"Education is the only thing you can do that will change society. Everything else is just a band-aid." - Jacqueline de Chollet
"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education" - FDR
A major caveat: Research has shown that neither automation nor offshoring have really "killed jobs." Both tend to reduce prices of goods, which benefits consumers. Either way, I do think that some people are getting left behind. So....
In the 1930s, there were around 100,000 employees at The Rouge, Ford's massive factory complex. They cranked out somewhere between 1000 and 2000 autos per day. Today, there are 6,000 employees at The Rouge. They make around 1500 F-150 trucks per day.
Life in automated factories is not stellar, as show with the latest round of onshoring. Unions are shattered, so those benefits -- including higher wages, pensions, protections from firings etc -- are gone. Pay is far less, 1/3 to 1/2 of previous wages; manufacturing wages have fallen 14% since 2003. Many factories are moving to southern states, where wages are lower and labor laws are lax. Some hire temps instead of full-time employees, and temps don't get benefits.
Some of the manufacturing jobs pay better than in the past -- someone has to repair the robots, right? However, those jobs require more skills than you get with a high school degree.
Or, to put all of this another way: The average Mexican factory worker earns $3.25/hour, whereas the US worker earns an average of $20/hour. The only way to make that work is to squeeze at least 5 times more productivity out of the US worker -- and cut wages to the bone.
Manufacturing in 2017 is no longer a route to a decent middle-class life for low-skilled workers.
Another consideration? We attack offshoring because it's mentally easier than thinking about automation. Put simply, blaming China and Mexico (and fat-cat capitalists) for the pain of economic transitions appeals to our tribal mindsets.
Whose jobs are getting replaced by robots?Who do you think is working in all those factories in China?
Egads. That doesn't even start to make sense.China's GDP growth is 7%, and that's based off of manufacturing so this talk of manufacturing not being a valid driver for the economy anymore falls flat.
The economy of the US circa 1850 was almost exclusively agricultural. Should the US have forsaken the Industrial Revolution? Should we refuse to import food because once upon a time, agriculture was the backbone of the US economy?
You do know that US manufacturing output is at record highs?
You do know that around 10% of the US labor market is in manufacturing? And that figure has been steadily declining since 1950?
The attachment to manufacturing is nostalgic nonsense, with an increasingly tenuous connection to reality. Manufacturing as a major source of labor has been over for decades. It's time to move on.
Here is the reality:
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
"Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911
The paper talks about alternative jobs, not "crappy part-time jobs." It includes people who are on-call; independent contractors; freelancers; temp workers; "gig economy" workers (Lyft, Uber, TaskRabbit etc).
50% of these alternate workers are self-employed. About 20% are temps, 15% are on-call.
The 94% figure, by the way, is for 2005 through 2015 -- a full 3 years before Obama took office, and during a period of massive job destruction due to a recession that, as a friendly reminder, hit before Obama took office. It is not saying that "94% of all people who got back to work during that time were stuck in crappy part-time jobs." If that were the case, then that would be screamingly obvious in the U3 and U6 unemployment. Millions who got back to work went into traditional jobs.
Most of those workers are in professional and business services, education, and health care. (Note: 700,000 of them work for the DoD as contract workers... and are paid better than federal employees.)
Neary 40% of the workers have a college degree. (We already know that everyone else had a very tough time in the wake of the recession.)
Contractor workers, independent contractors, and freelancers are paid more than traditional workers for similar jobs. They also appear to work fewer hours. 80% of these workers prefer those arrangements. There are some (especially temp workers) who are not doing well with these arrangements, and prefer traditional work.
While BLS hasn't captured some of this detail, these workers were not left out of the statistics. If the alternate workers have part-time jobs, they're counted as part-time. If their pay was less, that was captured in the wage data.
Somehow, I doubt these nuances got a lot of play on Breitbart. Just a guess.
I'm not sure where you're getting your information. Maybe it's just assumption and opinion based on belief or bias.
Take the paragraph I bolded above.
Review the new 4 year GM-UAW contract agreed to months ago.
As the new contract proves, little of what you wrote is true.
So I think you need to step back and rethink this theory you've been pushing. No other industry in the world can provide the economic benefits that manufacturing can, and will.
With the right leadership in Washington, manufacturing can and will return as a major industry in the United States, and the middle class will benefit most from this effort.
President Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States of America. A victory born in the hearts and minds of Everyday Americans
The question, knowing this, what's the best way forward? The GOP standard solution...retrain everyone to be engineers, robot techs, and software developers? Or the DNC standard solution...increase minimum wages, welfare, etc, in efforts to force employers and business owners to pay staff enough to keep a consumer economy affloat?
Neither seem terribly appealing to me, but frankly, I offer no alternative.
"Half full or half empty doesn't matter. What matters is, you've only got half a glass...so what are you going to do about it?" - Me