Robots and the President's Manufacturing Czar

This article is fascinating to me on several different levels: Bush pick bows out after Dem criticism. The article is talking directly about the Robotic Nation we now live in.

From the article:Anthony Raimondo is the CEO of Behlen Manufacturing Co., and the withering attacks came because Behlen is busy opening a factory in China. The goal of the manufacturing czar, of course, is to try to preserve America's manufacturing jobs, two million of which have evaporated since the president took office in 2000.

The first thing you notice in the article is the political problem. If you are picking a new "manufacturing czar", it would make sense to ensure that everything he/she does is "Made in America." Only if you do not understand just how angry Americans are about offshoring would you make a mistake like this.

The second thing you notice is the fact that it will be very hard for the White House to find a manufacturing czar. Anyone with industry experience like Anthony Raimondo -- the CEO of a manufacturing company -- is doing one of two things right now: Or both. The reason is because he has no choice if he wants to stay in business. If all of your competitors are cutting labor costs as fast as possible, you have no choice but to do the same thing. Otherwise you cannot compete on price. If you cannot compete on price, then you go out of business. Maybe there is someone who is manufacturing such a highly branded product, or such a patent-protected product, that his/her company is immune to pricing pressure. But that situation is rare in manufacturing today.

It is the third thing, however, that is most important, and it is this: It is pointless to appoint a manufacturing czar, because there is no way to stop what is happening now. Robots are going to create completely automated factories in the very near future. In 15 or 20 years, there will be zero people in America working in manufacturing jobs. Today there are roughly 15 million Americans working in manufacturing jobs. The math is easy -- every year for the next 15 years, a million or so Americans will lose their manufacturing jobs. It is as simple as that. There is nothing that any president or czar can do to stop it.

What the president should be doing is appointing an employment czar to figure out what those 15 million unemployed people are going to do after they are fired from their manufacturing jobs. Will they end up seeing their salaries and benefits being cut in half when they go work at Wal-Mart? Or will they be permanently unemployed?

Or will we face the facts and change our economy in preparation for the Robotic Nation?

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