books for 80% of replacement value, even though it might be 30 years old.

And then they go out and borrow Federal Reserve super cheap magic money,

using the phony book value of the equipment as collateral,

pay themselves enormous bonusses,

then shut the company down.

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On 1/27/2019 at 8:40 AM, peter45 said:

It is good to be retired

 

I hear you and will heartily agree.... in about 3 years.

 

 

On 1/27/2019 at 8:40 AM, peter45 said:

It is good to be retired, and not deal with "venture capitalists" who "re-capitalize" the values of the equipment,

so that it is suddenly on the books for 80% of replacement value, even though it might be 30 years old.

And then they go out and borrow Federal Reserve super cheap magic money,

using the phony book value of the equipment as collateral,

pay themselves enormous bonusses,

then shut the company down.

 

If provable, that's fraud, and ought to be prosecuted.

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32 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

I hear you and will heartily agree.... in about 3 years.

 

 

 

If provable, that's fraud, and ought to be prosecuted.

I don't think that it is (legally) fraud.

 

Search re-capitalization

There are firms advertising it as a service.

It SHOULD BE ILLEGAL,

but look at the business environment since Reagan.

The "conservatives" have been in control for so long, that ethics are long gone.

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1 hour ago, laripu said:

 

I hear you and will heartily agree.... in about 3 years.

 

 

 

If provable, that's fraud, and ought to be prosecuted.

Oh,

and the ultimate insult,

when the factory was shut down, the production was transferred to various competitors.

The competitors employ workers who look and speak very much like illegals.

Actually, talking to one of the owners, he just flat out admits they are illegal.

 

And, if ICE doesn't know that illegals are employed there, it is because they aren't allowed to look by the "conservatives", who own the Red state politicians.

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