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Amazon and Wal-Mart to add more robots - Say they won't cut jobs (1 Viewer)

Otis

Footballguy
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 

 

matuski

Footballguy
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 
Will robots need lawyers and doctors?

 
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Courtjester

The Town Drunk
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 
Learn how to fix and build said robots=$$$

 

Da Guru

Fair & Balanced
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 
Robot repair will be in high demand.  Plus lawyers...those robots will go haywire at times and injure some humans along the way.

 
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Nipsey

Footballguy
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 
Tattoo removal business.

 

nightmare

Footballguy
This is a joke. "cut" is implying that these workers won't be replaced. WRONG. Amazon will expand
and the warehouse pickers will be replaced by robots.

Work is "unpleasant" if you don't want to work or want to get paid for just showing up.
Loading/unloading trucks, picking/packing orders in a warehouse, etc, is monotonous
and is only as difficult as you make it when your doing the same thing hundreds of times a day.

These jobs are not "careers". they are just a way to pay the bills. Some people "settle" for that. 

Amazon is implying that the jobs they are replacing are "bad" and that the workers may be better off 
being retrained for a higher skilled job. If your an executive or an office worker you may think these
jobs are "bad".  

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Joe Bryant said:
As long as they are growing they should have no problem fulfilling that promise. I have a friend that has automated large portions of his factory over the past few years and made the same promise.  He still has the same number of workers today that he had when he started and not a single worker has been fired and replaced with a robot.  Of course, they now produce about 4x the product they used to.  If they had tried to do that without the robots the amount of new workers would have scaled much higher and they wouldn't have grown because their product would have been too expensive. He felt his options were to grow and automate, offshore production, or slowly let the business die by not growing it.

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
As long as they are growing they should have no problem fulfilling that promise. I have a friend that has automated large portions of his factory over the past few years and made the same promise.  He still has the same number of workers today that he had when he started and not a single worker has been fired and replaced with a robot.  Of course, they now produce about 4x the product they used to.  If they had tried to do that without the robots the amount of new workers would have scaled much higher and they wouldn't have grown because their product would have been too expensive. He felt his options were to grow and automate, offshore production, or slowly let the business die by not growing it.
Thanks. I do think that will be the challenge. 

This brings in all kinds of additional questions that I think are interesting. One being the common thought that a business must either grow or die. As well as pricing and does the cheapest product automatically win and lots more. Good thoughts. Thanks. 

 

Arodin

Footballguy
Thanks. I do think that will be the challenge. 

This brings in all kinds of additional questions that I think are interesting. One being the common thought that a business must either grow or die. As well as pricing and does the cheapest product automatically win and lots more. Good thoughts. Thanks. 
You being an actual owner of an actual business begs some follow-up questions.  I hope you will indulge what would seem unduly probing if not for this lead-in of your posing the questions:

Do you want footballguys to grow?  Are you happy with it staying at its current size? Would your answer change if you saw your competitors growing and increasing their profits while you elected not to?

I’m not sure “cheapest product” has ever won out universally, but “best value per dollar” seems like a pretty widespread standard.  I believe customers will pay more for a better product, and that FBGs has been an example of this:  people pay for content here because they find it better than what is all over the web for free.  Are you suggesting that a business owner should not try to control costs and deliver the best posisble product at the resultingly affordable price?  (And if not, would customers still willingly pay more for the same product because costs were not minimized?)

Genuinely curious about your thoughts as both the OP of this thread, and the owner of a business who has had to deal with these very questions “for real,” whereas I’ve only faced them in my Economics classes.

 

jhib

Footballguy
I stopped at Walmart yesterday to pick up a few things (I know - my mistake, but I was going to be quick and knew I would be saving a few bucks there vs my other option). 

This Walmart has about 25 cash registers plus one bank of 5 or 6 self checkouts at each end.  On a Saturday afternoon, ten days before Christmas, they had three manned registers open and only one bank of self checkouts.  The lines were ridiculous, so I walked right back out of the store.

