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Who Will Replace Baby Boomers as They Retire

Uploaded: Jul 26, 2013
Retiring baby boomers will be replaced by immigrants and their children who will account for over 80% of America's labor force growth and change over the next 20 years.

During these years the large baby boom generation will move slowly out of the workforce even as many baby boomers work into their late 60s and 70s. Between 2010 and 2030 nearly 59 million workers will leave the labor force and need to be replaced and, in addition, the labor force will increase by 24 million making 83 million jobs that need to be filled by workers with the right training and experience.

Between 2010 and 2030 41% of the nation's labor force growth will come from new immigrants, 43% from the children of immigrants and just 16% from the children of native-born parents.

Most (2/3) of future job openings will come from replacing workers and both the replacement jobs and job growth will be spread among a broad spectrum of industries and occupations. And while in the future there will be more jobs that require higher levels of education, job growth will occur for workers at all educational and experience levels, from those without a high school degree to doctoral degree holders.

The nation will need a growing number of experienced workers at all skill levels due to the number of older workers that are being replaced. Because the baby boomers are more highly educated than earlier generations, replacement needs at higher skill levels will accelerate. This is a substantial shift from the situation before 2010, when a much larger share of older workers leaving the workforce had less than a high school education.

The economy will be helped if immigration policy can better reflect workforce needs. This is especially true during the coming years when there will be a substantial exodus in numbers and experience as baby boomers retire. And this is especially true in California where immigrants and their children are a larger share of the current and future workforce.

Beyond the important consideration of how to reform our immigration laws, policymakers must not neglect native-born citizens. They, similar to immigrants and their children, will also be filling many of the positions now held by baby boomers. Skill development for the entire workforce should be a priority. The urgency of our needs in this decade and the next requires that the economic implications of the generational transition in the workforce that has already begun should not be left to happenstance.

These findings come from a recent report by Dowell Myers and John Pitkin of the Population Dynamics Research Group at U.S.C. and myself.

Comments

Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

"Who Will Replace Baby Boomers as They Retire?"

1. Automation (think robots for increased productivity; computers for increased efficiencies).

2. Secure all of our borders. Employment only via E-verify. Serious penalties for violators, both employers and employees...then:

3. Higher wages for all workers (Ricardo's iron law of wages)

4. Guest workers (seasonal), very diminished demand as agricultural automation progresses

5. Outsourcing for manufactured widgets

6. Traditional family units, which provide for their parents and vice- versa


Posted by Sam Walton, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

John: "Serious penalties for violators, both employers and employees..."

Never gonna happen. WalMart outsources to agencies that hire illegals (nighttime cleanup, etc.) Tyson Foods uses illegals, Midwestern meatpacking plants have sliced the wage structure through hiring undocumented immigrants. Those corporations will never pay a price under this political system, they pay to play (bribes/'donations' for campaigns to put their peons in office.)

When's the last time a politician blamed a Walton family member for employing undocumented workers? A Tyson CEO? An owner of a meatpacking plant?


Posted by parent, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:59 am

The problem for Americans is that other cultures, especially in poorer countries, respect education and parents push their kids to learn and have a better standard of living than their parents. American parents want their kids to "find themselves" and many are still floundering when they reach adulthood. It is no wonder that foreigners are taking over our workforce and our economy since Americans are pretty much letting them have it. If you want to blame someone, look in the mirror; don't blame the immigrants or immigration policy.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

"Never gonna happen. WalMart outsources to agencies that hire illegals..."

If there was the political will to punish the managers/owners of Walmart, and other large employers, it would change almost overnight. Imagine a perp walk for one, or more, of the Walton family members.... A low wage society is not a healthy society. Wages will remain low, as long as illegal immigration continues across a porous border. Let's not forget the social burden of such illegal immigration, like schools, hospitals, jails, crime, drugs, etc.

"The problem for Americans is that other cultures, especially in poorer countries, respect education and parents push their kids to learn and have a better standard of living than their parents. American parents want their kids to "find themselves" and many are still floundering when they reach adulthood."

You hit the nail on the head!


Posted by No problem, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

As long as the immigrants become citizens, no one should have a problem with that. Then the workforce WILL be American.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

>As long as the immigrants become citizens, no one should have a problem with that. Then the workforce WILL be American.

Translation: Open borders. No more nation states, including America. Future workers WILL be world citizens, under a world government, at best. At worst, it will be a war lord chaotic and violent scenario...think drug cartels.


Posted by Bubba, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

John: you're speaking from both sides of your mouth: "If there was the political will to punish the managers/owners of Walmart, and other large employers, it would change almost overnight." Then you blame open borders?

Lack of laws and political will is the reason, not so-called open borders.

People hike because they get hired. No fence will stop them if there is a job over here. There is NO political will to stop it. Throwing a bunch of government money at the usual defense contractors to build more fences, drones, more government workers etc is stupid. These are the same contractors that electrocuted our soldiers in Iraq. Web Link They don't care about a better fence, only taxpayer money that they then funnel back as contributions.

Throw the CEO's and directors into the slammer for a couple nights for each violation. Not Club Fed, either. Spend a night with Bubba at the state pen.

The next morning, guess what the first call is about? (well, after the doctor visit)


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

To clarify a few points.

Our report is about two trends/issues are related--1) the eventual exit of 59 million mostly baby boomer workers from the labor force and 2) the immigration reform discussion going on today.

The major conclusions are 1) immigration reform will help the economy if it is more workforce based than the current system--icnluding both high, middle and low skilled jobs and 2) education is critical for all kids but we note that 43% of workforce growth to 2030 will come from American born children of immigrants.

The disucssion of unauthorized immigration, E-verify, border fences and the like is a great topic but only a small, if any, part of how we will replace retiring baby boomers across the occupational spectrum and remain competitive as an economy.

