Those Jobs Are Gone Forever. Let’s Gear Up For What’s Next.

from freeCodeCamp

Manufacturing jobs were a huge part of America’s post-World War II economic miracle.

In the early 1980’s, 20 million Americans worked in factories, assembling consumer products like cars and appliances.

Well, what happened after that?

There are two narratives here. The shorter story arc is about globalization. American corporations moved all the old manufacturing jobs off-shore to relatively poor countries that still had OK education systems (like China).

This is the story that most people think of when they realize that, as of 2017, your average high school graduate can no longer own a home and raise a family on a single income.

But there’s a second narrative?—?one that arcs back centuries, to 1794 when Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin. This story’s plot is more complicated, and has quite a few twists that have yet to unfold. It goes something like this: technology keeps making individual workers much, much more productive than they ever were before.

And when one worker?—?with the help of a robot army?—?can do what used to require 100 workers… well, you don’t need 100 workers anymore. You just need one.

More here.

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20 Responses to Those Jobs Are Gone Forever. Let’s Gear Up For What’s Next.

  1. Anthony Laverde March 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    According to macroeconomic theory, technology drives productivity. This has been seen as early as Eli Whitney with the invention of the cotton jin. However, in recent years the technological advancements have become increasingly more advanced. This trend will only continue, and technology will continue to replace men in the manufacturing industry.

    However, the even scarier thing, is that this trend is already beginning to expand into other industries. According to the following article:

    Robots are already beginning to replace human workers in the fast food industry. The motivation behind this is money of course. Companies save a fortune be doing this, by not only cutting salary fixed costs, but also no longer need to provide health care packages for their employees. Along with that however, employers in the fast food industry now believe that robots are superior to human workers because they are, “always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, they never slip and fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination charge.” Obviously this is all true, but what people fail to realize it replacing jobs with robots could be very detrimental in the long run. These decision makers care mostly about saving money, and they tend to go to great lengths in order to save as much as possible. However, with this trend now beginning, it is only a matter of time before robots invade the jobs of humans in another industry.

  2. Ryan Appello March 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    Manufacturing jobs were a true miracle to our nations work force, providing so many jobs for Americans, especially around World War 2. This however, is clearly changing. And it’s a mystery to me why people are surprised by this. Politicians complain about globalization, and try to justify giving huge amounts of money to large companies to create jobs. However, these jobs are gone. For good. Not because they went somewhere else, but because we don’t need them anymore. Technology has made great strides over the past few decades. The implementation of robotics into factories and other manufacturing industries has greatly reduced the need for as many workers as they used to need, all while increasing productivity exponentially. So instead of needing 100 workers to operate machinery on the assembly, only 1 or 2 may be needed

    Saying that we need to invest our education to prepare the next generations for the jobs of the future isn’t a foolish thing to do. We can complain all we want that all of our jobs are being sent elsewhere, but the truth is, those jobs are just not needed. However, this opens up the opportunity for other jobs to become much more abundant like the manufacturing jobs that have been lost. Jobs in the computer science and engineering folds are becoming even more important today because of our increased dependence on technology in the work force. So, the United States education institutions should gear more of its curriculum towards educating people to fit these jobs as they increase in demand. As the article talks about, many companies are forced to hire people from around the world because they are better trained in the advanced engineering and computer science fields that are now required in the current job market.

    If students today are taught these skills, there will be a better chance for them to get the jobs that are being taken away from them by people more qualified. Gearing education is a necessity if our country is to again improve its job market and economy once again. The proposals that technology education should be prioritized in schools today are well founded in every way. If we teach students increasingly valuable skills, like coding, when they are younger, say in early high school, they will be better prepared for a potential career in that field. Also, computer science and engineering programs at these schools and beyond should also be better funded to prepare students. It’s unacceptable for a high school or college to lack even the most basic forms of new technology like programming applications or working computers. In addition to those, helping the people who have lost their jobs to learn these skills in their free time could also boost their chances of finding a good job in the current market. They can replace their manufacturing jobs with coding or engineering jobs.

    The future is now and we have to be properly prepared for it. Training our current and future work forces the necessary skills they need to remain competitive is needed for the future of our nations economy to remain as influential as it once was. As technology evolves and becomes more prevalent in more and more industries, we need to adapt to the times or be left in the past.

