If true this is a VERY disturbing as it is the middle class that drives the economy & pays the majority of gov't funding which funds already shaky senior entitlements.This could lead to major political upheavals & population class conflicts.http://start.toshiba.com/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CDA3VN2EG0%4... Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.And the situation is even worse than it appears.Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What's more, these jobs aren't just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren't just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.They're being obliterated by technology.Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. "The jobs that are going away aren't coming back," says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of "Race Against the Machine." `'I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years."The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data;.... instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear."There's no sector of the economy that's going to get a pass," says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote "The Lights in the Tunnel," a book predicting widespread job losses. "It's everywhere."The numbers startle even labor economists. In the United States, half the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are in midpay industries. Nearly 70 percent are in low-pay industries, 29 percent in industries that pay well.For those who are retired & have retirement savings stock returns could accelerate due to higher profits.Thanks to technology, companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index reported one-third more profit the past year than they earned the year before the Great Recession.this trend is not restricted to the US.European companies had been using technology to replace midpay workers for years, and now that has accelerated.In Canada, a 2011 study by economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Toronto found a similar pattern of middle-class losses, though they were working with older data. In the 15 years through 2006, the share of total jobs held by many midpay, midskill occupations shrank. The share held by foremen fell 37 percent, workers in administrative and senior clerical roles fell 18 percent and those in sales and service fell 12 percent.In Japan, a 2009 report from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo documented a "substantial" drop in midpay, midskill jobs in the five years through 2005, and linked it to technology.Developing economies have been spared the technological onslaught — for now. Countries like Brazil and China are still growing middle-class jobs because they're shifting from export-driven to consumer-based economies. But even they are beginning to use more machines in manufacturing. The cheap labor they relied on to make goods from apparel to electronics is no longer so cheap as their living standards rise.
This is not news; it has been going on since the invention of the loom or before. Until the world decides to "globalize" technology and distribute its benefits to all like in Star Trek, these people are going to have to find something else to do.
This is not news; it has been going on since the invention of the loom or before. Until the world decides to "globalize" technology and distribute its benefits to all like in Star Trek, these people are going to have to find something else to do. While the trend is not new. The scale of it is. And the frequency of specific industry middle job loss is higher due the rapidly increased technology evolution. Which means a person may have 3 or 4 careers in their lifetime. Which means much more retraining & cost of that training disrupting their earnings. Which means mebbe people will work til they die. I'm glad I'm an old geezer that doesn't have to deal with this Brave New World.
It is true that computers are replacing people. It is also true that when work can't be done by a machine, companies may decide that that work should not be done. That is what has happened to copy editors and proofreaders, and I'm sure that you all have a dozen other examples of jobs that have been eliminated without any replacement.
Which means a person may have 3 or 4 careers in their lifetime.I am 35 and just started my third.I'm glad I'm an old geezer that doesn't have to deal with this Brave New World. Oh man, I wish there was a way for me to show you what I see. I have never been more excited for the future in my life. There are advances and great ideas happening everywhere I look. And it's not just corporatism. I see many people moving into more personal ways of interacting and collaborating with each other. More and more of it every day. And technology is getting "softer" as people get better with interfaces. It's a great time to be alive!
<Oh man, I wish there was a way for me to show you what I see. I have never been more excited for the future in my life. There are advances and great ideas happening everywhere I look.>Whafa, I'm delighted to read this and gave you a rec.But you have to realize that you are an exceptionally bright guy, able and eager to learn and invent new ways.Older people and the less educated will be less capable of creating and exploiting future developments. Pretty much every advance, whether economic (industrial revolution) or cultural (women's liberation, the collapse of communism in the U.S.S.R., etc.) hurt massive numbers of people who couldn't adapt to the change.On a macro level, there will be a lot of hardship until the old way gradually declines and the new way becomes normal. In the Bible, G-d himself kept the Israelites wandering for 40 years after the liberation from Egypt because the older folks weren't ready for freedom.40 years sounds about right to me. I won't be around by then, but your generation will.Wendy
Older people and the less educated will be less capable of creating and exploiting future developments.Yep. I just don't see bricklayers, carpenters learning programming skills. There are many on the other side of the bell curve that ain't gonna transition well.tj-a retired blue collar guy in the middle of the bell curve of intelligence.
Good for you- Wait until you try to get another job after you've passed the big Four-Zero and the stuff you know has been replaced with a new lot of stuff you have to learn. I've had 5 "career changes" in my 40 years of working life, I have 3 University Degrees, I have re-skilled and re-trained madly and I am one of those (like many here) in the top 5% or so of human intelligence. I started finding it hard after I passed 45, and almost impossible past 55. Yet my family depends on my "middle class" income and I am barely squeaking by. The future (using the current societal design) belongs to the people who OWN stuff and property... and the rest of us are consigned to indentured servitude or simple slavery. There isn't anything else on offer and the premise "work hard and you will get ahead", on which the whole of our society is based is now (as indicated by the OP) broken. You MIGHT if you are lucky... but most won't and there's no such promise available any more.Yet the idea of re-thinking the basis of the society as a whole is something that will make quite a few heads explode. This change is coming. It isn't going to be an easy one either.
Yep. I just don't see bricklayers, carpenters learning programming skills. There are many on the other side of the bell curve that ain't gonna transition well.I am in construction, and I see this as one of the safest areas in the current changing market. These skills cannot be reproduced by programming. Yes to a certain extent my job (project management) can be outsourced, but even then only so much - site visits need to be done, and the extensive "hands-on" nature of it isn't going away entirely.But the trades? They are still needed. Maybe those bricklayers or plumbers won't rise to be PMs (you need 21st century skills for that), but no one else can do what they do. I certainly can't.