While our report does not discuss unauthorized immigration readers should know that recent levels have been close to zero.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Bubba:

"People hike because they get hired. No fence will stop them if there is a job over here. There is NO political will to stop it."

I thought that was part of what I said. Put the employers in the pen for a few nights with "Bubba", and they will get the point (and other hard things). But the enforcement tools are required, especially E-Verify. The illegal jobs will dry up, once automation and labor supply/demand issues are addressed. We need high wage jobs, at the lowest end, and this not happen with a porous border

Stephen Levy:

You fail, IMO, to project into the future, something you claim to be good at. Please present your honest analysis of technological/legal/cultural solutions to the labor force issues:

1. Agriculture

2. Manufacturing

3. Law breaking, including NSA oversight, license plate readers, drones, private high-tech prisons...and many more. All of these save enormous amounts of man/woman-hours.

4. A return to a more traditional family structure, so that parents and children can make appropriate arrangements to provide for each other...maybe the parents will pay for the rent/mortgage, in exchange for family/personal care, in a family environment.


Posted by PI Complex, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

3. Private prisons???? Not just no, but hell NO! Our politicians are already crooked enough, we don't need judges getting bribed by prison companies to send more kids to jail for longer sentences so a corporation can be more profitable!

NO to the private prison/judge/politician/industrial complex!

Think it hasn't already happened? "The "Kids for cash" scandal unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were accused of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh sentences on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of inmates in the detention centers"

Millions of dollars in BRIBES, KICKBACKS, and "campaign donations"! Say NO to the prison/industrial complex!

4. Why do we want big government in our marriage and family planning? NO WAY!


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

"Private prisons???? Not just no, but hell NO!"

The Three Strikes law in California was very effective in reducing major crimes, because it shut down the repeat offenders. These scumbags need to go somewhere to spend major time, and private prisons are a relatively efficient way to do it. If it has become a 'prison industrial system' so what?


Posted by Jeff Gebhart, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I'm with PI Complex. They showed the corruption that has happened when a profit motive is applied to prisons.

- a relatively efficient way? -

How is "imposing harsh sentences on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of inmates in the detention centers" for greater profits, 'a relatively efficient way' to help troubled youth?

Not buying it. If my grandchild gets into trouble, I don't want his judge owing favors to a donor who runs a detention facility.


Posted by Joe, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:15 pm

> While our report does not discuss unauthorized immigration
> readers should know that recent levels have been close to zero.

What is recent? The current count of illegals is thought to be about 11M.


Posted by Slevy@ccsce.com, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Yes, there are about 11million unauthorized residents. The change during the past three years has been slightly negative due in part to the recession, in part due to an improving Mexican economy and in part from more border security efforts.


Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of ,
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Why replace baby boomers? Traffic was better when the population was around 150m..


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

There is too much information in this study to absorb in a short look-see of the paper. Every study is based on assumptions, which may, or may not, prove true over time. It's not likely that many of us will have the time to take this paper apart, in order to argue with its author(s).

However, a couple of posters have brought up the issue of "technology", ie—robotics, as a game changer, where US labor needs in the future are concerned. There have been a number of articles in the past couple of weeks worthy of discussion:

Farming Robotics:
Web Link

Web Link

WSJ/Driverless Cars:
Web Link
Web Link

U.S. Army foresees robots becoming squad members:
Web Link

These are all mainstream sources—reporting on real progress in the development of robotics to replace the need for human labor in places where labor is hard to come by, or where the environment is not overly friendly to humans.

Unless these developments are factored into any long-term (over twenty years) projects, the results of these projects are not likely to prove as true as their authors would hope.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

There are any number of news articles one could point to which make predictions about shifts in the nature of work in our society that will result in the "extinction" of various types of jobs:

Web Link

1. Actor: Actors in film and television will be replaced by completely realistic animations. Stage actors will of course exist for a while longer, and will probably be performing in many parts of the world simultaneously, through the anticipated widespread use of holograms.

2. Cashier: Many grocery stores already have self-operated check stands, but that's just a tradeoff between a cashier doing the job and you doing it yourself, making your groceries cheaper. In the future, check stands will be fully automated. Just leave your groceries on the belt and let the robot tally it up – many times faster than a human ever could. As a consequence, lines will be much less of a nuisance, as they become increasingly non-existent.

3. Construction worker: Construction work can be hazardous, so why should humans risk their lives doing it? Insurance companies certainly won't cover a construction firm that that takes such unnecessary risks. Robotics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they'll be constructing buildings cheaper, and far more rapidly than humans.

4. Soldier: Compared to sophisticated robots, humans are relatively susceptible to mental deficiencies such as nervousness, pride, stupidity, miscalculation, and slow reaction time. In other words: computers can do the same job more efficiently, without risking human life, and without apprehension.

5. Security guard: Buy a strong, obedient robot that can see in the dark, never falls asleep on duty, and won't accept bribes, to protect your home or your business.

6. Car mechanic: Cars will become too technically complex to repair for humans. Computers and robots will take care of it. Eventually, cars will fix themselves. They've already started driving themselves.

7. Garbage collector: Instead of two slow, weak and unhappy guys tossing garbage into the back of the truck, a single fast, strong and highly "motivated" robot will complete the process in five seconds.

8. Assembly line worker: Automakers, textile producers and furniture factories (to mention some industries) around the world are cutting costs by reducing their number of salary, pension and insurance absorbing employees, and shifting focus to mechanical solutions.

9. Toll booth operator: Many developed countries have already successfully implemented moeny-and-time saving automatic toll booths with video detection and post payment/subscriptions.

10. Prostitute: The completely completely lifelike robot girlfriends will obviate the demand for carnal services in the future.

11.Nature photographer: Closeups from inside the lion's cave and year-long stakeouts without the need for food or shelter are the advantages I can see robots having, off the top of my head.