  3. Erin Carunchio March 2, 2017 at 11:34 pm #

    Manufacturing jobs are jobs that create new products straight from scratch using raw materials. After World War II, manufacturing jobs helped the improvement of the economy after the war. By the 1980’s, about 20 million people worked at manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs were jobs that assembled things like cars and machines. The reason that manufacturing jobs were so demanded about 50 years ago because of the technology not being so advanced. We see in the article, the chart, and it shows that there has been a huge decline in employees since the year 2000. The year 2000 is when technology started to rise. We started to see technology grow, especially in America. The peak of manufacturing companies was around the year 1980. By 2010, manufacturing jobs had reach a new low when it came to unemployment. It reached a new low because by 2010, technology was at its peak. Technology allowed for less employees and more technology to do the job at one time only human beings could have done. One quote that explained it all was, “Machines building machines” (Larson 1). This quote basically represents manufacturing in today’s world. We have machines building other machines. However, there are both pros and cons when allowing machines to build another machine. The pros are that machines can perform labor faster than human, producing more product overall at a quicker pace. Also, it can avoid human error. However, if the machine is broken, then production gets behind. Also, if the machine does make an error, humans cannot do anything about it.
    With technology becoming so advanced and taking over human jobs, people are starting to lose their jobs and more and more people are starting to become unemployed. This is not a good thing for America to have, high unemployment. It is a big change, going from over 100 people in a assembly line, to having less then five. The thought in allowing education to teach for future jobs is a good thought. If students are taught the skills they need to get jobs in the future, then it will allow them to get jobs earlier in life. The earlier the public school system teach these skills, the faster students can go out in the actual working force and make their own money. I believe teaching students the right skills then will need for future jobs in school is one of the best ideas I have heard about the public school system in a while. It will improve the chances of young adults get jobs sooner after school and helps the unemployment rate in the United States.

  4. Jiaqi Ma March 3, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    With the development of human technology, this is an inevitable phenomenon that old traditional jobs were replaced by new jobs with new technology. It cannot be avoided is some people will lose their jobs. However, based on the principle of economic, we do not need to worry about the people who used to the old traditional model will be starved. The old traditional was broken, as the same time, there is a new opportunity. Now, manufacturing jobs were decreasing. The author, Quincy Larson, argued that there are two main reasons that cause this situation. The first reason is: “American corporations moved all the old manufacturing jobs off-shore to relatively poor countries that still had OK education systems.” American company moved factories to the countries that have cheaper labor, such as China, India, which made United Sate loss many jobs opportunity. However, it is a normal phenomenon. The producer wants to lower cost. The second reason is “technology keeps making individual worker’s much, much, more productive than they ever were before.” We do not need too many workers to produce. We just need a few workers who are not attending production line. Their jobs are making sure that the robots will work normally. We could the second point through a graph. The manufacturing output has grown dramatically. The number of manufacturing employment dropped dramatically in near 2000 years. This situation not only happened in America but also happened around the world. China also was affected by machinery automation. Even in Dongguan(in china) was built a first automated factory, which means they do no need any workers. The robots completely replaced the traditional workers. I still remember that the president of America-Dona Trump said that he want to bring back the labor jobs’ chance that American company has moved to cheaper labor countries. At the beginning, I thought that is a good measure to help the people who are looking for jobs. However, after I read this article. I totally agree with the author said. When the low-skill jobs opportunity back, the government have to provide financial aid to those people who employed by low-skill. Furthermore, there maybe is a worse damage in U.S economy. Larson gave us an example to support this idea, which is America’s steel industry in 2002. American government wanted to save steel workers, at the same time it caused more people lost their jobs. I like the words that said by Wayne Cretzky, he said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” We should not still focus on the past; we should pay more attention to the future. The programmer is becoming popular. Big companies are willing to pay more salary to the programmer. Because of the skill, it worth it. The author offered four steps to help people to suit this new trend. The government should take that part of the money to help the people who used to old traditional model. I agree with that point. Simply bring back manufacturers is useful to improve American economic. We should train more people to adapt the new trend. The disappearance of traditional manufacturing must happen in the future. We should take measure to prepare in advance, which also will help national economic increase. I believe there will be a business war between nation and nation. This is a battle without gunpowder will probably become more severe as time goes on. The nation is the winner that can make change positively and as soon as possible. I am curious about what will happen when there are a sufficient number of people who are programmer. What is the next new job fields of the rise to replace programmer?

  5. Julian Manzano March 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    If one were to turn on a new channel right now, there is a good chance they will be talking about job and unemployment. This has become a huge problem recently and it has been one of the main focuses during the most recent presidential campaign. Jobs in factories in the U.S. has gone down for two main reasons. First, because most companies are off-shoring factories to countries where they do not have to pay as much for labor. Second, companies now have robots doing most of the work, therefore increasing production and requiring less paid laborers. This is has been happening for years as technology makes it easier for companies to increase production, while paying less. This is the goal of every company, to maximize profit. This is being done flawlessly when companies do not have to pay for so many laborers when they can just have machines do it.
    Off-shoring jobs has become very popular in the U.S., companies realize that they will make more profit by sending factories to poorer countries. By doing this, companies pay workers in those countries a fraction of what they would have to pay workers in the United States, so it seems like a no brainer. The problem with this phenomena is that is hurts the economy here as a whole. The company makes more money, but the U.S. loses jobs and tax money from that which hurts the economy. I think that companies do not take this into much consideration, as the goal for every company is to maximize their profit, so this becomes a huge problem. I hope that the government will create an incentive for companies to keep production here, as it will help the American economy enormously.
    Another issue with unemployment is technology. Yes, it is true that technology helps improve our lives in almost every facet, but here is an example of how it can hurt us. Technology has put people out of jobs because technology is simply more efficient and less expensive than people are. Again, it makes sense why companies would do this, lower prices and it is more efficient, but it hurts the economy as a whole because there is unemployment. I think that although companies might feel tempted to use technology and replace most workers, they should find a middle ground. They should use some technology is some parts of the factory and keep workers, that way the economy is not all that negatively affected.
    Obviously, this country has experienced some serious unemployment issues in the past, and it was for reasons just like this. I hope that companies will see the bigger picture when it comes to unemployment and affecting the economy and hopefully the government can offer incentives to companies to keep jobs here in the United States. With growing wages and growing technology it will be hard for companies to resist doing this, but it would be for the better if they did not go offshore and completely eliminate jobs with technology.

