It’s here.  It’s happening now.  It will only accelerate from here.  ROBOTS TAKING HUMAN JOBS.

While our western media HAS BEEN warning of the demise of high-paying jobs by such things as trade agreements which ship great-paying jobs to Mexico and overseas locations,  China, in particular has been cleverly redirecting the great wealth it has been amassing from all the manufacturing jobs it won away from the USA and other countries.

China’s official plan by year 2049 is to become the world’s most powerful manufacturer by using Artificial Intelligence, (AI), and ROBOTS.  China is well on its way.

In just ONE YEAR, (last year, 2015), it is reported in the Chinese press that 35 Taiwanese companies spent 4 billion Yuan on AI. And 600 more Chinese companies have similar plans. See End Note 1    According to that article, Xu Yulian, head of Kunshan government’s publicity department, is quoted as proclaiming that the Foxconn factory has REDUCED its HUMAN WORKFORCE by approx. 60,000 WORKERS. He carefully mentioned, “It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs.”

For Chinese companies seeking to boost profits and to capture more global market share with cheaper prices, ROBOTS may be their “taste of success”; for human beings, robots may spell big trouble. Humans desperately need good-paying jobs, the loss of which is devastating!! [I’ve mentioned in other of my Nuggets: for the loss of one manufacturing job, we lose from 5 to 7 service jobs.]

Even if Donald Trump is elected as President and can somehow wave a magic wand to undo trade deals to bring manufacturing back to America, American-based manufacturers will still have to compete with Chinese companies which are well-ahead of the technology-, and robotics-curve! Any company, including American companies, will have no other choice but to automate and commit to leading-edge robotics for just about every product manufactured. Bye, Bye human workers.  Humans need not apply.

Here we are in year 2016. America has 33 years to catch up to, and surpass, China’s publicly state manufacturing goal. Every developed country knows of China’s “Grand Plan”.  What happens if all countries invest trillions of dollars, or dollar-equivalents, into pursuing the same goal? Chaos.

Billions of people will be thrown out of jobs and the world will be awash in excess products for which there is few people employed to buy them. Economic principles, as we know them today, and CAPITALISM itself, would become obsolete. The global economy would implode. Unless…

Common sense prevails among countries.

Instead of every country each pursuing global dominance in all, or many, manufacturing sectors, country leaders have to agree to come together to divide up the world markets and products so that all countries can simultaneously prosper.  Countries need to agree to respect particular economic segments or areas of functional expertise. For example, automobile manufacturing to one or a few countries; pharmaceuticals, to one or a few others; etc.

For such a common-sense economic allocation to take place, countries must AGREE TO clearly-stated global territorial divisions with strongly enforced boundaries. Hence the need for international trade agreements.

Human jobs may be the sacrificial lamb as the world transitions into one, single, gigantic economy, divided into sectors, each of which are dominated by one, or a few, global manufacturing powerhouse(s).

We are witnessing such international trade agreements taking shape: TPP and TPIP, and other “trade” agreements. As for the international court of law necessary to reinforce boundaries? We have that already: the World Trade Organization, (WTO), that can call upon NATO for military enforcement and at times the entire UN.

If this is indeed the economic and manufacturing evolution taking place under our very noses, then, sorry people, human jobs may be the sacrificial lamb.


END NOTE

  1. “Rise of the robots: 60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence”, By Mandy Zuo. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. May 21, 2016. [ http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/1949918/rise-robots-60000-workers-culled-just-one-factory-chinas ]