12. Surgeon: Why let a nervous, shaky doctor with poor eyesight cut you with knives and fool around inside of you, when a steady handed, ice cool and accurate robot can do it instead? Medical malpractice lawsuits cost the American health providers some $30 billion each year. This will end.

13. Pilot: Computerized pilots are not like regular pilots in that they are not prone to human error, i.e. they won't spill coffee on the instrument panels in the cockpit or miscalculate their landing angle. Nor do they need good visibility to fly, as their millimeter-accurate GPS and sensor systems will guide them blindly to their destination. Obviously, they will have to prove their merit before plane passengers, and by extension airlines, can trust them.

14. Film processor: Even today it seems absurd to have a full time employee engaged in nothing but changing film, and most modern movie theaters are rapidly moving away from this.

15. Librarian: Libraries will soon look very different. Why have a library containing 50,000 paper made books when you can have 50 million of them in virtual form, which you can access with your library card and download to your kindle or iPad. There will not be any need for humans to process the lending of books.

16. Call center operator: By 2029, when computers are scheduled to match human intelligence, a microchip will call your house and argue that you do in fact need flood insurance.

17. News anchor: No mispronunciations, no misunderstandings, no Freudian slips, just a perfectly articulate teleprompter with a (beautiful) face.

18. Mailman: Who sends snail-mail these days? Mostly nostalgic pen pals. While we may have a small segment left of the paper mail industry, most of the things we use the mail for either is transitioning to or has already moved completely online: Bills, public notices, and business-letters. Although, we'll still need package delivery (at least until nanotechnology enables us to send and download material objects like we send files today, in 30-40 years.)

19. Waiters: Robots don't have an attitude, won't spit in your food, and don't need tips. They can work tirelessly around the clock, be ultra-efficient and be called upon by clicking a button in your menu.

20. Receptionist: Artificial intelligence and robotics sciences are approaching a point where the robots we can make will match humans in terms of intelligence. These robots will be our faithful servants who perform the menial tasks, so humans can focus on developing themselves.
---

Studies that do not at least make an effort to factor in these possible "job extinctions" may well be in significant error as time unfolds.




Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

One of the jobs listed in the previous post that might become "extinct" is that of US Postman. The following link points to a USPO web-page that documents the employment history of the USPO:
Web Link

Notice that there has been a significant reduction in employees between a high-water mark of 2000 and 2010—about 200,000 fewer employees are on the PO's payrolls:

Web Link

Recent proposals about the financial problems of the PO have included reducing the number of post offices, reducing post office hours, and reducing/terminating special services that are no longer utilized by the public.

As "technology" (in this case, the Internet/WEB, and data networks, in general) has emerged, the need to send messages/information on paper has decreased rapidly—to the point that we really don't need a government post office as we once did.

Let's suppose that over the next twenty years, the USPO's headcount were reduced to 150K, or so—how would that affect immigration projections?


Posted by Satiric Lyric, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

Wayne - Well Done!! You had me going for a bit, I actually thought you were serious at the beginning!

Huzzah! Well played.

The one that made me realize you were pulling our leg? "Prostitute: The completely completely lifelike robot girlfriends will obviate the demand for carnal services in the future."

Man, you're good. Do you do satire professionally, or just out for fun? I guess once you got started, you got on a roll!


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

Here's another robot concept: Prison guards. They can deliver meals, break up fights, escort prisoners, cannot be corrupted, do cell searches (endlessly), cannot be unionized, will speak in a modulated and soothing voice, don't need benefits and will sacrifice their lives without regard to family concerns. They might even be able to make friends with their prisoners and allow early releases, if they go home with them.

I fail to see Stephen Levy thinking outside the box. He appears to be running a set of numbers, without consideration of dynamic changes that are around the corner.


Posted by Satiric Lyric, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Robots? Omigosh, you two are serious?!?!?!? Robot hookers and robot guards by 2030?

17 years.

I want some of your koolaid!


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm

"Robots? Omigosh, you two are serious?!?!?!? Robot hookers and robot guards by 2030?"

Maybe even sooner! But only if there is the political will to allow the market to provide its invisible hand. What we don't need is imported hookers and corrupt prison guards/unions.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 7:51 am

Here is another list of occupations that are Forbes Magazine proposes will go extinct in the coming years:

Web Link

No. 1: Farmers, Ranchers and other Agricultural Managers
No. 2: Postal Carriers
No. 3: Sewing Machine Operators
No. 4: Switchboard Operators
No. 5: Fast Food Cooks
No. 6: Agricultural Workers
No. 7: Data Entry Keyers
No. 8: Word Processors and Typists
No. 9: Door-to-Door Sales Workers and News and Street Vendors
No.10: Food Service Managers
No. 11: Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
No. 12: File Clerks
No. 13: Prepress Technicians and Workers
No. 14: Computer Operators
No. 15: Postmasters and Mail Superintendents
No. 16: Office Machine Operators*
No. 17: Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials
No. 18: Florists
No. 19: Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
No. 20: Loan Interviewers and Clerks
---

The article offers some hard numbers, relative to the decline in the headcounts in these occupational specialties.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 8:01 am

Three of our Asian competitors, China, Japan, and Korea, have all been considering the same problem that the authors of the study citied above—aging populations and the impacts of future labor shortages on those countries' GDPs. Immigration is not a meaningful option for any of these countries, as those promoting "immigration reform" (or even possibly open borders) are suggesting for the US.

The following links point to articles, and a video, of some of the advances in robotics in China and Japan:
---
A RESPONSE IN JAPAN TO LOW BIRTHRATES AND LABOR SHORTAGE: HUMANOID ROBOTS:
Web Link

"They can be up to 80% as productive as humans. The real difference lies in the fact that they don't take weekends or days off and they also work at night," says Maruo with a smile. He has already implemented 13 humanoids in his factory, together with dozens of industrial robots. "Normal robots work fast and very precisely, but they don't have the ability to execute different kinds of tasks and are not as flexible and dexterous as humanoids," he explains, in front of a workstation where a humanoid is working alongside a young woman.