  6. Thomas Dellisanti March 3, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    Around the time and after World War II, manufacturing jobs were necessary for productivity. Since technology was not as advanced as it is now, manual labor was extremely important for products to be made. However, the development of newer technology dramatically changed the way we produce goods. There is no reason why people should be questioning this change and should even welcome it because the production of goods is faster and more efficient than ever. The more advanced technology also eliminates human error and allows for much faster production. Trump has stated that he wants to “make America great again” by bringing back old school manufacturing jobs, but this would be a significant blow to production if implemented. We have gotten to the point where our economy revolves around this change in production, and getting rid of these machines for the sake of people taking those jobs would significantly hurt the manufacturing output.
    I think the most significant part of this article is the chart that details the manufacturing output vs. employment in the past 60 years. In the past 15 years, there was a sharp decline of employed workers, but there was a massive increase in manufacturing output. The reason for this is the advancement of smarter technology such as robots that are much more efficient and quicker than any person. As the article states, The short video clip of the robots in a Tesla factory makes it extremely easy to see the cause of that sharp increase of output. The most important jobs now are not manufacturing, but performing maintenance on the robots that do the manufacturing for us.
    However, this efficiency, although extremely influential in shaping our economy, causes concern in some people. Although output has increased exponentially, employment has steadily decreased, leaving people out of a job. Unemployment is a significant issue in our country, and it could be due to the advanced technology taking over jobs that are not necessary anymore. As reported in the article, the factory near Hong Kong has laid off 95% of its workers, and a similar thing is happening in the United States. In order to survive in the job market, people need to adapt to the changing, technologically driven times. Any jobs that include physical labor are quickly becoming extinct because there are machines to do the job for us. Instead of attempting to acquire a job, that requires physical labor, people should start becoming educated on how these types of machinery work so they can attempt to get a job performing maintenance on and monitoring these machines. In addition, the article suggests that the thousands of vacancies in the job market can be filled with programmers, one of the most in demand jobs that the market demands.
    Bringing back manufacturing jobs for the sake of filling a few thousand vacancies is one of the worst possible decisions regarding productivity. Output would decrease sharply, and money would be being wasted on workers’ salaries, who are doing a job where robots have been proven more efficient. The ever-changing society requires jobs to be more high skilled than before, which requires people to start evolving to fill the appropriate job market. We need to be more focused on the future of technology and prepare for any changes that will be made, because in 20 years or sooner, the job market will be changing again.

  7. Josh Luchon March 3, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I think most people would agree that the “good old manufacturing jobs” are not likely to return to the United States. As unfortunate as that may be, it makes sense business wise. Manufacturing is very costly especially in the United States because of minimum wage and benefit requirements, and as the author pointed out, the average American manufacturing worker makes 10 times more than the average Chinese manufacturing worker at $20/hr compared to $2. It is an unrealistic expectation to have all of the manufacturing jobs return to the US, and I think the author presented an interesting argument to change our focus.

    What I did not realize before reading this article is how expensive it would be to bring back the manufacturing jobs. It is crucial to keep in mind that decisions that the government makes to bring back jobs through tariffs or subsidies have macro-economic effects, some of which the author used to further his point. The specific example the author used was the American Steel industry and how more people lost their jobs than were created by bringing jobs back to the US. This same threat exists today, and I think the way our government is approaching the trade deficit is completely wrong. Sure, it would be nice to be the manufacturing powerhouse again, but I don’t think that is a forward thinking goal. Clearly, the money is in STEM jobs and the future is going to be increasingly dependent on technology and robots rather than human labor.

    The good news is that machines have not figured out how to make other machines without first being programmed by a well-trained human. Therein lies the opportunity to eliminate the trade deficit and start to climb out from under the nation’s debt. I have always been a proponent of education as a tool to combat many of the world’s issues, but in this particular case, I think it is the only option. The author made a great point when he said, “Instead of trying to bring back the manufacturing jobs that are already being automated away by machines, we have an opportunity to fill the hundreds of thousands of vacant American jobs that aren’t being automated.” This makes perfect sense to be because if nothing else, programming jobs pay better than manufacturing jobs. For someone getting close to entering the work force, the higher salary potential is appealing. What I predict will happen is that students are going to realize that all of the money is in technology, and that will be the new generation’s manufacturing. In the past, it was not uncommon for someone to go to school to learn a trade and that was a great way to earn a living and support a family. Nowadays, the emphasis on teaching trades is rapidly declining, and I think that it will be almost entirely replaced by computer science and other STEM jobs.

