Recession Taking a long time? Blame the Robots.

Yes, robots are taking your job.

Well.. sorta.

In what has become the modern standard for recovering from a recession, the first place that companies put their money is capital expenditures - hiring comes later. This is because capital is just a lot more reliable than people. You've already downsized, you have (hopefully) kept your best people, and now you are going to give them additional resources in order for them to be able to do more.

Or in some cases, you just don't need anyone anymore, and you replaced them all with robots.
http://www.good.is/post/automation-insurance-robots-are-replacing-middle-class-jobs/

Economists (in the article and other places) call this "the destruction of the middle class." I call it "replacing semi-skilled manufacturing workers with robots that are faster, more efficient, more cost effective, and the long-term path to a better world." In other words, low-paying jobs (non-manufacturing unskilled blue collar) are hard to replace with robots. Janitors. Construction. Security guards. But the UAW guys? Yeah - hopefully they are gone soon. I am not against people doing manufacturing jobs... ok, yeah, I am against it. Eventually automation should be the way to go, and service jobs are the way of the future. We need to invest a lot in education to make the whole thing work, and create the highest-per-capita-GDP the world has ever seen.

Eventually of course is a long way away - but I would love to see in my lifetime a world where the majority of people live life in comfort and productivity is massively enhanced by robots digital automation (think Google vs. phone operator).

Ahh the future. I can't wait.

http://www.theawl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/matrix-pods1-350x249.jpg

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