Bring on more robots.

 

Cjw_55106

Footballguy
Automation is everywhere and it isn’t going to stop. Like Nutter said, we’ll adapt. I’d imagine there was a similar outcry when computers “were going to take away jobs”.

 

ShamrockPride

Footballguy
[scooter] said:
Robots, computers and the internet will eventually replace almost every worker in the world.
It could actually be the greatest period in human history if we do it right. A true worldwide renaissance of creativity and peace. Peak efficiency in food production and people working on what they're passionate about.

That said, I have no faith in us as a species, we've proven we don't deserve that trust over the past few thousand years. Somebody will inevitably try to f### things up for personal gain. It's the human way.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Thanks. I do think that will be the challenge. 

This brings in all kinds of additional questions that I think are interesting. One being the common thought that a business must either grow or die. As well as pricing and does the cheapest product automatically win and lots more. Good thoughts. Thanks. 
Well, until basic business expenses start going down instead of up each year a business must grow or gradually die. No way around that. 

And cheap really depends on the type of product.  Is it so commoditized that there is no way to add extra value?  Or is there room for value?

 
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Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
Well, until basic business expenses start going down instead of up each year a business must grow or gradually die. No way around that. 




 
But in my experience, keeping up with inflation or business expenses is not what most people are talking about with the "grow or die". They are usually looking for significant growth. Often exponential growth. And it's been my experience:

A) That type of growth is not necessary to survival.

B) That type of growth sometimes demands sacrifices in other areas to the point it's not worth it. 

 

nightmare

Footballguy
People have been concerned about technology eliminating jobs for well over 100 years but here we are at near full employment. I don’t buy that it’s different this time.
"full employment". A lot of people working two 25 hour a week jobs. Getting paid $10-$14, maybe $16, an hour.
Explaining how the government measures the unemployed rate would put this thread in the other forum.

 

shuke

Black Ice Skeptic
I stopped at Walmart yesterday to pick up a few things (I know - my mistake, but I was going to be quick and knew I would be saving a few bucks there vs my other option). 

This Walmart has about 25 cash registers plus one bank of 5 or 6 self checkouts at each end.  On a Saturday afternoon, ten days before Christmas, they had three manned registers open and only one bank of self checkouts.  The lines were ridiculous, so I walked right back out of the store.

Bring on more robots.
I placed an order online at Walmart for store pickup.  I used to have to walk to the back of the store and wait for some disgruntled employee to sift through a bunch of crap to find my item. 

On Saturday, as I waked in the door there is a huge pickup tower.  I entered my order number and I am not kidding, it took maybe 3 seconds for my order to come out.  It was awesome.  

 
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[icon]

Insoxicated
It could actually be the greatest period in human history if we do it right. A true worldwide renaissance of creativity and peace. Peak efficiency in food production and people working on what they're passionate about.

That said, I have no faith in us as a species, we've proven we don't deserve that trust over the past few thousand years. Somebody will inevitably try to f### things up for personal gain. It's the human way.
This. 

Robotics/AI will be the final nail in the coffin of the middle class and will further the divide between the haves and have nots. 

 

cockroach

Footballguy
Good luck with society dealing with that. 
I think it's fking awesome and I think society will compensate with some sort if BIG, but also people, with all this free time will do cool stuff... They'll post this cool stuff on the internet and monitize their lifestyles via traffic.  It's already happening with YouTube to a degree. IDK how this could sustain millions, but maybe we start cutting out corporations more with our entertainment and start supporting actual individuals more. 

But life has gotten a lot easier the last 100 years due to technology and innovation and I'm excited that trend looks to continue. 

 

Thorpe

Footballguy
75 years from now people will look at the jobs replaced by robots and they will think of them exactly like we think about telephone switchboard operators or train brakemen or dozens of other jobs that were replaced by automation.

At some point, we will have to rid ourselves of the idea that a person's worth is tied to their employment.  There simply won't be enough work to do.

If you look at a lot of high paying jobs today, they are bean-counting or paper-shuffling type work that doesn't produce anything.