    The future economic stability of our country will depend greatly on the ability of the American workforce to adapt to the new technological landscape. There will always be a demand for tradesmen and women, but the need for bright software designers is ever increasing. One key element of computer education that the author did not speak on is computer and Internet access. Many schools even today struggle to provide their students with up-to-date technology in the classroom and many low-income families cannot afford pricy computers and monthly Internet costs. I am of the opinion that the best way to further education and get closer to competing in the technology space on a global level is through free Internet access. The Internet is the single most powerful tool for someone pursuing an education.

    With free websites like Google and YouTube, the learning possibilities are endless. I have learned so much from YouTube videos from politics to math and science to learning how to change out parts on my car. There is an immense wealth of knowledge on the Internet that can be invaluable in preparing to compete in the job market. The education system is not uniformly funded and there are countless schools that cannot afford all of the technology required to be competitive in the modern world, especially when talking about the computer science field. Technology is just as expensive as it is powerful, but I feel that free Internet access is a step in the right direction.

  8. Antoneta Sevo March 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    It is quite obvious that our world has come a long way when it comes to technology and innovation. It is also obvious that we will keep moving forward. Currently, many politicians speak of bringing manufacturing jobs back to America in order to give people more opportunities for employment. However, the era of manufacturing jobs has passed and the next best thing is already here. Technology continues to make single workers much more productive than ever before. This is something that the government must understand because it is essential to know where we are going, not where we have been. That is the only way we will continue to develop as a country and world. The Chinese having already realized this have successfully launched their first automated factory. They reduced their human staff from 650 people to 60 and on the way to be reduced again to 20. The machines have caused the defect rate to plummet by 400% and output has nearly tripled. This proves that China was able to reduce defective products while increasing output. This is something that America has to learn. Our current government officials are trying to stick to the past when we are clearly ready for the future. In order to take this opportunity seriously, coding and technology engineering have to be encouraged. The inevitable is machines building other machines. It just depends on when our country gets on board and starts prioritizing programming.
    There are ways politicians can encourage the inevitable future of programming jobs. The first is to assist experienced teachers to learn new skills by paying for them to obtain more developed degrees in computer science and software engineering from public universities. The second thing politicians can do is prioritize the teaching of technology in high schools. It would be more effective to introduce programming earlier to help spark interest and skill. The third is to offer “preferential financial aid to students who major in either computer or software engineering.” This can help motivate those who may not be able to afford a higher education. Lastly, politicians can use the adult education infrastructure to help motivate adults to learn programming on nights and weekends. The good thing about these suggestions is that the tools to be successful are already in place. All that is needed is the government to realize that this is priority. This will lead to the success of having low costs and better quality goods. By targeting teachers and students, the idea of coding and software engineering will become the norm. This is our future and the current politicians should be embracing the idea and not trying to bring back the past. I am planning on teaching myself how to code in order to keep up with the changing world. The hard part is trying to figure out what will come next. Since that has already been determined, it is essential to learn the skills that are needed to become successful in the new era.

  9. Isaiah Allen March 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    It is no secret that advancements in technology have led to a dwindling number of human workers due to the automation of jobs. Companies are finding new cost efficient ways to eliminate humans from the manufacturing workforce. The fact that machinery has proven to be more efficient and more reliable than humans, should scare us and get us thinking about the future of manufacturing jobs. In his article, Quincy Larson addresses some of the effects of job automation, and what we need to do in order to thrive in a new era of jobs. The recent usage of machinery in manufacturing plants, has been lowering the demand for human workers on site. Companies are realizing that they can capitalize on this, and are trying to save money by eliminating jobs. The chart that Larson referenced shows how since the year 2000, our country’s manufacturing employment rate has dropped, while our output rate has increased. More and more companies are figuring out that machinery does the job better than humans and also requires less of them. I believe that job automation will become increasingly more popular, when companies realize they could potentially save lots of money by doing it. This will end up putting lots of people out of a job, so I think it is important to inform people about how to be prepared for state of the future job market. Larson made a great point when he spoke about the importance of technology education in schools. I think technology must become a bigger part of youth academics because in the future those skills will be the most marketable. Humans will still be responsible for telling the machines what to do which means that engineering should become more of a focal point for schools. We need to make sure that students of the future are well equipped with the skills that will be the most important throughout their lifetimes. In the past, technology courses have remained optional or, are only taken by those who are interested. However, schools should be making these courses mandatory. Placing a higher priority on reading or mathematics, and excluding technology is a disservice to the kids. Instead of teaching young high school students about the emerging technology once a semester, it should be once a day because that information will determine if they have a job or not in the future. The demand for job applicants with technical skills will only continue to rise and that means that it is up to our education system to make sure that the students of the future are well prepared. The more emphasis that is placed on technology information in our education systems the more prepared the students will be. If we continue to deprive our youth of this extremely beneficial information, than we will continue to see mass amounts of job automations across the country. The smarter that the machines get, the smarter we have to get, and the more we have to know how to use them. As humans, we should approach this issue with some pride, and be motivated to make sure that machines do not take our jobs. We must do all that we can in order to make sure that we are able to adapt to the changing environment and remain competitive as time goes on.

