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Trump Needs to Embrace Industrial Revolution

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perl_geek
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Re: Gone for good
perl_geek   12/8/2016 1:23:01 PM
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The automobile manufacturing business in N. America is probably a sunset industry. It's largely a replacement business. Cars are lasting longer, and  no longer objects of desire for most people. Parts of it are only located in places like Ontario because of historical accidents, (Imperial Preferences), but when the industry went bankrupt in 2008, local and national governments ran to bail it out. If GM et. al had been allowed to go bankrupt, I'm sure that there would have been financiers willing to finance the profitable remnants to meet actual demand. Mostly working the same plants, just under new owners.

There's also the question of what kind of jobs are being "preserved".

An example is the Welsh coal mining industry in the 1970s. The coal deposits were badly fractured, meaning that miners had to work in confined spaces, lying on their backs and using picks to hack out thin seams. Subject to all the hazards of mining in general, and coal mining in particular, it was nasty, dangerous and unprofitable. (Productivity in those circumstances was understandably pathetic, while wages were high for historical reasons.) Don't even think about the environmental effects.

Despite all that, when the government moved to close the pits, (the mines had been nationalised), union workers fought viciously to "preserve jobs for their sons". A peculiar form of proxy child abuse, in my opinion.

Pablo Valerio
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Re: Gone for good
Pablo Valerio   12/8/2016 12:53:30 PM
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Thank you, 

It is also interesting to note that we are still using 20th century economic indicators, measuring our economic health with industries that are changing fast.

In Europe, as well as in the US and other industrialized countries, car sales are used as an indication of how well the economy is doing. That is a very limited view, as more people are deciding not to own a car, and many families are keeping just one. In a few years car ownership will diminish dramatically.

Self-driving technologies will also affect many jobs. It is concievable that many truck driving jobs will dissapear within 10 years, leaving millions unemployed. Are we going to ban the technology to protect those jobs? or maybe try to create new services and industries that can use those people?

What most experts agree is that the new industry is not coming, it is already here and we have to embrace it. 

perl_geek
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Gone for good
perl_geek   12/7/2016 6:13:51 PM
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A lot of the unemployed think their jobs have gone to Mexico, China, or some other Third World location, from which they could theoretically return. Unfortunately, the jobs haven't gone anywhere; they've just gone. The underlying technology's become obsolete, or the process has been replaced by robotics. (Possibly because management got fed up with trying to overcome idiotic union arguments and procedures.)

As usual, any attempt to subsidise jobs to overcome natural comparative advantage turns out to be more expensive than just paying the workers to remain idle. It's understandable, (and admirable in a way), that workers would rather be doing something than nothing, Unfortunately, even academia seems to have trouble understanding and explaining facts like comparative advantages and the "lump of labour" fallacy, or that neither government nor management "create jobs", only customers do.

 

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