Robots in the factory

This article from U.S. News has a title that says it all: Industrial robots are reshaping manufacturing. This is what the Robotic Nation is all about. From the article:The article also points out that, "North American manufacturing companies shelled out $877 million for robots--up 19 percent over 2002."

The article mentions Robotic Nation in this way:Then the article offers this rebuttal by James Miller, economics professor at Smith College:As it turns out, wages are in fact falling. As pointed out in the article New jobs just don't pay well, "A national study says the new jobs being created pay 21 percent less than the jobs they replace." So what we have to look forward to in the Robotic Nation, in the best case, is a situation where wages and benefits are falling dramatically. For 200 years in America the trend has been toward a rising standard of living. Robots are now in the process of reversing that trend. See this blog for details.

The thing that Miller is missing is the example mentioned up top. The robots in that example only cost $40,000. They replaced human workers who have wages, health insurance costs, sick days and so on. Human workers only work 8 hours a day 5 days a week (8x5), while the robots work 24x7. Robots never get cancer. Robots never take vacation. Robots never need time off to care for sick children. Robots never injure themselves on the job. Robots get better and better every year as technology advances. And the prices for robots will be falling, just like the prices for VCRs and microwave ovens have.

There is no way that a human can compete with a robot on wages, no matter what happens with supply and demand curves. That is the nature of the Robotic Nation.

See this post for a solution to the problem.

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