  10. Filip Bizek March 3, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    American exceptionalism and dominance in comparison to the rest of the world did not happen out of nowhere. Manufacturing jobs played a huger par of America’s post- World War II climb on the top of the economic ladder. When most of the countries’ factories and infrastructure was decimated by all the wars, America became the primary supplier of all sorts of goods to billions of consumers. In the early 1980’s, around 20 million American worked in manufacturing businesses assembling consumer products such as cars and appliances. This is not the case in the modern U.S. The article’s title is spot on, those jobs are gone forever so let us not waste time on the past and let’s gear up for what is next.

    There is a common misconception that all the blue-collar jobs left to china and other countries where the labor prices are much cheaper. Although it is certainly a factor contributing to the unemployment problem, technology is workers biggest enemy. It makes individual employees much more efficient and the factories more productive than ever before. At the same time, machines took millions of manufacturing jobs, which in the past were handled through human hands. A job that once required 100 people now only needs one person. Based on the graph, Manufacturing Output vs. Employment 1947 to 2011, shows the relationship between manufacturing employment and the manufacturing output. Since the early 1980’s manufacturing output grew significantly more productive accompanied by a sharp decrease in manufacturing employment each year. This is direct result of companies substituting people with machines. Let’s face it, robots when compared to humans are a better investment from the employer perspective. Robots work 24/7, do not cost wages, and the defect rates lowered. It is impossible for us to compete with technological capabilities in manufacturing department.

    Lets examine The Changying Precision Technology Company in order to dissect this issue even further. They recently launched their first automated factory manufacturing mobile phones. Before the robots arrived, such factory required around 650 workers able to operate. As of right now, they only need 30. The defect rates dropped 400%, manufacturing output rose, and workers are not needed. This is the future of the manufacturing business. In today’s modern factory, perhaps one engineer is watching over the machine, and the security guard is watching over the engineer. In other words, it is no longer beneficial for manufacturing industries to continue hiring more employees

    There is an obvious problem on the horizon associated with the substitution of people with machines. What will the laid off people do? Some of these workers do not have any different skillset beside the one needed in a factory, thus how will they become compatible with the new jobs. It is deeply saddening but in my opinion for most of them there is no place on the job market. Let us be realistic for a second, a 50 year old man who spent his whole life in a manufacturing business will not become an economist all of the sudden. Therefore, government has to work with the economists to create a system where the technological progression is controlled so the technological progression does not lead to recession .

  11. Frankie Lisa March 3, 2017 at 11:15 pm #

    One of the platforms President Donald Trump ran on was that he promised to create thousands of new jobs. Many of these jobs are old school manufacturing jobs, the type that allowed the Unir=ted States to prosper during and after World War II. In the twenty first century, almost all of these manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to other countries where the labor is cheaper such as China and India. Almost all of the manufacturing that is done in the United States is now done by machines. For example, many companies including the automobile manufacturer Tesla who claim they manufacture their products in the United States only employ a handful of American workers to do so.
    Many people are refusing to accept it, but manufacturing in the United States is a dying industry. Companies have zero economical incentive to manufacture in the United States. It is cheaper to use machines, and the quality and reliability of manufacturing increases with the use of machines. The next trending field that American workers should enter is coding. The use of machines in manufacturing is continuously growing. These machines are powered by computers who need programmers to write the code for them. When people think of coders, they often think of geniuses like Mark Zuckerberg who create their own billion dollar businesses. That is not the reality of coders. There is currently a huge amount of jobs in the technology available, but there is a shortage of workers to fill those jobs. Many of these skilled technology jobs are being done by immigrants from Asia. It cost companies about five thousand dollars in fees to bring in a foreigner and employ them. They are not doing this as a cost saving measure, rather they do it because there are not enough Americans to fill all of the job openings.
    A similar case the article uses as an analogy to manufacturing jobs is the steel industry. In the earl two thousands, Chinese steel manufacturers were able to produce steel at a lower price than American manufacturers. They began to undersell American steel manufacturers, so the government began placing tariffs on foreign steel to keep American steel manufacturing alive. In the end, more than 200,000 people who worked outside of the steel industry lost their jobs due to the macro-economic effects of our artificially inflated steel prices. The government spent millions of dollars, just to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs.
    I think it is important to teach the younger generations of America the importance of technological skills. A step in the right direction would be to incorporate more coding and computer skills into high school courses. Some high schools have already taken this initiative, but not enough have yet. Another step would be to create economic incentives for adults who are willing to learn coding skills.

