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Japan begins replacing aging workforce with robots:

 2 Aceof Spades, Thu, 12th Jan '12 2:18:12 PM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
This is due, in part, to the fact that it is incredibly hard to immigrate to Japan. They'd have a young workforce if it was just a bit easier to gain residency and citizenship status.
 3 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 2:28:01 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Well, now we get to see if mechanization will crash and burn or actually work and make people's lives better.

Given how national economic policy works, I'll bet on the former, because to work properly large scale mechanization requires a shift towards vaguely socialistic (though not quite necessarily Marxist) policy to not totally sink like a stone...
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Well society didn't crash and burn at the invention of the tractor or the combine harvester, I think they'll be fine.

 5 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:14:55 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Yes, because we adjusted to those changes.

Also, technological progression hadn't yet picked up to full pace back then. Today, we whip through what would have taken centuries back in the day in a decade or two. Most governments can't keep up with that, policy-wise—and that's discounting all the disruption from ideologues who won't recognize or won't care about the inevitable problems...
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 6 Clarste, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:16:24 PM Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
Well, someone has to try it first. Not sure Japan is culturally prepared for it though.

 7 Major Tom, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:19:00 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
because to work properly large scale mechanization requires a shift towards vaguely socialistic

1886 and the era of inventing harvesters, combines, tractors, barbed wire and modern irrigation systems all say hi.

Agriculture suffered what could only be described as a total paradigm shift then with such innovations completely destroying the old way of farming. And better yet, there was not a socialist movement behind it one bit.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 8 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:19:34 PM from the United States
Decemberist
The Nordic countries would probably be a better testbed than Japan. They seem like they'd be more comfortable shifting towards full-blown socialism if it were necessary to keep pace with technology.

Edit: [up] That's one sector of the economy. We're talking, potentially, everything that isn't a service job or white collar.

Problem is, the more you mechanize, the more the middle class disappears. Look at farming. Before, farmers ran the spectrum of economic position. Today, you mostly have little shitty poor farms and mass conglomerate industrial farming run by corporations. There is no real middle ground, at this point.

Inevitably, things will break in two, because the system can't take the economic inequality. It's like taking a bent board with a support strut in the middle, snapping the support strut, and then pressing the two sides together until they snap as well.

Something's gotta give, unless you head it off beforehand.

edited 12th Jan '12 3:23:22 PM by Flyboy

"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
[up]Japan already is a socialist state, the difference being that their form of socialism is regulated on a corporate, not political, level. The government keeps taxes low on corporations with the expressed knowledge that in exchange corporations will keep retirement funds high and unemployment low - at the expense of economic growth, hence Japan's current recession.
 
 10 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:27:36 PM from the United States
Decemberist
That's corporatist nonsense, not socialism.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 11 Major Tom, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:27:48 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^^^ It won't be. You are overestimating (by a wide margin no less) the percent of technological change.

Automation of industries is nothing new. It's been going on for well over a hundred years and nary a socialist movement in sight to prop it up as it comes.

Remember 100 years ago there was a major Singularity of sorts the kind of which makes today's march of technology look laughable. In 1912 there existed the airplane, diesel power, the automobile, the bicycle, and the radio. 20 years prior many of those things didn't exist at all. Could you imagine a world without radio or airplanes? People back then had it in living memory. Literally two completely different worlds emerged and went by in the early 20th century and that was within a generation. A generation ago we had.....what did we have today that didn't already exist in one form or another? Let's see we had networks in 1985 so the technology behind the Internet existed, we had planes, personal computers, cellular phones, disks (as in computer disk), GPS tracking (military only at the time), plastics, basically everything under the Sun you can think of today had root technologies back then or existed outright. Back in 1912 a generation earlier there was no flight, most of the world didn't have electricity or radio or telephone, there were no real cars or bicycles, there were a lot of things that existed in the first part of the 20th century that didn't exist at all a generation prior.

And socialism didn't herald or cause or even back up such a happening.

edited 12th Jan '12 3:28:01 PM by MajorTom

Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 12 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:31:59 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Everything you just listed is utterly irrelevant, save the internet.

Transportation efficiency usually creates jobs. Mechanization destroys them, if your policy sucks. News flash: everybody's policy sucks.

The only way to keep up with it is to have a highly-educated populace, because all the shit jobs will (rightly) disappear. But that only works so long, as eventually even the high-skill jobs begin to be mechanized.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
 13 Major Tom, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:36:08 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Mechanization destroys them

The same argument was said 100 years ago. It went nowhere. Mechanization changes jobs. It destroys the inefficient jobs the braindead can get but it creates jobs in its place for skilled workers. Net result, no real job number change but the jobs that exist pay a lot more.

Look at Ford Motor Company. They employ thousands of people to run the what's the word? AUTOMATED factories to make cars and many of the jobs that presently exist at Ford didn't exist 40 years ago prior to some sections being automated or new technology assisting the manufacturing process. There's also their entire crew of folks who keep the machines in running condition.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
 14 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 3:39:08 PM from the United States
Decemberist
And yet factories that used to employ tens of thousands of people now employ a few thousand for less money than they would have made before.
"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
And you can, of course, back those numbers up?

 16 Flyboy, Thu, 12th Jan '12 4:29:14 PM from the United States
Decemberist
Link.

Edit: I'd give you the TIME Magazine article too, but you need to pay for that...

edited 12th Jan '12 4:29:51 PM by Flyboy

"Shit, our candidate is a psychopath. Better replace him with Newt Gingrich."
Since Flyboy seems to have adressed the "Japan is sociaist" idiocy, I'll just add that the robot revolution will soon be upon us.

Interesting read, thank you.

@USAF.

Well Japan is the most communist country I can think of to tell the truth.
I will always cherish the chance of a new beggining.
complete noob
My first thought was Ghost in the Machine.

This could have quite interesting results.

Unchanging Avatar.
@Baff: Are you...are you joking? You must be joking.

Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 22 Joesolo, Thu, 12th Jan '12 6:41:42 PM Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
[up] Doubt it. He was born without a sense of humor.
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 23 Deboss, Thu, 12th Jan '12 6:50:28 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Good for Japan. Then again, considering how much of agriculture is already automated (most farmers just fix things at this point, allowing for my experience with crops), it's not too far of a step into the future.
Better than the "increase birthrate so as to have more young workers" option. Especially when that option just raises the human population and in turn pollution...
"I even like the idea of a nice man who sees me when I'm sleeping and knows when I'm awake. And that man is Barack Obama." - Bill Maher
@ Baff

You mean culturally? I couldn't imagine it's economic system being describe as communist.

@ OP

That's an interesting solution to their lack of workforce problem. You know, ironically, I think North America is suffering the "Greek" problem (my personal terminology. What I mean by that: Ancient Greeks had a bunch of slaves and never mechanised because slaves were so cheap. In the same sense, Japan doesn't have "slaves" (but man their wages suck :P ) and thus must increase their technology to make up for it.

Let's all wait for the farming mecha.

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Total posts: 25
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