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Old 06-08-2016, 12:48 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,083 posts, read 31,331,023 times
Reputation: 47582

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We've gone through speedy, and at times shocking, technological progress over the past twenty or thirty years.

I'm 30 and remember watching VHS tapes. The tapes were expensive, wore out, were difficult to store, degraded, and weren't mobile. We can now get much better video quality, on demand, with no storage need, no worries about wear or degradation, virtually any time and anywhere on any modern mobile device. That's just an example of what twenty years ago would have seemed impossible is now routine.

We've already been through a major wave of job loss in manufacturing and other blue collar industries. Not only has offshoring impacted the number of jobs, technology has made many fields require far fewer workers. I grew up in an area dependent on coal mining and manufacturing - manufacturing is more productive than ever before but requires fewer workers - mining, to the extent is still available, is increasingly sophisticated and mechanized. There are far fewer workers needed to mine more coal than could be done fifty years ago.

The automation is creeping up the chain of sophistication. Robots and machines are going to soon be able to drive - removing the need for many human truck drivers, cabbies, Uber drivers, etc. Many IT jobs have been automated away and the functions are now done by applications. Systems are often becoming more robust, requiring fewer "maintenance workers" across industries.

Where does society end up going twenty years or so down the line when many medical, legal, technical, and financial jobs can now be more reliably done by a machine that doesn't need a salary, time off, or medical benefits? Basic income? Civil unrest? Make work programs like the CCC? Something more sinister with the surplus population?
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:56 PM
 
2,309 posts, read 3,852,429 times
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I think the issue you raised is solved by some of the statements you just mentioned as well. You said you grew up in an area where coal and manufacturing dominated. I too grew up in an area where manufacturing dominated for generations and for the last 20-30 years my hometown has been a cesspool of unemployment because the regional economic culture refused to adapt or adjust. (really the only thing saving my hometown in Ohio is it has become a regional healthcare hub).

HOWEVER I now live in an area of the country where manufacturing is soaring. Kids can graduate high school and walk into a factory around here and make $15.00 / hour with benefits (better than BK and Micky D's). Now I know what you're going to say. "What happens when automation takes those jobs in 20-30 years??" Automation has been around for a good minute. If it were going to take these jobs it would've by now. I remember my dad, a school administrator, telling me NOT to major in something PE if I was going to be a teacher because those jobs were going to fade away very soon. Yea....that was 16 years ago and wouldn't you know it those jobs still exist and at greater levels too.

People who live in or grew up in rust belt towns tend to gravitate towards the sky is falling mentality. We forget that while our area of country may be dismal there is another area of the country benefiting from our hometown's failings.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:06 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,083 posts, read 31,331,023 times
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Assuming you're in Greenville, SC? I've been trying to relocate there and pay, at least in IT, is abysmal compared to "up nawth."

I think education is going to be more protected than many other industries largely because it is government ran/protected.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:15 PM
 
15,802 posts, read 20,526,504 times
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Writing is pretty much on the wall. One should try to jump on the automation bandwagon or get left behind.

Someone needs to design, build, install, troubleshoot, upgrade, write software, design mechanical components, retrofit, etc all this new automation.

Unfortunately, these are all high skill type jobs, and not really the types of jobs that the people being replaced by automation can easily transition to.


What to do with those without an adequate skillset? No idea
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:26 PM
 
106,720 posts, read 108,913,061 times
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been the story of my life . i started life as a pro drummer and didn't want to be on the road anymore and dj's were killing live music so i became an hvac tech and just kept morphing going where the money was . went from pro drummer to hvac tech - to climate control troubleshooter for the mall systems - in to factory automation products - in to becoming a motor control specialist designing control panels for the water pumping and sewage treatment industry - to retirement.

it was all about taking the basic skills i had in hvac controls and expanding that knowledge out continually in to more lucrative areas as the bigger picture changed .

it takes constant work at learning and a plan to move ahead so you can stay ahead of the curve while everyone else is living in the past and chasing ghosts for jobs .
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:31 PM
 
Location: TN/NC
35,083 posts, read 31,331,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
Writing is pretty much on the wall. One should try to jump on the automation bandwagon or get left behind.

Someone needs to design, build, install, troubleshoot, upgrade, write software, design mechanical components, retrofit, etc all this new automation.

Unfortunately, these are all high skill type jobs, and not really the types of jobs that the people being replaced by automation can easily transition to.

What to do with those without an adequate skillset? No idea
A lot of software today is far more reliable and robust than in years past. Honestly maintenance/administration of software is becoming less important - a lot of the jobs are boiling down to end user support/training, no matter the title.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:33 PM
 
106,720 posts, read 108,913,061 times
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there is big demand for programmers , techs and sales people in the industrial plc market place . for the laymen plc is programmable logic controllers . if you learn siemens and allen bradley gear you will do fine . these are the brains behind factory automation gear .

my last project before retiring was being involved in the designing of the control consoles for the jail cell doors at rikers island which are all plc controlled via touch screens and push buttons ..
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Ohio
24,621 posts, read 19,177,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Where does society end up going twenty years or so down the line when many medical, legal, technical, and financial jobs can now be more reliably done by a machine that doesn't need a salary, time off, or medical benefits? Basic income? Civil unrest? Make work programs like the CCC? Something more sinister with the surplus population?
Been there, done that.

See.....

Series Id: LNU02300000
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Unadj) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status: Employment-population ratio

You will have more families/households with only one wage-earner. People will adjust to a lower Standard
of Living and Life-Style when such changes are very slow, as they are now and will continue to be.

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Old 06-08-2016, 02:39 PM
 
Location: USA
2,593 posts, read 4,240,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post


What to do with those without an adequate skillset? No idea
Universal welfare and a permanent underclass unfortunately.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:03 PM
 
12,022 posts, read 11,579,950 times
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It doesn't require as much labor to mine coal when you blow the top off of mountains. (Won't get into the long-term environmental problems w/ mountaintop removal which are similar to hydraulic fracking and tar sands)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoOIB3_7bzU

Most people rented movies. For the occassional viewer, it's much cheaper to rent tapes than buy a cable viewing on-demand.
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