  12. Benjamin Jaros March 6, 2017 at 1:37 am #

    To me, the articles on retraining the American workforce from manufacturers to coders are fascinating to say the least. These articles are advocating for a similar theme to what educators, parents, and politicians have been pushing for decades. The latter have been calling for high school students to just get a college degree and not go into manufacturing. However, when these same students chose a degree with few or no career prospects they have defeated the whole purpose of going to college in the first place: to improve their economic well-being.
    The authors of these articles, let us call them the tech gurus, advocate for similar change. Yet the significant difference is they specify their goals and their priorities. Just the general, you need a college degree could lead to workforce well educated on how to educate others to be educated. While, having a well-educated populace would actually be a wonderful thing in terms of how it would help our civil discourse as well as our use of media outlets, it does not necessarily create a productive workforce or a workforce that has skills necessary for our society.
    The tech gurus are very specific. I have believed it for years. High schools need to require students to take more classes on computer literacy. Contrary to the common belief that the younger generation is good with technology, they really are not; they just learn it faster than older generations does. Therefore, these students need to spend time coding on a consistent basis in high school if they are going to learn it. This is the same way that these students get good at math, reading, and English. Why do schools make computer literacy an afterthought?
    Do they understand that their inability to produce students who understand technology is creating a workforce that cannot fill open and unfilled positions in the technology sector? There is no shortage of journalism majors or English majors. Yet, we do not need more journalists, ¼ are unemployed currently, we need coders. We need to spend time in the classroom as early as possible devoting time to the future of the American economy. Further, this transformation needs to start in the places where the loss of manufacturing jobs hurt the most: the Midwest.
    There is a reason Trump won most of the Midwest. His message, no matter how unrealistic, gave the manufacturers or former manufacturers of the Midwest hope that their kids’ futures would be better than their own. Because up to this point in their lives, their parents enjoyed a better standard of living by doing the same thing and they are first hand watching their jobs be replaced by technology.
    We need to retrain the rust belt for coding. The next technology revolution NEEDS to occur in the Ohio River valley, not Silicon Valley. This might be dreaming, but if the kids of the Midwest see coding jobs as a means of attaining or creating a better lifestyle for themselves than manufacturing, we will have addressed the main part of the problem. Namely, the desire to keep manufacturing jobs here. Well, they have stayed here; just robots are doing the work. If we can change the Midwest education system to prepare students to code, we will “skate to where the puck is going to be” and actually help these people improve their economic wellbeing.

  13. Guy Barbano April 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    Manufacturing jobs were the Bread and butter to this country for a very long time. In the 1980’s 20 million Americans worked in factories. Soon though Americans and business owners money hungry shipped jobs overseas for cheaper alternatives then the American people. This idea does not work though because how are people supposed to buy your product if they do not have an income anymore? They just cannot. Henry Ford was a very smart man he paid his employees a living wage. Because he knew that they were the people who were supposed to buy his cars. Now though If we fast forward so many years. Manufacturing jobs are now a thing of the past people building or making products anymore does not exist. Now it is all machines building and creating things. Not just the United States either it is everywhere like china where many American jobs went. Jobs now a days are turning into jobs for robots and A.I. systems and there is truly nothing we can do about it. A scary fact when thinking about how money hungry everyone in the business world is the iPhone that we all buy for every dollar we spend about 2 pennies. Yes, 2 pennies of it goes to the china labor cost. With 58.5 percent of it going towards apples profit of producing the phone. This is honestly a very scary and disgusting thought to think about when thinking about where the money we spend on certain products goes. This really shows 1) how marked up many of the things we buy are and 2) how little goes back to the person actually making the phone. The even worse part about it is though the graph in the article is based off of the 2010 iPhone. That information is almost 8 years old! The new iPhone I believe will we be released in September or October not very far away. The world is changing though jobs are turning away from blue collar work and going to robots and there is nothing we can do about it. We as humans need to adapt to the products we have created ourselves. The world every day is turning towards technology more and more. The limits for technology are endless this is why we need to work with it instead of against it. Students today need to understand the jobs we have today can be gone tomorrow at a moment’s notice this is why we need to learn to work with technology so everyone can advance in the future and be successful. Our future is almost entirely set and it revolves around technology now we just have to go out and work with it because without it we cannot survive.

  14. Tianqi Xu September 22, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    In the twenty-first century, the development of science and technology with each passing day. Now more and more things are replaced by machines. In our daily life, everywhere you can see mobile phones, computers, and cars. These machines are made for the convenience of human life. However, in some ways we may be too dependent on these machines, which led to some deviations from the original intention of inventing these things. This article tells the story of some people after the invention of the work gradually disappear.
    In the first half of the twentieth century, all the work was done. Even if there are lines, people also need to do the same thing in different positions. Although these jobs seem simple, boring and tedious, but at least for people to provide tens of thousands of jobs. Later, the local factories in the United States to export these jobs. These jobs were handed over to countries such as China and Vietnam, where labor costs were low. Even when the work is done, plus the export costs will be much lower than the cost of locally produced products. Many things in the world will see the Chinese made these words. As the figure shows, the number of workers in the US manufacturing industry dropped sharply after 2000. While the number of workers in exports rose straight up.
    Gradually the manufacturing needs of the staff less and less, because the invention of the machine. A machine can replace 100 employees. This saves both the cost of the staff and the speed of production. The attendant question is that more and more people are laid-off. Originally, required 1,000 people of the factory now may only need 100 people. Now people not only need to compete with other people, but also need to compete with the machine. Perhaps one day, people do not need to do anything, the machine can replace us to complete. As the article says, many companies hire programming people or employees who can develop machines. The company now does not need many people to produce products, they need only someone can help produce the machine to better and more effective to replace the workers.
    Of course, all the problems have two sides, but the invention of the machine is really a good thing? Not necessarily. Now many traditional industries are faced with the disappearance of the situation. People’s job opportunities are getting less and less. But what kind of later no one can predict, can only do the only moment.