-----
Robots on the Rise in China:
Web Link

The interest reflects a growing interest in robotics among Chinese manufacturers, who are increasingly turning to technology to overcome the challenges of rising labour costs and fierce competition from emerging nations in South and Southeast Asia. According to Liu, the Shanghai arm of Fanuc, which dominates the global market for industrial robotics, almost doubled sales every year until cooling somewhat following the 2009 global financial crisis and outbreak of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which hurt the supply of raw materials.
-----

Can Robots Save China?:
Web Link

Videos of Chinese-developed Robots:
Web Link
---

It's interesting that our main competition in the trade arena in Asia is looking seriously at robotics as a way to operate their economies when adequate labor is not available. Wonder why the authors of this paper don't see this opportunity too?


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 11:10 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Ok, I guess Wayne is serious.

The idea that automation will destroy jobs is an old strand in American economic thinking, dating back at least to WW11 and deserves a serious response, which I will make in a later post.

But first, let's have some fun with Wayne and John.

The list of 20 soon to be extinct occupations that Wayne cites from Forbes comes from (trumpet roll please) exactly the same source we used to cite the need to replace 59 million workers and fill an additional 24 million jobs by 2030. So, Wayne, you can sleep soundly now. We took those occupational declines into account as did the other organizations whose work we reviewed and used.

Economy.com
HIS Global Insight
REMI
CBO
Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce
Brookings Institution

So if you and John want to go after "the authors" you got a long list of collaborators.

Wayne was also a little over the top using the word "extinct". The top occupation on the Forbes list copied from the Bureau of Labor Statistics source we used has farming jobs going from 1.2 million in 2010 to 1.1 million in 2020, hardly "extinct":

But if Wayne and John still feel they have something to offer we have all missed, please send full contact info (that might be a problem for John who doesn't even use his full name) and resume to me and I will send it along.

But Wayne did raise a point worth discussing and he did use his real name so a reply is forthcoming when I get more time. Meanwhile readers can ponder the fact that both parties, labor and business (for different motives) all agree that immigration policies more attuned to labor market trends are important, which was what our paper was trying to add some fact-based trend information to.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Pining for Robots, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

[Post removed.]



Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

>The top occupation on the Forbes list copied from the Bureau of Labor Statistics source we used has farming jobs going from 1.2 million in 2010 to 1.1 million in 2020, hardly "extinct"

C. Chaves and his crew opposed farm labor automation. UC Davis used to lead in this area, until Chavez and his political cohorts shut it down. If there is the political will, farm labor will be almost completely automated in about two decades (should have been already). [Portion removed.]


Posted by Pining for Robots, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

[Portion removed.]

Elimination of stoop labor, in favor of automation on the farm, is very much in line with higher wages for agricultural staff. I say "staff", because agriculture is a profession, not a folk culture.

It is up to you to prove that stoop labor is a good thing. If minimum wages were to be set at $25/hour for ag wages (plus benefits), you would see automation overnight. However, the UFW (Chavez legacy) would oppose that, because it would eliminate its power.


Posted by Pining for Robots, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by smell test, a resident of ,
on Jul 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

"If minimum wages were to be set at $25/hour for ag wages"

John, are you suggesting a higher minimum wage? Or are you saying the UFW wants lower wages? Sorry, that doesn't even pass the smell test.

That, and given yours posts have been removed, makes one wonder how serious your views should be acknowledged. Perhaps you can explain it in detail next time your posse is holding forth with European CEOs at Baume.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 8:50 am

> The top occupation on the Forbes list copied from the
> Bureau of Labor Statistics source we used has farming jobs going
> from 1.2 million in 2010 to 1.1 million in 2020, hardly "extinct":

The Census of 1900 showed that (perhaps) 90 percent of the country lived on farms, or farming communities—which means that 10s of millions of Americans were involved in agricultural pursuits. Mr. Levy cites about 1.1M involved in agriculture today. Seems that the word "extinction" of this labor category is not as "over the top" as he might suggest—as long as we look at the numbers in a meaningful time line.

A couple of years ago, I read an article that claimed that there were so few people working in the farming sector that the US Census has stopped actually measuring the real people, and estimates those numbers algorithmically.

Will we see a day when there are no "farmers"—no, obviously not. The question on the table is how many illegals/transient workers are needed in the future, if appropriate automation become available?


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

> The idea that automation will destroy jobs is an old strand
> in American economic thinking, dating back at least to WW11

Automation has both "destroyed" and "created" jobs. Every basic industry has seen radical changes in the past 70 years. While the deindustrialization of the US (shifting of manufacturing jobs to low-cost labor markets) has had a devastating effect on the US manufacturing job counts, automation has had its effect too. Certainly the whole electronics industry exists because of automated manufacturing lines. Hopefully, Mr. Levy does not deny that?

The following Youtube video is of a VW manufacturing facility in Germany:
Web Link

This is clearly a state-of-the art facility, which has highly leveraged automation to reduce the number of workers needed to manufacture cars. I contacted this plant's PR person at one point to inquire about the number of employees. Seems to me that he said that there were fewer than 1400 at the time, but that they expected to increase that number to 1800 with a 3rd shift, at some point.

If we look at a older, less automated, car manufacturing operation—we will see many more workers on the floor.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

Telecommunications is an essential US industry that has seen automation embraced in a way that can not be denied. Accordingly, headcounts have been going down for decades—at least at the direct point of delivery of telecommunication services.

Take telephone operators, for instance:

Web Link

Seems to me that I read somewhere that in the 1950s there were perhaps 500K to 600K people employed in that occupation. Today, I'm led to believe that there are only about 50K employed as operators.

