It’s Not 1815 Anymore!

Famously, Hostess folded up and closed when they were unable to convince tens of thousands of unionized employees to take wage-and-benefits cuts.  They said “take cuts, or take pink slips.”  Two hundred years ago, it was possible for unions to run the show, because there was no alternative.  There is an alternative to simple, repetitive human labors now

The unions said they would rather have NO job than a less-well-paid job.  Go ask those workers if they are making more or less than they used to be.  No need asking if they are making more or fewer twinkies than they used to do, because they aren’t making any more twinkies.  The five-figure employment roll has been reduced to 500 workers tending a single plant that makes the same number of twinkies as used to be made in over a dozen plants.  How?

Robots.  Robots are making twinkies now.  Those good union jobs are not just gone, they are permanently gone.  And when new bakeries open, it would be STUPID not to make them dependent on human labor, instead of automatic machines.   So.  Robots to flip burgers instead of “fight for $15”  Robots to drive trucks instead of Teamsters.  Robots to carry loads into combat zones. Robots to butcher livestock.  Robots to build cars instead of the UAW.  Robots to harvest tomatoes.  Now, robots to make cakes instead of bakers’ unions.

You tell me: how much good are unions doing for their membership, now that they are so odious to the company owners they’d rather shut down than deal with unions, and robots are taking the place of all those union jobs?  If this were France, there would be a new law instituted preventing robots from making twinkies.  You know what would happen then?  Robots would make twinkies somewhere else.  You can’t hide from efficiency.  You can’t hide from profitability.  You can’t hide from the coming robotics revolution.

Adapt or die.   If you are in a low-wage job, your job is likely to be replaced with a robot and you will be sucking wind.  On the other hand, The Future used to be a time when people could just kick back and enjoy life while robots tend to everything.  That appeals to a lot of people, except the people whose profits pay for both the robots and the politicians.  This is how dystopian sci-fi novels get set up, except it’s coming soon to a country near you.  Good luck with that.

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