But the trades? They are still needed. Maybe those bricklayers or plumbers won't rise to be PMs (you need 21st century skills for that), but no one else can do what they do. I certainly can't.The best of these craftpersons will always find work. But this segment of workers have been hit VERY HARD due to the real estate bubble. I suspect many have been unable to find full time employment in the past 3 to 5 years. I base that opinion on this article:http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/top-gaini...The benefit to the consumer is that it is likely that those with marginal skills have been forced from the construction market place to find other type of work.
I ran across this article this morning:"Practically Human: Can Smart Machines Do Your Job?"It a long article but worth readingIMHO.http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/practically-human-smart-m...Does technology also create jobs? Of course. But at nowhere near the rate that it's killing them off — at least for the foreseeable future.
Construction stopped/slowed because housing fell off a cliff and the industry was filled with speculators who gambled on growth and lost. In the commercial world (which is my world), things kept rolling (albeit slower). GCs scaled back, but didn't stop. Many GCs on shaky financial footings went out of business, but the good ones remained busy. And even then, one cannot replace a framer. One cannot replace a plumber. If that's what you need, then that's what you need. It's an age old skillset and can't be replaced with new technology.So yes, the glut of workers in construction was severely impacted. But now that the industry is back to a more rational size and structure, there is certainly work to be had.
Wait until you are 61 years old and your job is "consolidated."
Wait until you are 61 years old and your job is "consolidated." Is that the same as redundant?
I ran across this article this morning:"Practically Human: Can Smart Machines Do Your Job?"It a long article but worth readingIMHO.http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/practically-human-smart-m......Does technology also create jobs? Of course. But at nowhere near the rate that it's killing them off — at least for the foreseeable future.I'll agree with that, exactly as stated - but with more emphasis on the word "foreseeable".After all, the mechanization of agriculture displaced millions of farm workers... who did not jobs doing the same thing that other people had been doing for decades. In fact, a good share of THOSE jobs were being mechanized out of existence at the same time.No, whole new and unforeseen industries were created. And that's why, in spite of having around a tenth the number of people working in agriculture that we had a hundred years ago (when they were a majority of the working population), we have several times as many people working.
http://news.yahoo.com/smart-machines-create-world-without-05...Now, three years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the U.S., California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks — jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology?"All those jobs are going to disappear in the next 25 years," predicts Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. "Driving by people will look quaint; it will look like a horse and buggy."If automation can unseat bus drivers, urban deliverymen, long-haul truckers, even cabbies, is any job safe?Vardi poses an equally scary question: "Are we prepared for an economy in which 50 percent of people aren't working?" It turns out that computers most easily target jobs that involve routines, whatever skill level they require. And the most vulnerable of these jobs, economists have found, tend to employ midskill workers, even those held by people with college degrees — the very jobs that support a middle-class, consumer economy.So the rise of computer technology poses a threat that previous generations of machines didn't: The old machines replaced human brawn but created jobs that required human brains. The new machines threaten both.
Computers replacing humans in much of what we do seems to me to be inevitable and is also What We Always Thought We Wanted (oooops?!): helot slaves that can be exploited with no ethical qualms or civil perils.Assuming we can restructure our economies to cope (no one starves or becomes destitute from the resulting unemployment but all turn their attention from survival to simply living), the question becomes starkly simple: What is human life for?The brilliant Hannah Arendt, especially in her book The Human Condition answers:Labor (which is never-ending, focused on biological survival, and can be done by slaves) Work (the creating of artifacts -- new things, which enrich private life) and Action (great deeds and great works done publicly that create and evolve what it means to be human).The distinction between Work and Labor is not simple, but can perhaps best be illustrated by the ability of computers to win at championship chess vs. their failings at the seemingly similar game "go" [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)]. Chess, although extremely complex and deep, is at bottom algorithmic, and therefore in a sense is a bizarre form of "Labor" (and also, obviously, as can be any work or labor, a social pastime and body/mind training). "go" at bottom is intensely aesthetic and intuitional, and therefore "Work". I am pushing all my young god-children and relatives to study "go" and look for vocations that embody some of its traits.I doubt computers will soon become good novelists, gourmet chefs, counseling priests, or research scientists, let alone satisfactory basketball players, gigolos, or wet-nurses. david fb
http://www.arnoldkling.com/blog/Paul Beaudry, David A. Green, and Benjamin M. Sand have a paper with an intriguing abstract, which says in part,Many researchers have documented a strong, ongoing increase in the demand for skills in the decades leading up to 2000. In this paper, we document a decline in that demand in the years since 2000, even as the supply of high education workers continues to grow. We go on to show that, in response to this demand reversal, high-skilled workers have moved down the occupational ladder and have begun to perform jobs traditionally performed by lower-skilled workers. This de-skilling process, in turn, results in high-skilled workers pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some degree, out of the labor force all together.If true, this would upset nearly everyone’s narrative apple cart, including mine.
