Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Chinese Workers - This Is No Time To Get Too Demanding

It seems that there are a number of labor movements around the world where workers feel they are working too hard for not enough money. They are upset because they believe the companies are making huge profits, and they want more. Of course humans always want more, so none of us are really surprised about this. Nevertheless in the summer of 2012 we've seen worker violence in several European Union countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain as well as those involved in the Arab spring where workers angry at their social position and poverty levels took it out on their places of employment.
In South Africa police had to shoot violent protesters at a palladium mine, and in India managers of an automobile company were attacked. In China there have been protests even though they haven't made the Chinese media were people have been killed. In the US there have been workers who have trespassed, physically harmed managers and those replacing their jobs, as well as acts of sabotage. It might be wise for the workers of the world to realize that if they get too demanding they will all be replaced by robots. That day is coming, and it's coming fast to a country near you.
There was an interesting article in the New York Times on Sunday August 19, 2012 titled; "Skilled Work, Without the Worker - New Wave of Deft Robots Is Changing Global Industry," By John Markoff which discussed the "iEconomy and Artificial Competence" which goes a long as to explaining the future of manufacturing. Perhaps in the future angry mobs or unemployed workers might storm the factories, setting fire to the assembly line manned by only robots, only it won't be in a Science Fiction flick, it will be in real life, and we will be watching it on the Nightly News.
Whereas, it is true that the robotics will take over the jobs in the first world nations first due to the high cost of labor and the better chances for return on investment for sophisticated robotic equipment, it will also affect those workers in China because corporations and first world nation that are engaged in manufacturing will not ship those jobs to China because it isn't worth the problems associated with labor strikes, violence, or an entire factory being burned down.
Therefore, a message to the Chinese worker might be; "this is no time to get too demanding," and of course they need to be thinking there as well as the labor unions here in our own country. As robots become less expensive, more proficient, and better able to make all of the products or do all the services that we need there will be fewer opportunities for demanding workers to hijack the flows and efficiencies of modern-day corporations. Please consider all this and think on it.

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