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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  • BillyHW

    Who wants to hire a lazy, useless, uppity, entitled, agitating douchebag who’s just going to cause you problems when you could have friendly, reliable Baxter here?

    • A little oil and he don’t talk back.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Damn.
      There’s a joke in there but I just can’t complete the square.
      It’s similar to this one:
      What’s the difference between Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson.
      One was the first man to walk on the moon.
      And the other one fucked little boys.

      • Justin St.Denis

        That is priceless!

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          Credit goes to Jackie Martling.

      • Mohamsandwich

        BREAKING NEWS: Michael Jackson’s other glove just found!

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          I gotta know.
          Where?

          • Censored_EG

            If I told you where, I’d be forced to kill you.

  • ontario john

    Any chance they can replace striking Ontario teachers?

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      We had those thirty years ago.
      Speak and Spell.

    • BillyHW

      How ’bout replacing our corrupt politicians?

      • Mohamsandwich

        If that was the case, Baxter must come in gender neutral heterosexual/homosexual/bisexual models, or he/she/it might offend the LGBTQWERTY community.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Robots have to be installed, maintained and programmed, those are good paying jobs.

    • BillyHW

      I’m sure all our muslim, black and latino immigrants will position us well for the tech economy of the future. Their diversity will us strong!

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        diversity in strong we much

        • Justin St.Denis

          Diversity is strong we much
          Strong we much
          Strong we much
          Diversity is strong we much
          Sit around all day.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Ring around the rosie?
            Or London Bridge is Falling Down?

          • Justin St.Denis

            LBIFD

            I knew you’d figure it out fast.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            I’m only half English.
            The Dutch and French bits had to ponder it for awhile.

          • Minicapt

            French, it’s always the French …

            Cheers

          • Mohamsandwich

            Welfare, fare thee well, all is fair in immigration and war…

          • Xavier

            May I suggest changing the last line to “Sit on the porch all day”? We used to play a game when we drove through the more vibrant sections of the city and counted porch monkeys, who did nothing except sit on the porch and watch the world go by.

          • Jabberwokk

            This sounds like an excellent Metal song waiting to happen.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Wait until 3-D printing becomes standard.

  • Gary

    It might be a good idea for Robots because they won’t sue the owners for time off during the day to payer to mekkah or file Human Rights complaints that there isn’t a mini-mosque to do their prayers and dawah on the job.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Praying muslim robots.
      I just peed a little from laughter.

      • Censored_EG

        My robot just refused to handle any pork products, and insists on praying five times a day. *sigh* I’m hiring a non-muzzie human!

  • Alain

    What? No diversity? No, this will not do!

    • Justin St.Denis

      Then rename your robot TREVOR or DuWAIN or CHANTELLE or NEVAEH or ACHMED or MOHAMMED. Buy your robot a little hijab. Upgrade your robot so it speaks a language you do not understand, and does not understand your English prompts. Program your robot to complain aloud at regular intervals about “white privilege” and “anti-robot bias” and “insensitivity to non-biologicals”.

      There ya go! That should get ya started!

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        I’m gonna name my pet rock achh-in-de-achh-haachhh.

      • marty_p

        You missed the other rules – a certain percentage of computers have to come in black cases. Computers that are partially broken must be accommodated. A prayer room must be built and time off for work must be given for computers who choose to pray to Eniac.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    People should know that if a system is in this kind of disrepair meaning capitalism at its current point then I believe it is past its best before date. It is having a hard time creating jobs in the West and now the West is thinking about replacing workers. Don’t forget that the voters will not forgive if they are in the end going to all be replaced. That means that there is no need for workers in the future. Hint hint. It kind of shows that the race to the bottom has reached its ending point with unusual ideas being proposed.

    • Justin St.Denis

      The Alphas and Betas are safe for a few centuries yet. The Deltas and the Gammas, OTOH, are in for a rough time starting yesterday.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Immigration anyone?

        • Justin St.Denis

          Equatorial regions comprise a virtual DeltaBelt around the globe. These people are doomed over the medium term. Just an observation that an anthropologist recently shared with me.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Actually if they can stay in their traditional environments, and not at all attempt to participate in the economy (subsistence farming and barter) those will fare much better than those that take off to the city.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Tell me more.
            Tell me more.
            Do they get very far?
            Tell me more.
            Tell me more.
            Do they shout all the snackbar?

    • Minicapt
  • Billy Bob Thornton

    When a system only creates debt then that is another reason why systems are in the state they are in. Most of the Western nations at this point are creating nothing except fear, war, unease and have no solutions left. It kind of also shows that a world war is in the cards and many in the mainstream are adamant for even wars against Russia, China or take your pick.

    It explains that debt and war can only get nations so far and yes Canada is very much in the mix of nations that are either going to go completely bankrupt or join the BRICS bloc.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Billy Bob, most times you’re a real Debbie Downer.
      Honestly, what the fuck am I supposed to do about it except get up for work in the morning?

      • Justin St.Denis

        And Debbie Downer can be a real drag on the House Mood. Billy Bob, one day an enormous asteroid WILL crash into Earth and everything will be fucked forever. Meditate on that.

        On the bright side, BillyBob, you can go do something different that I’ll bet you’ve not done in a long time. Get a few Q-tips and really clean out your belly button. So many depressives overlook the navel in favour of gazing at it.

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        It’s either you support this system with flaws just about everywhere or you work in the anti-mainstream camp to ensure Canada does not go down the road of the PIIGS and down the road of hollowing out our nation. I work and go to school because you have to keep busy and hope changes happen to ensure that future generations will do well as well. This is not ideological but understanding that the politicians are main reason for economic failure and debt.

        • Mohamsandwich

          Billy Bob T. You live in Toronto or where?

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            I live in the GTA but what I will say is our wages compete with China and the third world so that means our jobs can be easily lost. I am looking for a party federally mainly that is civic nationalist and therefore economically left and socially centrist so they will focus on a protectionist and mixed economic program, protecting economic sovereignty, a vow to only go into war if attacked, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and finally ending free trade and getting out of NAFTA. Others would be to become independent of other organizations. So yes I am a centrist nationalist.

          • Xavier

            You sound like a Baxter.

          • Censored_EG

            Baxter for PM!

        • Clink9

          Oh dear ……

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Alas, poor Oreck.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          Fair ‘nough.

    • Minicapt

      Do you really think that L. Ron Hubbard did not go far enough?

      Cheers

  • WalterBannon

    can we replace our whole civil service with robots now?

    • Mohamsandwich

      Robby the Robot, if I’m not mistaken, comes in a premier model. Please, Ontario taxpayers, consider Robby for premier!!!

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    Here’s a job that brings out our Simian nature…a ways back, working in a Black Spruce Tree Nursery, on a pine cone contract, we contemplated training monkeys with cocaine to do all the work for us. Gary figured that Gorillas would be better, as they could carry us when we all got tired…

    • Frau Katze

      LOL!

  • Hard Little Machine

    In the US at any rate half the STEM slots in graduate school are foreign nationals most whom don’t stay in the US. They go home and develop those skills at home to eat our lunch. So half the robot engineers, robot designers, robot technicians, robot futurists, robot programmers that we could use to MAKE STUFF leave. And that’s the key. We need to make stuff. Machines, tools, jet engines, lasers, medical equipment, trains, planes and automobiles. Because otherwise the only jobs in the US will be people selling insurance to each other and the government underclass management system.

  • Jabberwokk

    And now we will need to have technicians to repair the robots. And the cycle continues. The more simple you try to make life the more complex it gets.