Computers to take over Primary care?http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/03/the-robo...http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/business/robots-and-humans...FACTORY robots are usually caged off from humans on the assembly line lest the machines’ powerful steel arms deliver an accidental, bone-crunching right hook.But now, gentler industrial robots, designed to work and play well with others, are coming out from behind their protective fences to work shoulder-to-shoulder with people. It’s an advance made possible by sophisticated algorithms and improvements in sensing technologies like computer vision.“Researchers in labs worldwide are building robots that can predict what you’ll do next and be ready to give you the best possible assistance,” he said.In a recent study, Dr. Shah and a student had human-robot teams perform a chore borrowed from the assembly line: the humans placed screws and the robots did the drilling. Then the teammates exchanged jobs and the robots observed the humans drill.“The robot gathers information on how the person does the drilling,” adding that information to its algorithms, Dr. Shah said. “The robot isn’t learning one optimal way to drill. Instead it is learning a teammate’s preferences, and how to cooperate.”Baxter, which costs $22,000, can lift objects from a conveyor belt. “You don’t have to tell it the exact velocity,” Dr. Brooks said. “It sees objects and grabs them, matching its speed to the speed of the object.”.. see such robots replacing alot of service workers. On the plus side you might be able to buy one & avoid a nursing home
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/06/irobot-announces-roll-...The RP VITA robot will be deployed allowing doctors and patients to interact with nothing more than an iPad and video screen. It’s the first such robot approved for use by the FDA.Marcio Macedo, Director of Product Development for iRobot tells WBZ the system developed with InTouch Health of Santa Barbara, California, is based on a tablet interface that allows a doctor to be up and running virtually without training.The cost to a hospital: between $4,000-$6,000 a month, including all the services needed to run the technology.http://www.hasc.org/blog-entry/dr-watson-i-presume In an article published last year, Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, questioned whether algorithms would replace doctors. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur would later predict that computers and robots will replace four out of five physicians in the United States.
http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/05/robots-artificial-i...Computer scientists have been predicting the imminent rise of machine intelligence since at least 1956, when the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence gave the field its name, and there are only so many times you can cry wolf. Today, a full seven decades after the birth of the computer, all we have are iPhones, Microsoft Word, and in-dash navigation. You could be excused for thinking that computers that truly match the human brain are a ridiculous pipe dream.Suppose it's 1940 and Lake Michigan has (somehow) been emptied. Your job is to fill it up using the following rule: To start off, you can add one fluid ounce of water to the lake bed. Eighteen months later, you can add two. In another 18 months, you can add four ounces. And so on. Obviously this is going to take a while.By 1950, you have added around a gallon of water. But you keep soldiering on. By 1960, you have a bit more than 150 gallons. By 1970, you have 16,000 gallons, about as much as an average suburban swimming pool.At this point it's been 30 years, and even though 16,000 gallons is a fair amount of water, it's nothing compared to the size of Lake Michigan. To the naked eye you've made no progress at all.So let's skip all the way ahead to 2000. Still nothing. You have—maybe—a slight sheen on the lake floor. How about 2010? You have a few inches of water here and there. This is ridiculous. It's now been 70 years and you still don't have enough water to float a goldfish. Surely this task is futile?But wait. Just as you're about to give up, things suddenly change. By 2020, you have about 40 feet of water. And by 2025 you're done.in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer beat world champion Garry Kasparov, and suddenly we decided that playing grandmaster-level chess didn't imply high intelligence after all.So maybe translating human languages would be a fair test? Google Translate does a passable job of that these days. Recognizing human voices and responding appropriately? Siri mostly does that, and better systems are on the near horizon. Understanding the world well enough to win a round of Jeopardy! against human competition? A few years ago IBM's Watson supercomputer beat the two best human Jeopardy! champions of all time. Driving a car? Google has already logged more than 300,000 miles in its driverless cars, and in another decade they may be commercially available.The truth is that all this represents more progress toward true AI than most of us realize. When we think of human cognition, we usually think about things like composing music or writing a novel. But a big part of the human brain is dedicated to more prosaic functions, like taking in a chaotic visual field and recognizing the thousands of separate objects it contains. We do that so automatically we hardly even think of it as intelligence. But it is, and the fact that Google's car can do it at all is a real breakthrough.Obviously there will be some jobs that only humans can or should do. But AI machine continually drip by drip invade the job market. CEOs will ruthlessly utilize the above fact to improve the bottom line & thus stock options. But this puts a thought in my mind:"Why couldn't a CEO be replaced by an AI machine programmed to maximize stock returns & profits overseen by the board of directors?" Hee. That will NEVER happen. Current CEOs wouldn't fund such a development. It could be improvement on our capitalist system though. The number of failed CEOs fired with golden parachutes likely outnumber those that provide great stockholder value.
When I read that I thought of the Motorcyclist that had problems with people following too close. Sometimes he would accidentally on purpose drop the 6 inch crescent wrench that he kept on his belt. It is amazing what can happen in that situation.Same with computers.CheersQazulight
I bought IBM (sold yesterday at a decent profit - to replace some funds suddenly inserted into the Japanese market a little while ago) right after they demonstrated "Watson" on the Jeopardy quiz show. I figured it could displace outsourced Indian call center people.Jeff
So maybe translating human languages would be a fair test? Google Translate does a passable job of that these days.I predict that the occupation of translator is going to be one of the LAST jobs to be eliminated by artificial intelligence.Machines will only be able to produce a reasonable translation if they are able to understand the content of the text.That's not even on the horizon.
However, the point of the article is that more and more of the pie is earned by capital instead of labor; that is fine for the folks with capital, but it can't last forever; when very few people have jobs and therefore very few people have purchasing power, the return on capital will vanish as well. So we have a choice between redistribution (high taxes on the rich and bread and circuses for everyone else) or a Star Trek economy where a certain portion of the capital is a birthright of citizens. In other words, you can tax money and give it away to people who need it, or you can "print" money and give it away to people who need it. But I do wish someone would come up with something more clever, because mass unemployment is where we are heading. The "if you have an extra coat, give it away" model would work, too, except people need a religious conversion to get that one going. Everyone seems to be stuck in economic models that simply don't reflect reality. So please come up with a new theory, somebody.