  15. Carolyn Wyland September 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

    I think both globalization and technology have replaced numerous American jobs equally. Globalization and technology have worked solely and together as a way for companies to be more productive and save money. Some of the companies who use the practice of off-shoring are in question if it that is morally sound? I do not think that it is morally sound to have products made overseas for the sole purpose of saving money. I also wonder how much the workers in India or Vietnam are making and if it is more than livable for them, if not then I disagree with offshoring even more. One way to address off-shoring is to lower the American corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world. Hopefully the current administration can come up with some ways to counter off-shoring without being penalizing.

    Regarding technology replacing jobs, that is an excellent point that it has been going on since inventions like the cotton gin. Technology makes everything more convenient and stream lined is the tradeoff of not needing as many employees to complete tasks. Technology also replaces the demand for certain products, such as DVDs. VHSs were replaced by DVDs which were then replaced by streaming services. Blockbuster decided to not adapt to the changes in technology and ended up going out of business where as Netflix was able to adapt and became extremely successful and competitive. The lesson with technology and businesses is to use it to your advantage and to know when something has come to an end.

    Another cause of jobs changing in the United States and other economies is Green Energy. From solar panels to electric cars products are slowly becoming more environmentally friendly. While going “green” has replaced some old-world methods it should be a welcomed change because it still creates jobs and is helping society move forward. The concept is to protect the environment and I feel it is a great movement and I am excited to see what further developments they make in the future. American workers sometimes become angry when jobs such as coal mining are diminished, but coal mining has really become a way of the past because there are so many other clean ways to produce energy. The important lesson learned by the changes in globalization and technology is to adapt and make it work for you or the business.

  16. Andre Bakhos October 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    Machines are beginning to take over the manufacturing industry for several reasons: saving money for the corporation, the potentially dangerous environment of a factory for human workers, and the sheer workload and output that a machine can undergo and produce. At first glance, it seems that machines are the best option for manufacturers, but at what cost does this come with? When machines that can produce a higher quantity of goods and a higher quality product are brought into the factory setting, the amount of jobs available in the manufacturing industry will shrink. Yes, people will be needed to supervise the machines as they are operating in the factory, but the amount of jobs created from mechanical supervision will not nearly make up for the cost of lost manufacturing jobs.
    One of the largest campaign promises stated by politicians in the present day is to “bring back the jobs to America.” This sounds great, and in reality, American companies should be employing their fellow citizens to manufacture their products and goods in factories. However, the money saved from outsourcing jobs to other countries is massive. Humans, not machines, perform those manufacturing jobs, so when companies stop outsourcing, and bring the “jobs” back to America, they are not really doing that. Instead, they take the jobs away from the people in the other countries, and replace them with machines in factories located on American soil. Sure, people will be hired to run the machines, but when you only require forty people to supervise robots that output the same amount as hundreds of people, there is no need to hire humans. Therefore, jobs are lost in foreign countries, jobs are not created in America, and the corporation still makes a large profit.
    If no jobs are being created in America, while jobs are being lost in foreign countries, why not just keep manufacturing overseas? This is where the issue of human rights comes into play. A foreign country, such as China, that has lose regulations regarding workplace conditions, will treat their workers terribly. These low-quality and unhealthy workspaces are called sweatshops, where workers, often young children and women are paid pennies a day. Machines used in these sweatshops are often not up to standard, making them a hazard for the workers to operate. Fumes, low-quality air, and suspect building structure often results in long term injuries or death.
    Some advocates for sweatshops argue how the shops keep children off the streets and out of trouble, and at least gives them the chance to earn money and help support their family. For many of these children and women, a sweatshop job is often the best they will get, and is usually the only option to earn money in a society dominated by the rich elite. Desperate people will do anything, even working in hazardous conditions for pennies a day.
    Manufacturing needs a solution that does not require outsourcing American jobs, resulting in women and children bring put in sweatshops that are detrimental to their health. Something that could be done is to never outsource the jobs in the first place, but instead keep all the jobs here. Then corporations should find the balance between humans and machines in the factory setting. If American manufacturing jobs wish to survive, then they must adapt to the progressing world, and learn to build, operate, and repair machinery.

