by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:
If the economy is doing so fine, then why are so many retail giants going out of business?
The old way of doing things is no longer profitable. Humans cost to much money to maintain in the work force. The need and means for automation to replace many/most workers is upon us. What will be the societal implications resulting from this unavoidable development?
The Christmas Shopping Season Was a Disaster of Epic Proportions
The Christmas shopping season concluded over two weeks ago and retail report cards are coming and they are beyond bleak. There is currently a plethora of retail outlets closing their doors for an ever-increasing amount of corporate chains.
Sears for example is closing another 150 stores and the corporate giant is approaching $2 billion in debt. Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors. Macy’s is laying off 10,000 employees and closing over 100 stores. Aeropostale and Sports Authority among several others, closed its doors this past year. This is the pattern. This is not a trend but a reality of life in corporate America.
As the corporate woes go, so goes the woes of its many employees and former employees. as almost 66% of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Well, what about the profitable companies is we can learn from their success.
Amazon and Automation
Amazon, one of the few winners of the holiday shopping wars, employs more than 220,000 people and is growing fast. Disturbingly, Amazon is following a path that is going to lead to more and more automation and eventually is going to replace the majority of its human workforce.
Amazon’s warehouses are already somewhat automated, with a growing number of warehouse centers that are growing exponentially. These centers use a labor saving device called Kiva robots to perform mundane tasks such as carrying shelves of products to human workers.
Amazon is dependent upon automation because if it had to solely depend on its human labor force, the corporate giant would not be able to keep up with its shipping demands. This is an ongoing and pressing need with regard to the need to automate is inextricably tied to profit.
Amazon has a short-term goal of replacing 45,000 of its 225,000 human workers with robots. If Amazon, the winner of the holiday shopping wars is moving in this direction, what must the other retailers, who took a financial bath must be thinking?
Trends In Automation
Many are concerned about the long range impact of automation and its potential effects on the jobs sector. And then there are those from the establishment media, such as the Washington (Com) Post who say that automation is no big deal and if you find your job replaced, you will simply find another job. This child-like logic is also based upon the fact that the American economy supposedly added 2.7 million jobs in the past two years. However, the Washington (Com) Post forgot to mention that 80% of the jobs that were created pay less than $30,000 per year. Their argument reminds one of the nonsense the American people were told when the free trade agreements were rolled out when our leaders said it was OK if we lost our manufacturing jobs because we were moving to a service economy anyway. Well, America, how has that worked out? I can tell you, the average American worker now works almost 20% longer for 20% less when adjusted for inflation. Our economy is in shambles and we see that part-time and unemployed workers (101 million) actually outnumber full-time workers (95 million).
Despite the “Pollyanish” views of the MSM toward the impact of automation, employment experts, those that study the trends and who aren’t beholding to the globalists, tell a different story. Automation is a growing concern among those looking at future employment trends. A 2013 University of Oxford study concluded that half of American workers employed could see their jobs replaced by automation and their jobs could be replaced in the next decade.
Ask yourself, if you are Amazon, Macy’s Sears, et al., what path are you going to do with regard to this issue? Further, the “Bernie Sanders pie-in-the-sky” approach to getting something for nothing has left a mark on the young adults who have embraced this philosophy. This Sanders approach is showing up as several states raised minimum wage. The only thing that this accomplishes is that it is highly inflationary and will lead to the need for more automation. And people wonder why I call liberalism a mental disorder.
What is the end game? Where will automation take us? One thing is clear, we will have a lot of unemployed persons and the welfare state will be crushed by the increasing demand.
Further, it is important to realize that our lives are managed by the corporate and banking elite. Ask yourself, what do these people do with excess inventory? They have one of two choices, destroy the excess inventory or they sell it at a greatly reduced price. Sell who? That would be you.