Is China really responsible for all the lost jobs in the United States?

The reason for this post is because I left a comment for “Google robots, iPhone trackers—which sci-fi movie is coming true?” and a guy named Dave [I think it’s a guy] left a reply.

Dave pulled this quote from the comment I wrote: “If we don’t do something soon, the day will come when there are no jobs and no consumers because every job will be automated.” And Dave replied, “What? Have you any proof for this baseless assertion?”

Yes I do, Dave, and I’ll get to that, but first I want to deal with China getting the blame for jobs vanishing in the United States.

Heritage.org says, “Those who attack China often do not examine real economic events: They do not measure actual failed businesses and actual job losses. Instead, they assume the U.S.–China trade deficit means that both production and production jobs are moving from the U.S. to China. … Imports do not cause unemployment; quite the opposite, they are a signal of prosperity and plentiful jobs.”

Cato.org supports what Heritage says: “In the quarter century between 1983 and 2007, as real GDP more than doubled and the real value of U.S. trade increased five-fold, the U.S. economy created 46 million net new jobs, or 1.84 million net new jobs per year.”

If what Heritiage.org and Cato.org says is true, then what’s causing lost jobs in the United States?

First, after the 2007-08 global financial crises caused by US Banks and Wall Street greed, trade between the United States and the world shrunk by 12 percent and six million jobs were lost—jobs that were not lost to China where jobs were also lost.

Did you know that the United States has the largest manufacturing sector in the world, and that China is only number two? (Greyhill.com)

I wouldn’t be surprised if you said no.

Just how large are US exports to the world? NPR.org reported: “In 2011, the U.S. exported goods and services worth $2.1 Trillion”—more than what China sold to the world by about $80 billion. “China exported goods worth an estimated $2.021 Trillion to the world [in 2012] and imported goods from other countries that added up to an estimated $1.78 Trillion.”

At this point you may be confused and ask, “How can the U.S. be the world’s leader in manufacturing when millions of jobs are being lost in that sector?”

Bright Hub Engineering.com offers one answer: “Robots have replaced a lot of activities formerly carried out by a human, with one robot replacing as many as ten workers.”

“In the last fifteen years, manufacturing in the United States has undergone a fundamental shift,” Arena Solutions.com reports. “As millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost to … automation, output has steadily continued to grow. And while U.S. manufacturing output has decreased by only 1% since 1990, manufacturing jobs have decreased by over 30% in the same time period.”

Losing manufacturing jobs is not only happening in the US. The Harvard Business Review.org says, “Manufacturing employment decline is a global phenomenon. As a Bloomberg story summarized: “Some 22 million manufacturing jobs were lost globally between 1995 and 2002 as industrial output soared 30 percent.”

Instead of bashing China, blame the real culprits for millions of lost jobs on robots and the greedy rich who are behind the decisions to replace humans with automation. If one robot can replace ten humans, that’s a lot of money saved leading to increased profits and wealth for the rich.

After all, Robots don’t need Social Security, medical care, retirement plans, paid sick leave or vacations—in fact, they don’t earn any money, even minimum wage with no benefits.

One way to stop this from happening is to pass laws that protect humans from losing jobs to automation.

Other choices are to stay in school and work harder to earn a better education leading to jobs that robots can’t replace any time soon—and stop blaming teachers for a student’s lack of interest, cooperation or laziness. The other choice is to end up working for poverty wages in the fast-food industry or retail stores like Wal-Mart—that is until those jobs are also replaced by robots.

And if you drive an 18 wheeler; work for UPS or FedEx, be warned, Google—for instance—is working hard to take driving cars and trucks away from humans and turn driving over to robots. Meanwhile, Amazon is working on another project to turn delivery of goods bought from its Website over to automated drones that will fly in and deliver what you buy.

Sounds cool until you realize that means an end to a human’s job.

Also discover STEEL (no, not steal) FROM CHINA

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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8 Responses to Is China really responsible for all the lost jobs in the United States?

  1. yui.saikyoh.jp

    Is China really responsible for all the lost jobs in the United States? | iLook China

  2. Charly Suter says:

    Reblogged this on Connect.China Blog and commented:
    China als verlängerte Werkbank der Welt vs. “the end of cheap China”. Dieser Artikel von Lloyd Lofthouse zeigt sehr schon auf was Tatsache und Hysterie ist. Wir erachten in als lesenwert und “rebloggen” Ihn daher gerne für die Leser vom Connect.China Blog.

  3. merlin says:

    Forget Walmart jobs. Currently some cashiers are being replaced with DIY machines. I’ve read articles before when I was in college that electronic engineers have developed a new system that will replace the common bar code on products. It’s some kind of special chip. This chip when fully implemented will take away some jobs. For example, when the delivery truck unloads everything into the stock room, there will be a special device in the doorway that will automatically scan the products into the computer system, thus eliminating the need for people to run inventory. When people exit the store, another scan device will be by the door which will remove the items from inventory, and bill your debit/credit card.

    Already in some stores there are miniature monitors attached to the shopping carts that can provide general information about item locations in a store.

    Technology is already even taking over the futuristic battlefield. In the past, the military needed cartographers to sketch maps. Today, everything is done through satellite GPS. What were wars consisting of thousands of people in the past, will soon consist of a handful of soldiers. I read an article on a military website that they’ve developed a mechanized suit of armor that will augment the strength of a human, thus allowing soldiers to carry a heavier load, or possibly one-hand heavy weaponry. That armor will be top of the line in bullet proof technology, and will have an onboard computer system displaying updated geographic information to a google glass like HUD display.

    The one thing technology will never replace is the heart, mind, and soul of humanity.

    • There you have it. Another snapshot of the future—a future with increased poverty and a wealthier top 1% who live detached from reality behind armored walls and are protected by retired special forces trained security. It seems that some science fiction books are coming true as we watch.

    • Hon San says:

      The Japanese government claims that there is no dispute on the sovereignty of these islands, and that they belong to Japan when they first discovered these islands in 1884.

      However, there are many records that show that these islands have been part of China for more than 600 years since the Ming Dynasty, that Chinese fishermen on and off have been using these islands as temporary shelters, and many international maps (including Japanese maps) over the last few centuries have listed these islands as part of China.

      Based on analysis of official Japanese government documents (by both Chinese and Japanese scholars), Japan actually tried to secretly steal these islands from China in the late 1880s and early 1890s. When Japan defeated China after the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, these islands came under the control of Japan.

      When WWII ended, according to the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender, the Diaoyu Islands should have been returned to China, just like Taiwan and other territories that Japan had stolen from China.

      It is important to note that the principal author of all these three documents was the USA.

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