Thursday, February 23, 2017

China's Robotic Supremacy

A recent study found that 85 percent of manufacturing job losses from 2000 to 2010 were caused by automation, not outsourcing. American firms have been steadily cutting employees and replacing them with machines that are cheaper (they don’t need benefits) and more efficient (they don’t take vacations). U.S. factories now produce twice as much stuff as they did in 1984, but with one-third of the workers. And smarter machines will soon steal a lot more jobs: One Oxford University study predicts that 47 percent of U.S. jobs will be automated over the next two decades. Some 1.7 million truckers could be rendered redundant by self-driving vehicles, and computers could replace millions more store cashiers, insurance underwriters, and tax preparers. Lawmakers can’t ban companies from adopting new technologies, but will they be able to pass policies—such as more funding for retraining schemes—to help workers adapt to this new industrial revolution? The Week

If we "browbeat manufacturers into staying in the U.S., companies will naturally invest in more robots to avoid paying our high wages. Right now, those robots aren’t being made in America; they’re built in China. Beijing has recently invested billions of dollars in its robotics industry, hoping to keep its manufacturers from fleeing to India, Vietnam, and other developing Asian economies where the labor is even cheaper. Now China is where the world goes to buy industrial robots. The U.S. is behind in this arms race, but it could yet catch up, because it has many advantages China lacks, including a robust startup culture and the fact that many of the world’s most talented roboticists work at American universities. It would be politically difficult, of course, but consider the alternative: “Today, we buy a lot of stuff made in China by Chinese people. Tomorrow, we’ll buy stuff made in America—by Chinese robots.”      NYTimes

Truthsayers: George Washington and Harry Truman

2-22-2017 When I looked at my calendar this morning, I saw that it was marked "Washington's Birthday". George Washington, famous truth sayer, exemplifies that which we need if we expect to thrive as a nation. Clean, honorable and high standards are demanded if we are to live as one nation under God.

Another president that honors truth and responsibility is Harry Truman. Peace, love, courage and strength were epitomized by this man who lived up to the creed "the buck stops here".