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.Everyone seems to be stuck in economic models that simply don't reflect reality. So please come up with a new theory, somebody.OK I tried to squeeze Steve to post this but he had the good sense to ignored me. }};-DIn truth it didn't end the way it sounded like it was going to but since it is a slow day... there you go. **** Not signed ****http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/breaking-inequality/Breaking Inequality2013 Economics 2 Comments Breaking InequalityBreaking Inequality is a documentary film about the corruption between Washington and Wall Street that has resulted in the largest inequality gap in the history of America.It is a film that exposes the truth behind the single event that occurred back in the early 70's that set us off on this perilous journey that we are currently on.The inequality gap is presently the worst that it has ever been and there is no solution in place to repair this crippling problem.No country in the history of the world has ever remained a super power without a middle class and the road we are currently traveling doesn’t include this all-important segment of the population. The old saying “As goes the middle class… so goes the nation” holds true even more today than ever.We live in a world where governments can create as much money as they want in order to fund all kinds of wasteful projects, wars, handouts, and banker bailouts. The current system by design has transferred the wealth from average everyday Americans to an elite few who care not about the majority.Watch the full documentary now - 28 min
corruption between Washington and Wall Street that has resulted in the largest inequality gap in the history of America.That's very harsh Tim. Citibank is saying this much nicer in their now infamous Plutonomy report, directed to their high-net-worth clients. You just got to hit the right tone between self-righteousness packaged between a slight appearance of irony:With the exception of the boom in the Roaring 1920s, this super-rich group kept losing out its share of incomes in WWI, the Great Depression and WWII, and till the early eighties. Why? The answers are unclear, but the massive loss of capital income (dividend, rents, interest income, but not capital gains) from progressive corporate and estate taxation is a possible candidate. ... the resurgence in their fortunes since the mid-eighties was mainly from oversized salaries. The rich in the U.S. went from coupon-clipping, dividend-receiving rentiers to a Managerial Aristocracy indulged by their shareholders. ...Society and governments need to be amenable to disproportionately allow/encourage the few to retain that fatter profit share. The Managerial Aristocracy, like in the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the thriving nineties, needs to commandeer a vast chunk of that rising profit share, either through capital income, or simply paying itself a lot. We think that despite the post-bubble angst against celebrity CEOs, the trend of cost-cutting balance sheet-improving CEOs might just give way to risk-seeking CEOs, re-leveraging, going for growth and expecting disproportionate compensation for it. It sounds quite unlikely, but that’s why we think it is quite possible. Meanwhile Private Equity and LBO funds are filling the risk-seeking and re-leveraging void, expecting and realizing disproportionate remuneration for their skills.http://cryptome.org/0005/rich-pander.pdf
Government action did indeed make it easier for the rich to thrive, but I don't think that is the main problem. I think the main problem is that 1. People think that machines still create as many jobs as they destroy. They don't.2. People think that most jobs are immune to automation. They aren't.3. People think that money is some kind of commodity. It isn't. It is just an accounting system--a way of keeping score, if you will.4. People have no idea what meaningful thing people will do instead of going to work everyday, and no one is working on that problem. They keep saying the problem is jobs, and wages; but that is SO yesterday.5. No one has any idea what incentive corporations or people will have to produce goods that no one can buy, and they have no idea how people will buy goods whey they don't have money, which they can't get without jobs, which they won't have.6. Everyone thinks some magic will come along and invent jobs for everyone. It won't. As soon as work comes along, someone will build a machine to do it faster and cheaper.The problem is that we are still thinking about labor, money, and profit, and those things are going to disappear, for the most part.So, we need a whole new system here. It must be a sustainable system that provides what we all need and gives us all something meaningful to do. Not everyone can be a novelist or artist or opera star. Now, there are plenty of meaningful things that don't pay anything, so I consider that the easy part of the problem. But as a society we need a way to reward people for living good lives, and I don't think money has ever done a very good job of that. It used to do a pretty good job of getting people to things that they would rather have not done for free. But that sort of thing will be done by machines in the future, so money has outlived its function.In short, the whole idea of money has to change. And it has to change soon.
OK I tried to squeeze Steve to post this but he had the good sense to ignored me. }};-DI figured my tongue in cheek post about opportunity in Detroit sturred up enough of a hornet's nest.Besides, I mosied over to Dearborn to see this exhibit at the Henry Ford this afternoon.Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s helps explain why millions of Americans traveled to world’s fairs in the 1930s for a glimpse of the future.http://www.thehenryford.org/events/worldsFairs.aspxToo bad my Dad died years ago. He lived in NYC in the 30s and spent a lot of time at that fair. He would have enjoyed it.Steve
more on the subject, from MIThttp://www.technologyreview.com/view/514861/its-time-to-talk...
Willi, you said: However, the point of the article is that more and more of the pie is earned by capital instead of labor; that is fine for the folks with capital, but it can't last forever; when very few people have jobs and therefore very few people have purchasing power, the return on capital will vanish as well. This is spot on, and underappreciated, in my opinion. But then you go on to say, So we have a choice between redistribution... or a Star Trek economyWhich is where you lose me. After all, what will happen when ROIC vanishes? Well, obviously, investment will drop. With too much automation, you cannibalize your customer base - since you just fired your customers, and now they can't buy your goods. But if they can't buy your goods, how are you going to make a profit? Answer: You're not. And with no profit, you're certainly not going to invest more money on factories or robots, when you're already producing more than anyone can buy. In other words, automation is self-limiting. If you put your customers out of a job, they're going to run out of money, and they're not going to buy your products.
