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The future of work: Robots, unions and globalization

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08 April 2015



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Last week Bloomberg News asked the question: What’s destroying middle-class wages? and suggested three hypotheses: robots, unions and China.

This week SingularityHUB launched a series exploring the topic of The Future of Work and plans to cover:

  • How organizations will function and innovate during this period of change
  • What workers must do to seek new skills to stay competitive (and how will this impact the educational system?)
  • How we can begin to restructure our economic foundations to prepare for the changes coming?

Already their article The End of Meaningless Jobs is a Win For Us All has achieved some serious readership. The SingularityHUB Future of Work series can be found here.

BloombergView posted a Noah Smith op-ed piece Guess What’s Destroying the Middle Class?, which got my attention because he tackled the robot/jobs argument squarely and concluded that it’s not robotics but globalization that has altered middle class jobs and wages, and:

“the only solution to the problem of globalization may be to wait. Chinese wages have risen a lot, and only India is big enough to take China’s place. As global economic convergence proceeds, the U.S. will look more attractive as an investment destination, and reshoring will increase. That isn’t an answer that people want to hear, but it may be the right one.”

Lots of thoughtful reading on a subject near and dear to everyone even tangentially involved in the robotics industry.



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Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





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