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View Diary: Walmart warehouse workers strike in response to retaliation. And Black Friday is coming. (92 comments)

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  •  I Have No Idea, And In My Opinion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Eyesbright, CherryTheTart

    The composition of the union is irrelevant.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 09:46:57 AM PST

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    •  Warehouse, retail workers replaced by robots. Yep. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flying Goat, radarlady

      Not making that up:

      Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.61% said Monday it is buying Kiva Systems Inc., which makes robots used in shipping centers...

      Kiva's robots bring the product shelves to a warehouse worker, rather than a worker walking to the shelves. The robots locate the items in a customer's order, move the products around warehouses and help get packed boxes to a final loading dock.

      http://online.wsj.com/...

      So the robots don't completely replace humans--yet--but they drastically reduce the number of humans needed in the warehouse.

      Next up: retail purchases loaded on self-driving trucks for home delivery. Cheaper to run a fleet of robot trucks than a retail store staffed by humans. Target and Wal-Mart will adopt the order-online, robot-delivery model, or they will die. Retail jobs are going away, soon.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:16:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Think this is a real long-term problem... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trog69, HeyMikey, radarlady

        Mechanization greatly increases productivity, and the modern lifestyle is completely dependent on it.  On the other hand, as a result, there are fewer jobs in a lot of labor-intensive industries, as they go away, there's a question of where people will end up working.

        Google's working on self-driving cars.  Imagine a company with its own self-driving fleet of cabs.  That puts taxi drivers at a disadvantage - they just can't compete with machines that work for free.

        •  Question: meaning of life? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flying Goat, radarlady

          Really.

          Our current economic system assumes everybody should work full-time. Maybe that's no longer a good assumption. Perhaps we need to figure out how to spread the same amount of work around among more people. Maybe working, say, 28 hours a week should be the norm. Maybe the minimum wage should be high enough so that 28 hours a week would provide a decent living; and mandatory overtime would start with hour 29, to encourage employers to hire more people instead of work the same old employees longer. Maybe everybody should have healthcare independent of his or her job (shocker!).

          Rising productivity could be a great gift, if we don't screw it up with greed.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:45:30 PM PST

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      •  Naw... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radarlady

        The first example of robot road rage will put a stop to all of this.

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