4. People have no idea what meaningful thing people will do instead of going to work everyday, and no one is working on that problem. They keep saying the problem is jobs, and wages; but that is SO yesterday....In short, the whole idea of money has to change. And it has to change soon. Whoa, let's not call for the end of capitalism just yet. As long as there is scarcity, we'll need some way to distribute resources, and capitalism is the best system we've got so far. And I don't see scarcity ending any time soon, honestly. What happens if everyone wants to eat caviar every day? Or wants a luxury car? Or an annual trip to the moon? Or to live in a house made of gold? Okay, fine, those are luxuries. Let's think more practically: When will humans ever stop trying to prevent death? We will always devote huge resources to that. So, until we cure cancer, heart disease, and even learn how to stop aging itself.. some professions are going to be more valuable than others. A heart surgeon or medical researcher will still be worth more than your average musician. But I can still hear your arguments in my head: "Well, what happens when a robot becomes cheaper than a heart surgeon?" Well, what if? Let's unpack that idea.First: it seems obvious that some jobs will undergo automation faster than others, right? We'll lose taxi drivers before we lose medical researchers, for example. So for this thought experiment, let's pick a profession - we'll say heart surgery - and we'll say that robotic advances are 1/2 as quick there as the average. I.e., costs drop 100% more quickly for your average good or service than for heart surgery. So what happens when a robot surgeon comes on the scene, that's, say, 10% cheaper than a real surgeon? Well, as we said earlier, other jobs are being automated 2x as fast as heart surgery. Which means prices of food, cars, houses, etc., are all dropping 2x as fast as the cost of a robotic surgeon. If the robot surgeon is 10% cheaper, your average good or service is going to be 20% cheaper. Hmm. If I were the heart surgeon, I'd take a 15% pay cut. I'm now 5% cheaper than the robot, but I also still have a 5% pay boost in real terms. At the same time, the higher relative wages of surgeons is going to draw more people to the profession. These numbers are made up, but the point is the same. Wherever there is scarcity, there will be room for capitalism. Capitalism is really just a system that directs where resources, including labor, should go. It funnels productive efforts towards those things we value more highly or find more scarce. And there will be scarcity as long as humans can dream up greater, more difficult things to do. I've always wanted to see another solar system, myself.
And with no profit, you're certainly not going to invest more money on factories or robots, when you're already producing more than anyone can buy...In other words, automation is self-limiting. If you put your customers out of a job, they're going to run out of money, and they're not going to buy your products. Which is the point. Sooner or later, people who are only interested in profits will go out of business. They are not going to altruistically hire expensive human beings just to create customers, because they would lose money doing that. Therefore producers of ordinary goods will be people who are not interested in profits. Now it may be that some producers will stay in business by only selling goods to the wealthy people who own the capital. But what about other people? The ones with no jobs and no money and no land for subsistence farming? How long are they going to put up with that situation?Don't make me start talking about Rwanda. We ought to be smarter and better than this.The profit motive is going to be a disaster.
Hmm. If I were the heart surgeon, I'd take a 15% pay cut. I'm now 5% cheaper than the robot, but I also still have a 5% pay boost in real terms. At the same time, the higher relative wages of surgeons is going to draw more people to the profession. Who is going to pay this slightly smaller but still exorbitant salary to the artisan heart surgeon when 80% of us are unemployed? For that matter, who is going to pay the capitalist who owns the robot surgeon?I don't think you quite see the scope of the problem.
Which is the point. Sooner or later, people who are only interested in profits will go out of business. They are not going to altruistically hire expensive human beings just to create customers, because they would lose money doing that. Therefore producers of ordinary goods will be people who are not interested in profits. I still really don't get your point. Say I'm the guy who's researching AI and building robots. And the people who buy my robots are going out of business, because they're firing too many people, and thus eroding their own customer base. So if my customer base is going out of business, then I'm also going to lose money. So, (duh), I'm going to stop working on AI or robots. Progress on automation will stop, or slow down, if you destroy your customer base.
Who is going to pay this slightly smaller but still exorbitant salary to the artisan heart surgeon when 80% of us are unemployed? For that matter, who is going to pay the capitalist who owns the robot surgeon?I don't think you quite see the scope of the problem. Hmm.. Well, say I'm a heart surgeon, and you're a gardener, and we're both unemployed. Hey, I have an idea! As long as we've got all this free time, how about I do a checkup on your heart, if you mow my lawn and trim my flower garden? And maybe we can trade our services with our neighbor who used to be a baker, too, and he can bake us some bread. And we might as well bring in the baker's friend, an unemployed seamstress, to patch up our clothes. ...do you see where this is going?
So if my customer base is going out of business, then I'm also going to lose money. So, (duh), I'm going to stop working on AI or robots.Or anything else that you can't sell, I'd assume. As I said, if your motive is profit, you'll stop producing.Which is why, in post 422852, OrmontUS posts that the number one reason pushing people into stocks is 1) Nowhere else to make a buckBut when the only businesses left on their feet are the market and the bank, the market and the bank will fall, too.
So if my [robot-using] customer base is going out of business, then I'm also going to lose money. So, (duh), I'm going to stop working on AI or robots.Or anything else that you can't sell, I'd assume. As I said, if your motive is profit, you'll stop producing.Right. I'll not just stop producing robots, I'll stop putting money into improving them or advancing AI. So doesn't it seem a bit nonsensical to say that profit motives are going to be responsible for both robots taking our jobs and at the same time, robot manufacturers halting robot production and research? The two are contradictory. If the robot-producing factories have shut down, who's going to take my job? ~w
This from Mish's website is making me considering retitling this thread.Meet Sedasys Your New Robot Anesthesiologisthttp://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/09/future-of...
http://www.arnoldkling.com/blog/wither-90-percent-of-employm...Some analysts at the Gartner group are buying into Average is Over.From 2020 to 2030, “you are going to see the first human-free enterprise — nobody is involved in it, it’s all software, communicating and negotiating with one another,” said Diane Morello, a Gartner analyst, who has looked at how smart machines will reshape employment.The upshot?On an extreme end of the scale, he [Gartner's Kenneth Brandt] put the impact of smart machines at 90% unemployment, which is either catastrophic or leads to a utopia, where basic needs are met and people are free from drudge work.
