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Foxconn About To Start Sacking Workers Moving To Robots?

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/chinas-answer-inflation-robots-foxconn-plans-replace-workers-millions-robots

SkyNet has taken over the market, it now appears poised to make labor and wages redundant (and while we hardly welcome our new robotic overlords, we doubt anyone would shed a tear if the House and Senate replaced its 535 corpulent windbags with a bunch of Johnny 5s engaged in binary colloquies). The world's biggest non-debt based slave-driver, Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn, also known as the place where all of your iPhones, Pads, etc, are made, has just announced that it will deal with rising wages by doing what US-based quants have figured out years ago: outsource it all to robots. About a million of them. The irony is that the last time we looked at Foxconn, we asked: "what happens when this million realizes it can only buy half a McRib sandwich with the money it makes, courtesy of the primary US export to China, and demands a pay raise. What happens to Apple margins then?" We now have our answer. Per Xinhua: "Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday. The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers' dance party Friday night." As a reminder, with over 1 million workers, Foxconn has enough people on its payroll that if mobilized would be the 5th largest army in the world, and just after WalMart in total number of employees, albeit instead of spread out around the world, are all concentrated in one small space.

China appears to have been missing out on the jobless recovery.

Although robots require electricity to work, just have to hope that the price of electricity doesn't sky rocket.

Still at least robots won't strike, can work around the clock and will always follow the company line plus they can avoid suicide stats.

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Although robots require electricity to work, just have to hope that the price of electricity doesn't sky rocket.

We're going to having millions of people without a job, able to walk all day on a treadmill to generate electricity.

Any young people out there, still concerned about employment prospects - study robotics.

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Sickening, This is effectively a man made famine. Boycotting the products is the only way.Forget about about don't buy stuff when the worker gets 10p a week. How about forced unemployment, and in these kind of volumes mass starvation sponsored by your favourite mobile phone.

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The big big problem you guys fail to notice is Chinese unemployment.

If it gets REALLY really big the government starts to get big social problems. Welfare exists but it is low. Imagine if the 10 million unemployed in the UK were given nothing. Now imagine 50 million unemployed and you pretty much have an army inside your own borders. (The Taiping Rebellion was only 5 million people kicking up a fuss which killed 30 million people).

At which the CCP thinks... hmm what shall we do? We can't shoot 50 million people, we can't increase the welfare amount else we'll get European work motivation problems. And we can't have them sitting around doing nothing and generally raising hell and discontent in others.

So the only real solution is either Japanese building bridges to nowhere, or simply a big big war with say Taiwan/Mongolia/Kazakhstan. (Mongolia/Kazakhstan has lots of oil and gas).

At which something like this happens,

Except the PLA has closed the tech gap significantly AND still has the numbers.

OR

They learn from Japan, and alter labour laws and thus use robots but limit them so that you don't get swathes (bigger swathes) of unemployed.

Edited by ken_ichikawa

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Probably something more like this, Ken.

nuke4.jpg

Unless the CCP leadership want to die, I don't really think a full on clash with the West is all that likely. Nukes level the playing field - every leader will be in the firing line same as the plebs for the first time in centuries. That'll concentrate a few "elite" minds, I'm sure. :P

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Probably something more like this, Ken.

Unless the CCP leadership want to die, I don't really think a full on clash with the West is all that likely. Nukes level the playing field - every leader will be in the firing line same as the plebs for the first time in centuries. That'll concentrate a few "elite" minds, I'm sure. :P

Nah Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are not nuclear powers. I mean they will just invent a few lies, bomb a few of their own people and then make up a few lies publish them as fact and then invade one of those countries under a false pretext of terrorism or something..... or is this too far fetched? ;)

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Nothing new here surely, car plants have done likewise etc.

What is new is that AI can handle the obscure. Car robotics effectively negating the skilled work force. What is happening now is a sudden drop in robotic cost along with blistering speed, out performing human dexterity. But even worst an AI that understands real life problems, parts wrongly positioned, areas that haven't been sprayed. So we have a new era of robotics where the menial task are now obsolete. Now you could say tough you'll have to adapt, the thing is education is the only other route bar smashing these factories up. Double the programming population maybe, what does that do to your salary, yup more outsourcing or shipping people over as part of a contract. If you were desperate would you buy 10 years worth of debt just to get a job, most would. The slice of the good life is getting sliced thinner and thinner.