  17. Steven C January 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    There is no denying the fact that the world we live in today is the most connected it has been in the history of civilization. With that being said globalization has been the best thing to happen to the world. Not only is it profitable for companies but it helps stimulate economies all around the world. Even with this globalization being a benefit for many other nations around the world, from an American perspective it hasn’t been the best thing for the average worker. Many manufacturing jobs have left America to be placed overseas purely because of cheaper labor which would result in an increase of profits for major companies. This doesn’t sit well with the people who have lost their jobs. Technology has played a big role in globalization and the decline of the factory worker. A more efficient manufacturing process because of robotics is to blame for the decline of the need for people in the factory. Because of this people in a position of power tried to artificially create a way to save jobs which inadvertently forced to destroy jobs in other sectors.
    Where does this leave us today? Many can look at it as there is nothing we can do or we can take this opportunity to advance with this changing environment. What I mean is instead of worrying about what we are losing we should focus on growing what we have and creating new markets. In recent years America has moved from a manufacturing economy to a service based economy. Many of these services can be accredited to the tech industry. Even though the tech industry is emerging as the dominate industry I still believe there is room for manufacturing to be brought back. You can’t deny the fact that education is not the best or it’s affordable for many people in this country. Because of this it allows these low skilled workers to still have a place for work. It is not possible to reeducate many of the low skilled workers to be able to keep up with the new generation of students that are college educated and are skilled in programing. This still allows room for many of these low skilled workers to have a place to work in this country. In order to keep up with the competitive costs from manufacturing overseas, there would need to be a way to lower costs for hiring American workers, even if that means lowering wages and benefits. This is the only way that I can see this working that won’t cost companies for manufacturing in America but will also allow workers to have a decent wage that is not too unfair to them. The way that I see the future of the working class in America is both manufacturing and a tech industry economy that would not jeopardize jobs in other industries. I know bringing jobs back from overseas would compromise the economies where the jobs are being taken from, but I believe that it would be in the best interest for American workers.

  18. Laurie Gallic November 12, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

    For the most part, I have to agree with this article and what it is saying. These jobs which have been moved to poorer countries are the jobs of tomorrow and as a part of the general public we should understand that when politicians talk about these jobs, they are talking about jobs which, eventually, will no longer be manned by humans. This is where I agree with this article as well as their idea that we should take advantage of the fact that the job of tomorrow is coding, and that we have the tools to educate kids on it. However, I have to disagree with their idea to add this to the core of students’ education. As much as technology is a part of our lives, I think that making these kids learn code would have a negative effect on their education. We would have a surplus of coders and eventually a generation of kids who feel as though their only job is to be a coder. Instead we should encourage innovation and creativity all around. As much as software engineers and coders are needed, there’s a certain skill set that they must have. The best are able to adapt and change to the fast demand this field requires. I believe this is why there aren’t enough coders not for a lack of the education of it, that’s what college is for. Should students find that they cannot match this competition they will have to resort back to schooling. I think education in computer science and coding could be introduced in extracurriculars or electives, but I do not believe it should be “forced” on these kids. Entering into a career field and truly finding what you want to do is what college is for. Obviously, this is my personal opinion but, I think that introducing more technology education into education would stunt students’ growth in other fields. However, I do agree that we should focus our economic incentives more on education but, not only the education of software engineers. Rather we should take that money and help students go farther into their education so they’re able to help sustain the job market all around.

  19. Joe Cangelosi March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

    As we have seen in recent years, many jobs are disappearing and they are disappearing fast. The majority of these jobs are manufacturing jobs. There can be a couple of arguments of why this has happened, globalization being one of them. another argument can be the rapid advancement of technology. I personally believe that it was the perfect combination of both that caused the decline of manufacturing jobs in the United States. With machines being able to do the work of multiple people and costing less than a person it was a matter of time before people were replaced with machines. I also believe that globalization played as a driving factor to move manufacturing jobs to countries overseas. Workers overseas are paid significantly less then workers in the United States, so I can see why this is appealing to many big corporations looking to make the most profit they can. With job loss being acknowledged it is time for younger people looking to come into the workforce to start looking at alternative ways to get a job since an entire sector has pretty much vanished over the last couple of decades.

  20. Santiago Gomez March 15, 2019 at 8:38 pm #

    As we know during Trump’s campaign, he made the effort to get jobs back to the United States. Since many of the manufacturing companies were left to cut their costs by moving to Mexico or somewhere else. And it is true, many of the American jobs/products were being produced overseas. Even with the help of globalization, it has hurt the American people. It has helped many countries deal with manufacturing problems. NAFTA was a bill signed by Bill Clinton, to provide Mexico with American manufacturing jobs. Has hurt the United States economy. American jobs/products being produced overseas. With the help of technology, it even helps more to cut their costs. Companies now have machines doing the work of humans. As the article says, there are now machines building machines. Back then, everything was made by humans and only humans. By using machines to build products, companies can cut wages, insurance, etc. This allows them to generate more profits and invest in their company. I think it is very important for our generation to obtain an education. Since we do not know what the future holds for us. Here in the United States jobs are diminishing, even those that require a college degree. But with an education, we can have a sense that we may be prepared what the future could hold.

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