Anyone using the telephones knows that voice recognition/menuing systems have emerged recently to reduce the need for human operators to provide straight-forward services, such as directing calls, or accepting payments from credit cards.

It's difficult to believe that there will not be greater use of these sorts of systems in the future.

Oh, what's not so easy to determine is how many new jobs have been created in the electronics/software industries to create these technologies. What is clear, however, is tht these new jobs are not unskilled, or semi-skilled, in nature.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:04 am

Farm Automation

I'm guessing that the Authors of the paper used to seed this discussion have never worked on a farm. In the last fifty years, automation has been increasingly used to do the jobs that "Americans won't do":

Automated Milking Machines:
Web Link
Web Link

Given that historically, cows were milked by hand, it might not be that hard to determine how many jobs have been "destroyed" by this sort of automation, based on the number of gallons of milk delivered into the American food supply.

Harvest Automation
Web Link
Web Link
Strawberry Harvesting:
Web Link

Where I lived, some of the strawberry farms would not fully harvest their fields—inviting the public to come in and help themselves to anything that was left. I got a real taste of what "stoop labor" was like before I was eight. Machines like the strawberry harvester certainly replaces the need for people having to break their backs in the hot summer sun.

Fundamental issues of the reliability of this sort of equipment, and whether robotics can be developed to actually repair this equipment, on site, is an open question. Most equipment with moving parts needs a lot of maintenance.

I continue to resist being dismissed for believing that automation is already a significant portion of our economy, and will only see its role increased in the future.


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:32 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Wayne,

I don't think you are being dismissed. I said you had raised a good point.

I have some short responses and will get back when I have more time.

Response one is what I said before is that I think we have taken the job shifts coming from technology and capital investment into account. That was the point that we were citing the same sources.

Two, your farming example is great. During the period when millions moved off farms, the economy prospered, had the Great Recession, has a period of remarkable prosperity and now is recovering from a deep recession. Life goes on--people find new jobs, many of which are created by the innovation that reduces other kinds of jobs.

Moreover, during these periods of long-term job changes, the U.S. has witnessed a strong growth in immigration. There is no conflict between continuing technological change and the need for immigration policy to be more workforce based.

In fact one of the strengths of tying immigration more to labor market trends is that if ever there comes a time when fewer immigrants are needed, policy can adapt.

Though that is not likely in the near term for the reasons laid out in the report and in the mass of support for making immigration policy more linked to labor market trends.

So, much of what you posted is accurate but not a reason to put down our report or decide that we and the other authors/sources we cited are too clueless to know that technological change affects job trends.

Do you have any thoughts on immigration reform and workforce trends?


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

>John, are you suggesting a higher minimum wage? Or are you saying the UFW wants lower wages? Sorry, that doesn't even pass the smell test.

[Portion removed.]

Wages will rise, as the demand for labor goes up; alternatively, if the demand for labor goes down (e.g. due to automation)wages for stoop labor will go down, even as the wages for skilled staff (those running the robots)will rise, due to the productivity entrained.

The UFW wants power, through large numbers of low wage stoop labor. If an artificial minimum wage of $25/hour is set by fiat, the farmers will rush to automation, thus diminishing the number of UFW jobs. So yes, UFW prefers relatively lower wages, compared to staff wages under automation. Automation is a killer for UFW, and that is why Chavez opposed it so strongly.

I predict that by 2030, there will be miniscule amounts of stoop labor, as along as automation is not artificially inhibited by the government, as it has been. If efficient border security is established, it will happen much faster. A low wage society is not a healthy society.

The ultimate low wage society was slavery. The South had it and North much less so...this incentivized the North to become a major industrial power...which is what led to the demise of the South in the Civil War.




Posted by stoop to ad hominem , a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:15 pm

[Portion removed.]

Your ad hominem attack belies that you cannot offer evidence that the farm workers union wants stoop labor, other than making it up with a ridiculous twenty five dollar wage.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

>you cannot offer evidence that the farm workers union wants stoop labor

I already did. UFW OPPOSED farm automation, and shut down research on such automation at UC Davis Extension. This Luddite attitude helped to keep stoop labor stooped for far too long. The UFW has a lot to answer for, and it ain't pretty.

[Portion removed.]


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

Luddites? A union opposes automation to retain jobs, therefore they supposedly favor 'stoop labor'? I agree, that's quite a leap of logic, or to shorten it a bit: illogical. Wayne's links also show that the UFW has little sway on farm automation.

Having just stumbled on this thread, I missed a lot of the ad hominem attacks that have been deleted. Was John's link to the UFW favoring 'stoop labor' also deleted, or is he relying on his (il)logical leap of "UAW opposes automation, therefore UAW favors stoop manual labor for cars" argument?


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 30, 2013 at 10:27 am

>Luddites? A union opposes automation to retain jobs, therefore they supposedly favor 'stoop labor'?

The vast majority of UFW membership is stoop labor. The UFW does not want to lose its membership (and political clout)...that is why it opposed farm automation. To shut down UC Davis Extension research on farm automation is one of the best examples of Ludditism I can think of.


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Well, allow me to repost for our slower readers... "Was John's link to the UFW favoring 'stoop labor' also deleted, or is he relying on his (il)logical leap..."

link?


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

"The idea of automating the harvesting process is nothing new. The government funded an effort during the 1970s to automate harvesting. But opposition from Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union and the realization that the technology was just not ready ended that effort. The current effort is being funded entirely privately."

I will allow Farmer John to look up the source, because I want him to do some labor on his own.


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 9:50 am

Whoa, Johnny me laddy, getting a bit testy. Perhaps a trip to your nearest robotic den of inequity is in order (referenced above, #10.) Let's take a critical look at the statement you copied from a blogger, with a bit o' good Scot sensibility:

- "The idea of automating the harvesting process is nothing new. The government funded an effort during the 1970s" 1960-70's liberal big government spending; today what remains are the farm bill subsidies for millionaire ag business owners, ie. corporate welfare for millionaires

- "AND the realization that the technology was just not ready ended that effort." Aye, cap'n, there's the rub! Even John's blogger admits it wasn't ready.