So on one hand it is great the menial tasks are no longer required, the problem is no one gives a damn about the idle hands.

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So on one hand it is great the menial tasks are no longer required, the problem is no one gives a damn about the idle hands.

Which is why war is a distinct possibility.

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What is new is that AI can handle the obscure. Car robotics effectively negating the skilled work force. What is happening now is a sudden drop in robotic cost along with blistering speed, out performing human dexterity. But even worst an AI that understands real life problems, parts wrongly positioned, areas that haven't been sprayed. So we have a new era of robotics where the menial task are now obsolete. Now you could say tough you'll have to adapt, the thing is education is the only other route bar smashing these factories up. Double the programming population maybe, what does that do to your salary, yup more outsourcing or shipping people over as part of a contract. If you were desperate would you buy 10 years worth of debt just to get a job, most would. The slice of the good life is getting sliced thinner and thinner.

So on one hand it is great the menial tasks are no longer required, the problem is no one gives a damn about the idle hands.

A lot of spray equipment is programmed by example - get your best sprayer and then train the robot to follow the motion to the millimeter - bit of analysis you could work out the paint thickness from the spray path created and actually tweak the path/speed further to increase production rate and improve the consistency of spray. Like you say the tech (especially more complicate and once more expensive control) becomes cheaper and cheaper. Totally repeatable 24 hours a day if needed.

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Which is why war is a distinct possibility.

Something will give, war is a great way to reduce the head count.

However nuclear weapons have created a problem. Maybe we'll see a zero tolerant attitude to most crimes. Commit a crime like burglary and get executed.

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The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers' dance party Friday night.

I bet that put a dampener on the dancing.

I wonder if they'll run dance paties for the robots?

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Something will give, war is a great way to reduce the head count.

However nuclear weapons have created a problem. Maybe we'll see a zero tolerant attitude to most crimes. Commit a crime like burglary and get executed.

I'm not sure they have.... in that yes states and nations have nuclear weapons but they are pretty much very expensive paper weights. In that nobody will dare to use them. Even back in the cold war there were four almost pushed the button nuclear incidents.

IIRC off my head:

One was the B59 submarine.

One was the cuban missile crisis

One was the Sino Soviet Skirmish

In that nobody really dared to use them. Also there may just be limited proxy wars. Like the Korean war, nuclear powers on both sides USSR vs the UN. But neither side used them preferring to use conventional weapons. Same with Iraq and Afganistan, US forces could have used carpet nuclear bombing.

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Nah Taiwan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are not nuclear powers. I mean they will just invent a few lies, bomb a few of their own people and then make up a few lies publish them as fact and then invade one of those countries under a false pretext of terrorism or something..... or is this too far fetched? ;)

I might be wrong but aren't both these "countries" regarded by Moscow as republics within their Russian federation?

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I might be wrong but aren't both these "countries" regarded by Moscow as republics within their Russian federation?

Nope they are now independent countries and have been for quite some time now.

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I'm not sure they have.... in that yes states and nations have nuclear weapons but they are pretty much very expensive paper weights. In that nobody will dare to use them. Even back in the cold war there were four almost pushed the button nuclear incidents.

IIRC off my head:

One was the B59 submarine.

One was the cuban missile crisis

One was the Sino Soviet Skirmish

In that nobody really dared to use them. Also there may just be limited proxy wars. Like the Korean war, nuclear powers on both sides USSR vs the UN. But neither side used them preferring to use conventional weapons. Same with Iraq and Afganistan, US forces could have used carpet nuclear bombing.

You think Sarah Palin wouldn't press the button? Stairway to heaven.

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Hey if someone pushes the button at least its quick, I live very close to several military targets.

****** being shipped off to some godawful country with a gun, trudging around a lot in extreme climates, being extremely miserable and then being killed.

I'll take the instant incineration or the minutely small chance of becoming the incredible hulk, if the latter happens well god help the elites.