...it’s all software, communicating and negotiating with one another,”I saw that movie!http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/ccManager/clips/colos...And we know how that turned out.Steve
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-28/why-factory-...A report from the Boston Consulting Group last week suggested the U.S. had become the second-most-competitive manufacturing location among the 25 largest manufacturing exporters worldwide. While that news is welcome, most of the lost U.S. manufacturing jobs in recent decades aren’t coming back. In 1970, more than a quarter of U.S. employees worked in manufacturing. By 2010, only one in 10 did.The growth in imports from China had a role in that decline–contributing, perhaps, to as much as one-quarter of the employment drop-off from 1991 to 2007, according to an analysis by David Autor and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But the U.S. jobs slide began well before China’s rise as a manufacturing power. And manufacturing employment is falling almost everywhere, including in China. The phenomenon is driven by technologyFactory jobs ain't coming back--for anyone in the world. Not good news for those in the lower half of the bell curve of IQ. "Do you want fries with that?"
Links stolen from Mish.Robot Truck Convoy Tested In Nevadahttp://www.popsci.com/article/cars/robot-truck-convoy-tested...Like Olympic skiers racing in single file to reduce air resistance, two 18-wheeler trucks in Nevada recently proved that uncomfortably close convoys can save drivers fuel and money. The key, instead of bold Olympic athleticism, is robotic assistance. A computer-assisted truck was able to follow closely behind a human-driven truck perfectly, maintaining exactly 33 feet of distance between the vehicles. The promise is a future of safer, more fuel efficient, and more robotic trucking.Besides safety, the major selling point of this system is that the reduced drag saves fuel costs. Peloton says the "technology saves more than 7% [of fuel] at 65mph – 10% for the rear truck and 4.5% for the lead truck," which is tremendous because "Long-haul fleets spend 40% of operating expenses on fuel, accounting collectively for over 10% of U.S. oil use and related carbon emissions." These savings come primarily from reduced aerodynamic drag.http://www.techhive.com/article/2046262/the-first-driverless...“The trucking industry is very interested in going from single trucks to convoys of trucks. One human driver with perhaps three other trucks behind it,” Özguner told TechHive. “Those three wouldn’t necessarily have a driver in them. Eventually you could imagine removing the first driver too.”
“The trucking industry is very interested in going from single trucks to convoys of trucks. One human driver with perhaps three other trucks behind it,” Özguner told TechHive. “Those three wouldn’t necessarily have a driver in them. tjsI wonder if something like this would accomplish the same purpose with a bit less technology risk? I have this vision (in either case) of the one driver falling asleep and the rest of the vehicles following him off the cliff! }};-@Tim <there is nothing wrong with using a sledge hammer to open a walnut assuming you weren't actually planning to eat the thing> https://www.google.ca/search?q=australian+truck+trains&h...
There have been items in the "news" recently about allowing longer trucks on US highways, a single tractor with two long trailers."Land trains" have been used in Austrailia for years.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Road_Trai...Steve
I have this vision (in either case) of the one driver falling asleep and the rest of the vehicles following him off the cliff! }};-@'course, it would be a lot safer if all those pesky civilians were banned from the freeways their taxes helped pay for, so they wouldn't "interfere with commerce"Steve
I find it interesting that while Oregon does allow 'triples' on its interstate highways, the state of Washington does not.No matter where we live we know that freeway driving can have its moments ... Oregon gets a lot of weather and depending upon the season, I can personally attest that - even with your wipers at full speed - as you cautiously pass triples (and there are a lot of them on our freeways) you will be buffeted, have minimum visibility, and hear & feel water (or slush) smashing against your car. In the early days it used to be a lot worse. Triple truckers now equip their trailers with various under-carriage curtains & deflectors to lessen the problem.Wikipedia has this to say about Road Trains:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_train
There have been items in the "news" recently about allowing longer trucks on US highways, a single tractor with two long trailers.That has been legal in most US states (actually every state I know that much about) for my entire life.Some states allow, or are considering allowing, THREE long trailers.Oh, and the trailers in your picture aren't what I consider long. They look maybe 30 feet each, and a rig pulling two or three 50-foot trailers isn't unusual. But four trailers aren't allowed on the highways anywhere in the US that I'm aware of.
That has been legal in most US states (actually every state I know that much about) for my entire life.It's a matter of how you define "long". I remember when the longest semi trailer was 40'. Now thery are, what, 52'? The double FedEx and UPS trailers I see are a lot shorter.In the 70s, Michigan had so called "double bottom" tankers on the road.http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix//trucks/tim_gibson/sep...Several of these got in blue ribbon crashes. Seems that when the rear trailer was partly unloaded (each trailer is divided internally into several compartments) it would be unstable and start wagging the entire rig.Haven't seen a double bottom in years. Now trucks pull one longer trailer, rather than the two somewhat shorter ones.http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix/trucks/paul_kane/pk_pi...Steve
I can personally attest that - even with your wipers at full speed - as you cautiously pass triples (and there are a lot of them on our freeways) you will be buffeted, have minimum visibility, and hear & feel water (or slush) smashing against your car.Been there, done that* got the wet T-shirt. Even in a HUMMER the buffeting and waves of water washing over the windshield can blind you for a few critical seconds.Once, I think it was in Oregon, my HUMMER and I got caught in a sudden gale with hail, sleet and rain thrown in all at the same time. I considered seeking shelter after a 10 foot long tree limb complete with smaller branches blew up onto the freeway in front of me, but continued on at a slower speed.*with doubles and even single trailersTriple truckers now equip their trailers with various under-carriage curtains & deflectors to lessen the problem.We've got those here in Texas on single and double trailers too, they seem to work.