- "The current effort is being funded entirely privately" As it should. We already give too many tax dollars to private industry as corporate welfare.

So let's look up the source, whoa-nelly, sell the farm, look at this winner! A yahoo blogger, with no substantiation or links to data to support his absurd notion, in a lame post from 6 years ago. What are his recent current posts, you ask? What has our ag and automation expert posted?

- "'Creed' to Feature the Grandson of Apollo Creed, Rocky's Opponent and Friend"

- "NASA researcher hunts for alien civilizations using Kepler data"

- "Sarah Palin on the 'Phony Scandals' and How They Might Have Been Prevented"

- and this prize winning piece of fiction from today "Poll Suggests Sarah Palin Might Be Viable Senate Candidate"

John: even your lame 'expert' offers no substantiation, and freely admits "that the technology was just not ready ended that effort."


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:15 am

Farmer Brown,

Are you seriously challenging the charge that UFW (Chavez) opposed farm automation? I was there, back then, and let me tell ya that he did! Big time.

UC Davis Extension developed the first mechanized tomato harvester, then passed/licensed out that technology to industry. There was also some basic work on the first grape mechanical harvesters...imagine what Chavez thought about that?!

The notion that our universities should not be involved in basic research to improve the human condition is absurd. After all, they are supported by the larger society (taxes or donations). It is time to unleash UC Davis...it will get grants from private/public sources, provide educations and jobs for its students, get royalty payments (maybe) and make life a lot better by reducing stoop labor.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:40 am

"The fundamental question for consumers is who and, now, what do you want picking your food; a machine or a human, who with the proper training and support, can" ... take significant steps to ensure a safer, higher quality product, said Erik Nicholson, national vice president of the United Farm Workers of America.

Read more: Web Link

Translation: UFW supports stoop labor over automation, and uses scare tactics to keep it that way.

In the end UFW will lose, as all Luddites do, but it is a shame that it has taken so long. Bottom line: There will be very little stoop labor by 2030.


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

John deliberately bends the argument. Defend your ORIGINAL premise with substantiated facts, John:

"The UFW wants power, through large numbers of low wage stoop labor."

You claim the UFW supports stoop labor. (let's ignore your other fantasies - Q: "Robot hookers and robot guards by 2030? 17 years. A: Maybe even sooner!")

You can't defend your original point without deviating off to some Apollo Creed blogger, who himself said "that the technology was just not ready ended that effort." (your link)

You claim the UFW supports stoop labor.

You are wrong.

I also hope you are wrong about robotic prostitution in less than 17 years.

It'll be nigh-on impossible to keep the boys down on the farm after that!


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

"Translation: UFW supports stoop labor over automation, and uses scare tactics to keep it that way."

That's YOUR warped translation. The UFW does NOT support stoop labor, that's your interpretation to satisfy the ax you seem to have to grind about either Chavez or organized workers in general.

As I noted, claiming the UFW wants stoop labor is akin to "UAW opposes automation, therefore UAW favors stoop manual labor for cars".

All organizations of workers tend to oppose automation.

That is a far cry from your absurd notion of 'the UFW wants stoop labor'.

Silly.


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 10:55 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Interestingly, one of the ways to reduce future workforce shortages and pressures for more immigration is to design a path to legal status for current unauthorized immigrants and, particularly for the children who came with their parents. A whole series of studies show that bringing these residents out of the shadows would increase economic growth, allow these residents to increase their education and become more productive workers and meet some of the upcoming workforce demands created by the baby boomer retirements.

This is a separate issue from ongoing discussions about how to reduce future unauthorized immigration.

Readers will note that many Republicans including Grover Norquist, donors and business groups are actively lobbying House members around the economic benefits of bringing current unauthorized residents out of the shadows into some version of legal status.

For readers who like to read economic analyses

[Web Link Web Link]

[Web Link Web Link]

[Web Link Web Link]


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:10 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

The prevailing fear about technoglogical change has been that it would put millions of people permanently out of work.

I use the word techological change rather than automation because many recent changes involve cost savings from use of the Internet and other technologies and not just reducing labor needs through more capital equipment investment,

But the experience from moving millions of workers from farms to urban workforces, from the widespread use of Internet and mobile devices to, for example, allow individuals to book travel, do banking, make purchases and so forth has changed the structure of jobs but also creates jobs to replace the ones that are lost.

All transitions have human costs as well as benefits as some workers cannot easily make transitions.

But the private sector drive for innovation and new services will not stop and must be incorporated in future workforce (and immigration) planning.

While the current recession may make it appear that technology has made the job losses increase, it remains true that unemployment and particpation rates were at historice "good levels" just a few years ago despite 100 years of technology changing the nature of jobs.

So technology (including "automation") will not offset the impace of baby boomer retirements or the need for immigration reform tied to theg labor market or out study's finding that immigrants and their children will replace the majority of retiring boomers.

So policies that take this into account are important to discuss


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

Stephen, you seem adamant about not engaging in the discussion on - "10. Prostitute: The completely completely lifelike robot girlfriends will obviate the demand for carnal services in the future."

Still researching an appropriate response?

;-)

Thanks for the economic links.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:37 am

>All organizations of workers tend to oppose automation.

[Portion removed.]

>But the private sector drive for innovation and new services will not stop and must be incorporated in future workforce (and immigration) planning.

I agree with your generic statement, Stephen, even though I disagree with your agriculture numbers (way off track re: serious analysis).

I think you would probably agree that the USA needs fewer manual laborers, going forward, and more engineers that can design the robots that will do that stuff.