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This was not supposed to happen- the story was supposed to be one of rising wages in the east bringing about parity with the west and the creation of a neo liberal trickle down paradise.

But it was blindingly obvious that the moment the pay demands of the eastern slave force made automation a cost effective option they would go down the automation route.

Also robots don't create embarrassing headlines by jumping off the factory roof to escape their conditions of employment.

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This was not supposed to happen- the story was supposed to be one of rising wages in the east bringing about parity with the west and the creation of a neo liberal trickle down paradise.

But it was blindingly obvious that the moment the pay demands of the eastern slave force made automation a cost effective option they would go down the automation route.

Also robots don't create embarrassing headlines by jumping off the factory roof to escape their conditions of employment.

Maybe the chinese migrant labour had crappy enough conditions to not mind going back to the fields.

It has been said that the QE inflation push would push the developing countries over the edge (competitiveness-wise) and encourage the manufacturing back - this is patently not going to happen - if anything if this sort of scaling up automation spreads it will totally entrench current manufacturers in their current locations. Meanhile the populations of the west choke on the inflation.

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Maybe the chinese migrant labour had crappy enough conditions to not mind going back to the fields.

It has been said that the QE inflation push would push the developing countries over the edge (competitiveness-wise) and encourage the manufacturing back - this is patently not going to happen - if anything if this sort of scaling up automation spreads it will totally entrench current manufacturers in their current locations. Meanhile the populations of the west choke on the inflation.

QE isn't going to encourage manufacturing back but what's it's done is to make other countries put their wages up a bit because of inflation. Then in a couple of years we can raise ours and the wages ratio is the same. Therefore we might not lose as much manufacturing as if we had to put our wages up first, which would have made us even less competitive.

Net result it destroys the purchasing power of the savings of people who are no longer earning. Billions in interest creamed off by banks and the savings will never buy as much in the future.

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Maybe the chinese migrant labour had crappy enough conditions to not mind going back to the fields.

It has been said that the QE inflation push would push the developing countries over the edge (competitiveness-wise) and encourage the manufacturing back - this is patently not going to happen - if anything if this sort of scaling up automation spreads it will totally entrench current manufacturers in their current locations. Meanhile the populations of the west choke on the inflation.

What seems to be happening here is that the people have been moved off the land, which has then been developed into factories- the deal being that you exchange a degree of self sufficiency for a job in a factory- then along comes a robot and you get kicked out- with little in the way of a safety net and no land to return to.

If other Chinese manufacturers follow Foxconn's lead this will surely cast a real doubt on the strategy of creating viable internal markets to replace their clapped out western customer base- not to mention a huge pool of unemployed labour with a grudge.

The Chinese are running into the tragedy of the commons problem- individually it makes perfect sense for Chinese manufacturing to automate as wage demands rise- collectively it's bad news. It might well be true that 'To get rich is glorious.' but I wonder if the leadership over there are ready for the downside of that process- they can't just tell Foxconn not to automate, since this would be to directly impact their profitability - a dangerously anachronistic move for a 'reformed' communist state to make.

It strikes me that China has seen mostly the sunny side of Capitalism until now- these moves to automate away the jobs of the masses are the shadow side- it will be interesting to see how they deal with it.

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Nope they are now independent countries and have been for quite some time now.

I think you'll find that Moscow still has a fairly colonial attitude to them. They're in its Sphere of Influence. Indeed, Russia has a customs union with Kazhakstan (and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have "expressed an interest in joining" the customs union).

Moscow won't want Beijing sending in its troops.

Although whether it will be able to do anything about it depends on 1) the date it happens and 2) whether the Russian military has by then fallen apart to the extent that it gets rolled over.

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This was not supposed to happen- the story was supposed to be one of rising wages in the east bringing about parity with the west and the creation of a neo liberal trickle down paradise.

But it was blindingly obvious that the moment the pay demands of the eastern slave force made automation a cost effective option they would go down the automation route.

Also robots don't create embarrassing headlines by jumping off the factory roof to escape their conditions of employment.

Also unlike the industrial revolution in the UK etc... this process of will be rapid and takes years and not decades.

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  • 334 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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