Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Pussy - Jobless edition




We're getting too efficient for our own good. The old method was to cut a worker or two, divide their work load amongst the remaining staff and pocket the difference. And if you were lucky enough to survive the budget cut you might get a penny or two with your newly defined role. And let's not forget a flashy title like foreman, vice president, supervisor, or associate. Which basically meant you were one step above the janitor.

Then there's the "shaving of the hours". Starts out at X hours for a particular job calculated by an estimator. He submits the bid to the home office knowing that he's padded time in case some unforeseen circumstance should arise. Home office knows this and shaves 10% from the hours before turning the paperwork over to the superintendent. The superintendent shaves another 5% just to make him look good before passing it on to the supervisor. The supervisor cuts the hours further figuring it will make him look good. The foreman looks at the paperwork and laughs knowing that it's humanly impossible to complete the job in such a short time. When the job runs over everybody gets scolded for not bringing the job in on time and told the company is losing money. Meanwhile the owners and higher ups are off fishing in Bermuda together.

We are at the beginning of becoming obsolete as humans. We have robot cars and aircraft, robots in factories. Computers do in a few seconds what once took minutes or hours by staffs of typists. And once a robot can repair another robot then we may find ourselves on the extinct list. I have seen an acceleration of this process in just the last 20 years. So this is just the beginning. Economically speaking this doesn't put the masses in a very good position. And what happens when China catches the robotics trend? Will they replace all those low wage workers with machines? That might be cause for political upheaval. Very little is left when it comes to manufacturing jobs that haven't been shipped over seas. Do a little research into your favorite "American" company and I think you'll find it's now owned by a foreign partnership.

They say jobs are coming back to America, they're not. We've lost 62,000 manufacturers in the last 15 years. That's manufacturers not jobs. The jobs that remain are high tech or service related. The problem there is that by the time you've received high tech training the technology has changed. And most service jobs don't pay enough to support one person let alone a family. What's left? Basically it boils down to selling debt or information. Information is cheap and the world is swimming in debt.

Haven't checked bank fails lately...
One fail in Ga. on Friday Feb 13, lucky them.

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

I would not sweat China. I watched 12 guys with shovels spreading gravel on a road from the back of a dumtruck. Also 10 guys with knives cutting waste carrots to feed to cattle in a feedyard