 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
People have been concerned about technology eliminating jobs for well over 100 years but here we are at near full employment. I don’t buy that it’s different this time.
:goodposting:

We also were going to be out of fossil fuel by 2020, commuting by jet pack, and pushing a button for a meal on demand.

Outside of communication and entertainment, not much has changed.  I personally think innovation as far as it impacts our daily life chores has slow down compared to our parents and grandparents.  I know many will come up with arguments against this, but we are see innovation by numerous small steps rather than big game changers.

 

Juxtatarot

Infidel
Thanks. Can you elaborate? 
There will certainly be jobs eliminated due to technology like there have been for generations.  But there will also be new jobs that we can't even imagine today.   If you went back in time to 1980 and explained your footballguy.com business to your younger self, you would have thought it was crazy. 

I'm not an economist but my guess is as quality labor becomes more readily available, businesses find ways to utilize it to their financial advantage.  That's a good thing.

 

jvdesigns2002

Footballguy
As long as they are growing they should have no problem fulfilling that promise. I have a friend that has automated large portions of his factory over the past few years and made the same promise.  He still has the same number of workers today that he had when he started and not a single worker has been fired and replaced with a robot.  Of course, they now produce about 4x the product they used to.  If they had tried to do that without the robots the amount of new workers would have scaled much higher and they wouldn't have grown because their product would have been too expensive. He felt his options were to grow and automate, offshore production, or slowly let the business die by not growing it.
I think it's cool that your friend has done that---but I think that your friends business is exactly what is worrying.  Your friends business is producing 4 times the number of goods that it used to years ago--and they haven't had to add one job?  If other businesses are under the same types of pressure and end up having to do the same thing---the result will be a limited/closed job market.  Technology tends to get cheaper as new innovations come out---once decent quality automation becomes affordable to small and mid-level companies--the trend will accelerate.  I think what your friend has done is great for keeping his company afloat. Props to him.  However--the overall environment that pushed him to that decision is worrisome in my opinion.  

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
People have been concerned about technology eliminating jobs for well over 100 years but here we are at near full employment. I don’t buy that it’s different this time.
My worry is that as jobs get more complex, the divide between those with education and technology vs those without becomes wider. 

 

Juxtatarot

Infidel
My worry is that as jobs get more complex, the divide between those with education and technology vs those without becomes wider. 
Yes, I agree.  On the flip side, though, technology can also make it easier to train people to do jobs we'd consider today as complex.

 

dickey moe

Fingerpicker
I worry about my kids’ generation.  The rules we grew up with just won’t apply. I have no idea what is the path to financial success and security 30-50 years from now. Absolutely no idea. 
Probably involves a combination of lawyering and/or cabins.

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Yes, I agree.  On the flip side, though, technology can also make it easier to train people to do jobs we'd consider today as complex.
Totally agree although I do worry as there are a ton of jobs right now people could be trained for but companies expect a college degree first. That degree is often not necessarry. 

 

Juxtatarot

Infidel
How do you define "full employment?"

Hint: the government's definition is B.S.
Well, I was using the government's definition.  I don't think it's B.S.  We have a real problem with underemployment and certainly that are geographic pockets that make things much harder but, on the whole, people willing and able to work can find jobs.

 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
Well, I was using the government's definition.  I don't think it's B.S.  We have a real problem with underemployment and certainly that are geographic pockets that make things much harder but, on the whole, people willing and able to work can find jobs.
People with experience.  College grads are struggling unless their degree and gap are dead on.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
But in my experience, keeping up with inflation or business expenses is not what most people are talking about with the "grow or die". They are usually looking for significant growth. Often exponential growth. And it's been my experience:

A) That type of growth is not necessary to survival.

B) That type of growth sometimes demands sacrifices in other areas to the point it's not worth it. 
Having been through years of frenzied growth and years of organic growth I agree, I'm a much bigger fan of the latter.  I believe growth is necessary but should be comfortable for the company.

 

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