More Jobs Are Being Lost as Robots Become Affordable for Small Business

Baxter excels at simple tasks like loading boxes, as shown.

We have become accustomed to seeing robots in the workplace in big industries like auto manufacturing, but most Americans work in smaller companies, so the threat of smart machine replacement for those jobs is not so great, right? Wrong.

Baxter the robot, a machine introduced a couple of years ago, costs around $22,000 to purchase and $3/hour to run. So small manufacturers are beginning to take advantage of the machines to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

It’s disconcerting that Washington is snoozing through this fundamental transformation of the employment universe where the human worker is becoming obsolete in the production of goods and services. The CEO of the Gallup pollsters remarked a few months back that “At the recession, we lost 13 million jobs, only three million have come back,” which is sounds like a good snapshot of the American economy: jobs are not being created and the cause is partially smart machines…

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