In response to:

As the Boomers Head for the Barn

ksatifka Wrote: May 15, 2012 9:33 AM
It seems obvious to me that, as business continues to become more efficient due to automation, there will be less and less need for workers. Although business creates jobs, they also create as few as they can get away with. Business puts more and more work on their employees and requires overtime instead of hiring more workers. The days of US Steel and GM having hundreds of thousands of semi-skilled workers employed in factories are over. Walmart is now our largest employer and our industrial base has been hollowed out due to free trade. Internet giants like Facebook and Google need comparatively few workers to operate multi-billion dollar businesses. The divide between rich and poor will continue to grow in this environment.
Topeka Wrote: May 15, 2012 12:47 PM
Outsider,

automation replaces mind numbing jobs, as johnm pointed out correctly.

but automation generally has increased the size of the work force and the work force participation

not technology nor science has driven away the jobs; nor even the "free market"

it is the govt; taxes; regumalations; favoritism; king-making; money-printing; that's what's driven jobs off-shore.

Not to mention - there is no source of labor in America to build Apple's products - at this time, under these conditions... Lord knows what we'd be building without the govt Albatross round our Necks, and their Boot on our Throat; and their Hand in our Pocket.
Conservative abroad Wrote: May 15, 2012 8:45 PM
Topeka and John,
You are correct that automation doesn't eliminate jobs, it just changes them to more high tech. Increased Capitalization (automating) has the net effect of making Labor more productive and benefits the whole system. The machines still need to be designed and maintained and those people get paid better than the person that would have been doing the drudge work.
Our problem is that we are importing workers from the 3rd world that don't adapt as readily even after generations to a high tech work force.
johnm h Wrote: May 15, 2012 9:56 AM
The ludite arguements are as old as the first tool. To say there is no need for workers is to assert that scarcity has ended. Nonsense. Those industiral jobs were mind numbing but paid well, do we have to have them back? Of course not.
Topeka Wrote: May 15, 2012 12:41 PM
johnm,

... what Luddite arguments? what mind numbing jobs?

petroleum engineering? chemical engineering? electrical engineering? computer programming? legal work? (now that's mind numbing) or how about biotechnology? microbiology? stem cell research (both kinds)? nuclear physics? or just plain old mind-numbing thermodynamics?

... I know math and science are obsolete... but thank God no one has told the Chinese or there'd be nothing for Wally World to sell...

When the April figures on unemployment were released May 4, they were more than disappointing. They were deeply disturbing.

While the unemployment rate had fallen from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent, 342,000 workers had stopped looking for work. They had just dropped out of the labor market.

Only 63.6 percent of the U.S. working age population is now in the labor force, the lowest level since December 1981.

During the Reagan, Bush I and Clinton years, participation in the labor force rose steadily to a record 67 percent. The plunge since has been almost uninterrupted.

Here is a major cause of...