China is moving quickly to replace factory workers with factory robots. The reasons for the substitution of capital for labor are all the usual ones. Workers in China are getting more expensive. The long run demographic trends for the Chinese working population are not looking promising, as China’s ill-considered one child policy will guarantee that China will grow old before it grows rich. Factory work is growing more technical, but Chinese college graduates (China now enrolls 25.5 million undergrads) have no desire to work on the factory floor.
Will the robotics revolution in the U.S. replace so much work that the 15 hour week will finally become a reality? No. What is more probable is that jobs will become both more scarce and more intense.
If we are hiring all this staff then how come everybody is working all the time?
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