Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time to panic - not


We now have more people employed in government than manufacturing and construction.

Well, okay, yes, we've got too many people at the government trough. This is not news.

The good news is that while we have fewer manufacturing workers, the ones we've got are far more productive than they were. Automation enables employers to do more with less, allows people supervise while robots to boring, repetitive and dangerous work. We can reset an entire manufacturing floor to build entirely new components in only a few hours.[1] I don't know for sure but it feels like your average guy on the floor makes more money in real dollars than his counterpart from 1969.

What we should be doing is not bemoaning the number of 'crats but celebrating the idea of doing more with less and doing a lot of wealth generation in the process.

[1] The really good news is that all of this takes really good IT people who get to live in places where the cost of living is low. Sure, Manufacturing IT is the dorky white middle-aged guy in a crowd of Web 2.0 hipsters, flipsters and finger-poppin' daddies - but I get more bang for my buck living in Drivepast, Wisconsin than Silicon Valley.

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