There is a lot of doom and gloom about the future, technology, automation and employment.
Previously, I have written about sweat shops and the coming automation in the making of clothing. Automation faces many hurdles.
One of those hurdles is that the costs have to offer a return on investment compared to traditional manufacturing technologies.
Even if that technology is centuries old. Using people to manufacture clothing – in the present era (starting at least 100 years ago) is the sweat shop. In this recent article it is reported that workers earned £3 an hour to manufacture clothing for high end retailers.
That dress you are wearing – and paid $200 for? The person making it took less than an hour and was paid like $4 for their entire hour.
So, who is making the money? Well, the retailers are making the money – and they apply pressure to the manufacturers to provide the lowest prices.
So, automation. It is going to take jobs. Some jobs need to go away. The sweat shop needs to go away. Ironically, since they pay so little it will take longer before automation penetrates in to this market.
People will not have health care to make that dress.
People will not have enough money to survive to make those jeans.
People will work in dangerous environments with high risk of fire – to make those undies.
It needs to stop.
Oh, and just a side note. There is a reason we have regulations and laws. It is because businesses cannot be trusted to behave in an ethical manner. You can complain about the costs to businesses because of all these regulations, but the fact of the matter is that businesses as a whole will reduce costs to the lowest they can regardless of industry and will break rules, behave unethically and endanger the lives of their customers and employees simply to maximize profits.
So, the ship where we have low number of regulations and laws and people are treated well – that ship has sailed. The ship we are on now, where you have to document workers hours, how much you paid them, and are forced to treat them properly – because you have to (not because you choose to – that is the ship we are on now.