Posted by Farmer Brown, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Stoop ID, a resident of ,
on Jul 31, 2013 at 7:08 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Garrett, a resident of ,
on Aug 4, 2013 at 8:16 am

What about all professional jobs, creative jobs and all those that aren't low income. Jobs that require human thinking and decision making.

I deal with the public, in some cases the youth of today not so smart. If we get rid of the common workers who will buy, serve or rent your properties.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

This morning's NYT carried an interesting article about a clash of cultures between Amazon and the German Labor Unions. One particular paragraph caught my eye:

Web Link

Last year, the company spent $775 million to buy a manufacturer of robots that it plans to eventually deploy in its warehouses, though it has not said when they would come to Germany. The last thing it wants is to have to get approval from unions for such changes.
------

Warehouses are clearly workplaces that can be dangerous, and certainly not "glorious" work. By spending 775M to acquire a robotics company:

Web Link

it's clear that this Internet-based retail operation means to reduce costs, by employing robots, rather than people, in its warehouses. Whether it plans to share its technology with other companies, or just use the technological acumen of this company for its own purposes, we'll have to wait and see. But it's clear that much of the menial labor that has provided jobs for low-skilled people in the past will be done by machines in the future.
----


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 9:08 am


> Do you have any thoughts on immigration
> reform and workforce trends?

I would have thought that the thrust of my comments is that the workforce of the future is not going to look like the workforce of the past. And as such, I am not a big fan of "immigration reform"—at least until that is some long term vision of our workplaces will look like in the coming years. The idea that we need a lot of "cheap labor" is not borne out by clearly established trends towards "robotics", and other "automation" in Asia, and here in the US.

Basic issues that involve the "carrying capacity" of our cities, and the national infrastructure need more work. While we can mindlessly project the need for "more workers"—what will these "workers" be doing twenty years, or thirty years, from now?

I conceded that these are not easy questions. I worked on a steel mill automation project back in the early 1970s. There was a lot of resistance to the project by the labor unions, and a lack of strategic vision on the part of the general management. As it turned out, rather than putting workers out of jobs—the project failed, and the plant was subsequently shut down. That particularly plant had historically hired as many as 25,000 workers. The general management had warned the workers that if this project did not succeed, then the plant would be shuttered. That warning did not seem to motivate the Unions, or the local plant management, for that matter. So, in this case, "technology" would have meant the continuation of that plant's operation. Yes, some people would have been displaced, but as it turned out—all of the workers were displaced.

Much of the American steel industry has migrated to low-cost domains. Those plants that remained, have automated extensively. If one looks on Youtube for videos on "steel plant automation", the videos show modern steel plants (including American plants) where there are few workers to be seen. Pictures of steel plants before "automation" shows people wandering around in great numbers.

So—I don't think that we need "immigrants" to replace the "baby boomers" who have lost their jobs in the steel industry, over the past three decades. Same comments can be directed to the automobile industry.

Some sort of meaningful analysis (which could easily end up be off by more than 100%) needs to be done before we declare that we have an "immigration crisis" that needs us to put, in effect, an open borders immigration policy.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 9:14 am

> If we get rid of the common workers who
> will buy, serve or rent your properties.

This is a very important question that has not had much thought, I suspect. Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book called "Piano Player" back the '50s about the possibility of society that had become so automated that few people work in its factories, and large numbers were employed on government-sponsored public works projects. It's a bleak story, where Vonnegut envisions a world that he has no insight into.

However, as I've pointed out with the numerous links—automation, including the rapidly expanding field of robotics, offers an alternative to "worker shortages", and immigration policies that have the portent of changing America to something that none of us really want.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 11:01 am

I've spent a lot of time pointing out that "automation" has changed the food production industry over the past three centuries. These changes have been achieved by replacing human muscle power with iron/steel and "motive engines". Today, there is a press release from a Dutch lab, claiming to have used beef "muscle stem cells"--

Brin's $332,000 Lab-Grown Burger Has Cake-Like Texture:
Web Link

The article claims that this "burger" doesn't taste that good, but that the product of this chemistry experiment seems to be edible. This achievement in the lab opens the doors to mapping out a future where a lot of food is grown in a factory-like environment, with machines doing the work.

These kinds of achievements, which are happening every day should not be ignored in any discussion of our need for "immigrants".


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

People are now beginning to use drones to deliver items that otherwise have required people to make a trip to the store. Here's an example of a company that is using smartphones, and drones, to deliver Tocos:

Web Link

(I do hope this is not a scam, but I have seen videos of dry cleaners experimenting with drones delivering dry cleaning in highly urbanized locations.)

Again--if we have machines like this doing menial work, how many "immigrants" will we need in the coming years?


Posted by Fly me to the emoon, a resident of ,
on Aug 5, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Geez, Wayne. Tacos by drone? Dry cleaning by drone?

I saw pictures of flying cars growing up.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

> I saw pictures of flying cars growing up.

Yep .. on Disneyland's "World of Tomorrow", among other places.

Not much came of the idea to date, but people are still working on it, as this BBC article points out—

Flying Cars:
Web Link

Web Link

Earlier this month, US aerospace start-up Terrafugia unveiled the TF-X, a concept design for a radical new type of personal air transport vehicle. So I talked to Carl Dietrich, co-founder of the company, to find out how it might work.
----

Flying car lands at NY Autoshow:
Web Link

These are not things that I am dreaming up—these are ideas that are being pioneered here in the US, and in other places in the world. Flying cars would be very useful in locations that are not so densely populated, like Canada, Australia and much of Africa. Doctors, businessmen, and even tourists, would welcome vehicles that would offer them the greater mobility of both flying to a location, and once on the ground, being able to drive to their ultimate destination.

While I doubt that we will see millions of flying cars over our US cities anytime soon, the technology seems to permit their design, and manufacture. Safety, and reliability, and insurability being the next hurdles of this idea.