Oh man, I wish there was a way for me to show you what I see. I have never been more excited for the future in my life. There are advances and great ideas happening everywhere I look. And it's not just corporatism. I see many people moving into more personal ways of interacting and collaborating with each other. More and more of it every day. And technology is getting "softer" as people get better with interfaces. It's a great time to be alive! I'm getting the sense that you don't really get this place.
I'm getting the sense that you don't really get this place.You know, I've been thinking: There is a lot of money to be made in disaster porn. When I look on ZeroHedge, I often see a lot of bloggers getting re-posted there, with not much content besides a lot of speculation on the end of the world, and specifically of the USA. You don't even really need to gather much data. A few good charts is enough to get a re-post. I gotta believe those bloggers are making money from the ad revenue. I think I'd do a pretty good job at it too. I think disaster porn might be a burgeoning growth industry, and I'm not really kidding. I wonder how much writing I'd have to do to get some attention. I think I'd be pretty good at it. It's all BS, but people soak it up. Chris Martenson has made a career out of it.
Good news for those middle skill workers that can obtain jobs. But emploment of middle skill workers is still down below pre-recession levels."For Middle-Skill Occupations, Where Have All The Workers Gone?"http://seekingalpha.com/article/2701195-for-middle-skill-occ...Chart 1 shows employment levels by skill category (using 12-month moving averages to smooth out the seasonal variation). From the end of 2007 to the end of 2009, the overall number of people working declined by more than 8 million. Middle-skill jobs were hit the hardest, declining about 10 percent from 2007 to 2009. As of September 2014, the level was still about 9 percent below the 2007 level. In contrast, employment in low-skill occupations is 7 percent above prerecession levels, and employment in high-skill occupations is about 8 percent higher than before the recession.For full-time workers (working at least 35 hours a week at all jobs) the decline in middle-skill occupations is even more dramatic. From 2007 to 2009, the number of full-time workers whose main job was a middle-skill occupation fell more than 15 percent from 2007 to 2009 and is still about 11 percent below the level at the end of 2007.Currently, of those in middle-skill occupations who remain in a full-time job, about 83 percent are still working in a middle-skill job one year later (see chart 4). What types of jobs are the other 17 percent getting? Mostly high-skill jobs; and that transition rate has been rising. The percent going from a middle-skill job to a high-skill job is close to 13 percent: up about 1 percent relative to before the recession. The percent transitioning into low-skill positions is lower: about 3.4 percent, up about 0.3 percentage point compared to before the recession. This transition to a high-skill occupation tends to translate to an average wage increase of about 27 percent (compared to those who stayed in middle-skill jobs). In contrast, those who transition into lower-skill occupations earned an average of around 24 percent less.In summary, the number of middle-skill jobs declined substantially during the last recession, and that decline has been persistent-especially for full-time workers. Many of the workers leaving full-time, middle-skill jobs became unemployed, and some of that decline is the result of an increase in part-time employment. But others gained full-time work in other types of occupations. In particular, they are more likely than in the past to transition to higher-skill occupations. Further, the transition rate to high-skill occupations has gradually risen and doesn't appear directly tied to the last recession
More progress in computer intelligence. Likely to be bad for human workers as they are replaced by more & more capable machines.http://www.technologyreview.com/view/533496/why-neural-netwo...Computers are rapidly beginning to outperform humans in more or less every area of endeavor. But there is one area where humans still triumph. That is in playing the ancient Chinese game of Go. Computers have never mastered this game. The best algorithms only achieve the skill level of a very strong amateur player which the best human players easily outperform.That looks set to change thanks to the work of Christopher Clark and Amos Storkey at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. These guys have applied the same machine learning techniques that have transformed face recognition algorithms to the problem of finding the next move in a game of Go. And the results leave little hope that humans will continue to dominate this game.In brief, Go is a two-player game usually played on a 19 x 19 grid. The players alternately place black and white stones on the grid in an attempt to end up occupying more of the board than their opponent when the game finishes. Players can remove their opponent’s stones by surrounding them with their own.Experts think there are two reasons why computers have failed to master Go. The first is the sheer number of moves that are possible at each stage of the game. Go players have 19 x 19 = 361 possible starting moves and there are usually hundreds of possible moves at any point in the game. By contrast, the number of moves in chess is usually about 50.The second problem is that computers find it difficult to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a board position. In chess, simply adding up the value of each piece left on the board gives a reasonable indication of the strength of a player’s position. But this does not work in Go. “Counting the number of stones each player has is a poor indicator of who is winning,” say Clark and Storkey.The way that state-of-the-art Go algorithms tackle this problem is to play out the entire game after every move and to do this in many different ways. If the computer wins in the majority of these games, then that move is deemed a good one.Clearly, this is a time-consuming and computationally intensive task. Even so, it generally fails to beat human Go experts who can usually evaluate the state of a Go board with little more than a glance.Many experts believe that the secret to human’s Go-playing mastery is pattern recognition—the ability to spot strengths and weaknesses based on the shape that the stones make rather than by looking several moves ahead.Having trained the neural network, Clark and Storkey then played it against two of the best Go algorithms around. The first is called GNU Go, which plays at a level that is equivalent to an intermediate amateur with a ranking of 6-8 kyu. (Go rankings range from a beginner with a rank of 30-20 kyu to a professional expert with a ranking of 1 kyu).The second was a state-of-the-art program called Fuego 1.1, which has a ranking of approximately 5-4 kyu. A human player would usually take many years of study to reach this level.The results clearly suggest that the writing is on the wall for human Go players. Clark and Storkey’s neural network beat GNU Go almost 90 percent of the time in a run of 200 games. In other words, after a few days training, the neural net was able to beat GNU Go consistently.Against Fuego 1.1, it fared less well, winning only just over 10 percent of its games. Nevertheless, that is a significant achievement. “Being able to win even a few games against this opponent indicates a high degree of skill was acquired,” say Clark and Starkey.The above suggests to me that computers are now capable of making fewer mistakes than humans in analogical situations. Especially as they are never tired or distracted or whatever. Computers still are likely to never beat the best human in an endeavor, but they will consistently beat well trained humans in an endeavor.
