Change is Good (and inevitable, so you might as well agree it’s good)

Here’s a post from Zero Hedge.  The data may be entirely correct, but the headline and conclusions could not be more wrong.

The Death Cross Of US Manufacturing

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/16/2014 16:56 -0500

The theme of both the robot-ization of the global workforce and the populist desire for a hike in the minimum wage have been popular and ongoing ones here at Zero Hedge. However, never has it been more clear just where the future lies than this chart from BofAML’s Michael Hartnett… As he says, “we are long robots, and short human beings.”

Of course – from Applebees to Jamba Juice and now fast-food restaurants, the robots are coming and cries of millions of minimum-wage-hike-demanding union workers will do nothing but encourage it… (oh and the Fed’s financial repression)

Chart: BofAML

First of all, US manufacturing is not dying.  More stuff is being made here now than ever before.

From St. Louis FRED:

FRED Graph

The real complaint is about the number of jobs.  But that must, inevitably, decrease.  That’s progress.  That’s capitalism.  As an engineer, that’s thrilling.  It’s what is supposed to be happening.  People who complain about this have never worked a factory job.  Yes, they have in the past been good paying jobs, and it’s scary for those jobs to go away.  But they are not jobs that anyone really aspires to do.  Have you ever heard anyone say, this is my passion, packing these products into boxes?  Or this is my passion, loading these raw materials into these machines?

Have a little faith.  People are tremendously innovative.  As our manufacturing and service economies change (for the better), so will people, and the jobs they figure out for themselves.


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