But back to the use of drones to deal with worker shortages, reducing the need to increase the immigration levels in the future. Domino's, in the UK, is experimenting with drones to deliver pizza:

Domino's Pizza in UK uses drone to deliver pizzas (with video):
Web Link

This particular story seems to be more of a publicity stunt for Domino's. It doesn't take long to come up with a list of problems that would need to be solved before a company would seriously consider employing these devices.

But it does open the door to what kinds of work can drones do. Certainly here in Palo Alto, drones could be used to help police, looking for criminals or providing a quick-look see at accident sites. Drones could survey road conditions for traffic, as well as provide survey data for road surface conditions. One or two drones could be easily adapted to patrol for fires in the foothills.



Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

(Continued From Above due to "Link Limit")

The FAA has recently authorized the military use of drones in the Syracuse (NY) area:
Web Link

as well as some commercial operations:
Web Link

All of these are jobs that people (ie—baby boomers) are currently not able to do—so it's unlikely that immigrants in the future will be able to do these jobs, either.


Posted by waynesworld, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:13 am

Wayne - you are mocked with the flying cars example, and then you go off with 250 words on flying cars, even links. Incredible.

Do you even see that?

The automation issue was addressed in the study. I have no idea why you have polluted the thread with thousands and thousands of words that are essentially off topic after you say these ten "I disagree with the report on the potential automation effects"

Virtually unreadable (for the topic) though fascinating as a study of someone who has a passion for robots. I guess.

You are either trolling with your version of a thread filibuster (possible)

or

You are trying to justify your original ridiculous list that included robotic prostitutes (probable)

We get it. You dig robots. Far out.

Start a blog.


Posted by waynesworld, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

"But back to the use of drones to deal with worker shortages, "

That was never the topic. That is YOUR topic.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

> You are trying to justify your original ridiculous list
> that included robotic prostitutes (probable)

Not my list, just one (if many) that I could have picked up from the Net. Interesting that of all of the datapoints offered, that's the only one that seems to resonate with you.

If you don't believe that automation/robotics will be used in significantly greater numbers in the future, reducing the need for immigrants--then just skip the postings.


Posted by Mark Boston, a resident of ,
on Aug 6, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Clueless.

You post a list under your name, it's your list. The list, and the rest of the robot, drone and rant against unions is an absurd deflection from the otherwise relevant topic. Added nothing, stifled a fairly robust discussion.

TO pick up on waynesworld, an effective 'filibuster' to kill the topic.

Next!


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Aug 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Technological change will continue to create new jobs and make some existing jobs obsolete. That part is correct.

But I think the idea of technological change of which robots are one part is now unknown to the people we referenced doing labor market projections. But I repeat my invitation to Wayne to subnit his resume to the six organizations we used (BLS, CBO, Georgetown University, and the three major national forecasting firms if he continues to think we and they are missing his brilliance.



Moreover, we were very conservative about baby boomer retirements anticipating much longer working lives for current baby boomers. Otherwise there would be more jobs to replace and more immigrants potentially needed.

There is also the timing issue. Technological changes takes place gradually while baby boomers will start to leave the workforce in large numbers. Moreover many jobs will require experience that cannot be duplicated by robots even if they existed and private firms chose to use them.

Moreover in the oft repeated farm worker back and forth, it remains true that farm owners favor immgration reform that allows a more regular source of new immigrant workers.

In fact it is large business support for immigration reform for all kinds of workers that may make passage possible. Possibly they too are ill informed about Wayne Martin's discovery that robots will replace millions of workers.

Finally the reform legislation under debate today will do exactly what is needed by making immigration levels and types more dependent on market conditions such that if shortages disappear immigration levels can be adjusted.

Of course it turns out Wayne and others often have a non economic agenda in discussing immigration as can be seen from two of his earlier posts.

"Some sort of meaningful analysis (which could easily end up be off by more than 100%) needs to be done before we declare that we have an "immigration crisis" that needs us to put, in effect, an open borders immigration policy." Wayne 1

"However, as I've pointed out with the numerous links—automation, including the rapidly expanding field of robotics, offers an alternative to "worker shortages", and immigration policies that have the portent of changing America to something that none of us really want." Wayne 2

In fact immigration policy that takes account of baby boomer retirments will almost certainly make the country a better place.

An additional issue brought to mind by the recent Chinese annoucnement of rethinking the "one child" policy is that immigrants help fiscally by maintaining a higher ratio of workers to retirees.


Posted by A Rogaine, a resident of ,
on Aug 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Wayne, what specifically are you referring to when you are thinking "portent of changing America to something that none of us really want."

A more colorful America?

Why is that for you to decide, that YOU are the arbiter of "none of us"?

Arrogance, they name is...


Posted by winnah, a resident of ,
on Aug 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

heh heh heh

We have a winner!

Call the robots on color!

Well done, ar rogaine (ya forgot the 'c')


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Two intereting articles in the Wall Street Journal today if you have access.

One, an op ed by Andy Kessler making two main points.

One is that technology includes a lot more than robots--think fracking or 3-D printing.

Second, all the evidence is that technology by lowering costs and making possible activities not previously possible creates more jobs than are lost but these are more often high skilled jobs. He even has an example suggesting that robots (listening Wayne?) might increase manufacturing jobs by allowing activities to move back to the U.S.

The other article notes that robots need supervision and this creates another round of high skill, well paying jobs.

In both cases immigrants who bring talent and capital (think of all the immigrants who founded SV firms) are an asset and even more so as baby boomers retire in greater numbers.


Posted by John, a resident of ,
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm

"high skilled jobs"

And what does that have to do with stoop labor in the agricultural fields, Stephen? Technology, including robots, should already have made huge steps in the fields, but for those who demand open borders. You have yet to explain your mistaken position.


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