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One of Foxconn's new robots  (Source:
The electronics manufacturer will receive another 20,000 robots before the end of 2012

Source: Singularity HUB

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That's what should have happened here
By BifurcatedBoat on 11/14/2012 5:30:07 PM , Rating: 3
The robots are a tool. Replacing some of the human labor required to complete a task with a tool is just the natural flow of progress. Usually it's done at the point when it becomes cost-effective to do so.

Granted, for every 10 manual laborers displaced by the machine, there may be just one maintenance guy/programmer. However, that guy will very likely be paid a middle-class salary instead of a relatively meager laborer's salary. So it's not really the bad thing that some people make it out to be. It's how quality of life improves.

One of the problems US manufacturing had is that, buoyed by unions, people thought they could stop progress from happening. That unfortunately led to American firms losing competitiveness with relatively unfettered foreign companies.

We should have been the ones to retrofit our factories with robots. Now it's happening at Foxconn instead.

By bjacobson on 11/14/2012 6:56:09 PM , Rating: 3
as much as I don't like some of the problems unions bring they definitely ensured we had a sizable middle class.

We can't all be engineers. There are already enough sales people and managers.

By Ringold on 11/15/2012 2:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
We should have been the ones to retrofit our factories with robots. Now it's happening at Foxconn instead.

Actually, we did. US manufacturing didn't peak when people think it did, in the 70s. I don't think we've got to pre-recession highs again yet, but we're way, way above where we were back then. We've simply done a lot more with vastly fewer workers.

It's also hidden from public sight a bit because the value has come from fewer consumer-facing things. As a country, we did what we were supposed to in theory, we moved up the value chain. I mean, GE's hot new product is a massive, highly efficient, more quickly starting and stopping gas turbine. Easier, therefore, to integrate in to a grid with finnicky solar that produces on minute and doesnt the next when clouds roll in. Millions of dollars each, but not something we find at WalMart. MRI's. Defense equipment like radars. Surgical robots. US manufacturing is sorta in the shadows, but its as large dollar wise as it ever has been.

By marvdmartian on 11/15/2012 1:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Still, they should have waited, as it seems they might have picked up 10,000 Panasonic workers, cheap!

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