I am one of those who sees Go playing as by far the most useful test for comparing computers and humans in the limited realm of delimited system problem solving.Much more difficult and still barely touched is the human ability to size up utterly novel situations within the known universe, "imagine" what is happening, and then form and test hypothesis. Of course, many humans are pretty miserable at this also, and fall back on quasi-religious mutterings or simply refusing to "see" the new reality. david fb(17 kyu was as high as I ever got!)
david fb(17 kyu was as high as I ever got!)Tim (scored 160 out of 160 (4X40) in the four phases*** of a rifle shoot practice round one day) *** - application, rapid, run down and snapSearches related to kyukyu ayakashikyu linekyu sushikyu sakamotokyu gokyu taxfa kyukyu karate
Kyu ratings are a lot like Dan ratings in judo.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_ranks_and_ratings17 kyu meant that I was at a level of play where 'schooling' would no longer help much (those levels are 30 - 20), and what I needed to do to improve was to play a lot, watch even more, and, most especially, increase my (can't remember the Japanese word for this) 'calm attentiveness". Very roughly, 17 kyu also meant that if I played a 10 kyu player then our play should be handicapped by letting (within certain rules) me put down seven stones (7 moves) before he moved once.Basically I stopped improving when I left Aerospace s/w engineering for specialized information system network engineering. In those days it meant that at lunch time there were very few Japanese around.david fb
Caterpillar announces fully autonomous mining in Australia.http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/04/peek-insi...
http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/1786484/buildin...Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta, the area of southern China known as the ‘world’s workshop’ because of the huge export manufacturing industry there, as labour shortages bite and local authorities face the need to spur innovation to counter the economic slowdown.Since September, a total of 505 factories across Dongguan have invested 4.2 billion yuan in robots, aiming to replace more than 30,000 workers, according to the Dongguan Economy and Information Technology Bureau.By 2016, up to 1,500 of the city’s industrial enterprises will began replacing humans with robots.I suppose in a sense this article does not belong here as China factories are usually sweatshops not paying middle income wage. We should take note though that management does prefer automation over human worker even if only paid sweat shop wages. I imagine automation could & likely will sweep the EU & the US. In fact Forbes had an article regarding Hostess Bakery, union shop with 14 plants and 9,000 employees , that closed down and entrepreneurs bought the cake recipes & build 3 semi automated factories with 1,000 employees. They eschewed buying the bread portion of the bakery business. Too labor intensive requiring route sale personnel & trucks. They ship the cakes from warehouses via common carrier and of course eliminated many baker jobs. http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2015/04/15/twinkie...The manufacturing business may be coming back, but manufacturing jobs prolly won't.
The manufacturing business may be coming back, but manufacturing jobs prolly won't.US manufacturing has been in a nearly-monotonic rising trend since the end of WWII. It isn't "coming back", because it never went away. (Exactly what we manufacture has changed, of course.)US manufacturing *employment* has been declining for approximately the same amount of time.It is usually regarded as a good thing to put out more and better product while consuming less of a resource. Labor is a resource.
tjscott,This is an old old story. I was in Brazil in 1988 when automated stuffing machines were stuffing components for TVs onto circuit boards and displacing women making a dollar a day.http://www.harborfreight.com/65-hp-212cc-ohv-horizontal-shaf...Here is a horizontal shaft 6.5 horsepower engine for 120 dollars. If you pay yourself nothing, you cannot rebuild an engine like this for the price of a new one. My brother and my dad had borrowed a log splitter, the engine died on it. They were going to buy a short block and rebuild the engine. I asked them why. Why not buy one of these, when the spark plug goes bad, take the engine off and buy another. You will spend more money in gas running back and forth to the store for that last little part you forgot than you will for the entire new engine. (They lived 80 miles round trip from town.)The fact is, we used to repair TV's. Those days are pretty much gone. About the only thing we do to them now is over the air software updates. That is just the way it is.Personally, I worked as a machine operator in a Fire Hydrant factory. I do not pine for those days. Even though the 15 tons, (Real not metaphorically) a night made me strong enough to bend 1/2 emt conduit by hand. Everyone must face the same truth that Warren Buffet faced when he shut down Berkshire Hathaway industries. You must have a moat to prosper. This is a pretty much universal truth. This is true as a business, and it is true as an employee or group of employees. When unions have moats, they have a plan, when unions do not have a moat, they fail, or become irrelevant. In the glory days a middle income skilled labor, there was a moat. In Detroit, the very land created it. Iron ore, Coal and Transportation gave the auto companies moats, and the unions had the votes to keep the companies in line. When transportation costs dropped low enough that assembly plants could be located anywhere, the Detroit moat dried up. Those the middle income labor jobs dried up. A similar story can be told in the oil refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas. To some extent, plumbers, and electricians and Doctors and even welders and pipe fitters still have a moat in that they need licenses and certifications to do their work, and the work cannot be sent over seas. However, when you can harvest cotton, send it over seas to be processed then made into T-shirts, then shipped back to the U.S. then sold, anything that can be manufactured has no moat, and the labor that makes it has no moat.The only thing that adds money to the common worker now is more effective government. You can see the results by watching the improvement in wages as developing countries develop better governance. CheersQazulight. (Don't miss spinning wheels, horse drawn plows, cotton picking, throwing 100 pound bags of pogi, running a gang drill, or any other of the myriad of jobs that get replaced by automation. Except crop dusting, I always wanted to be a crop duster.)
In fact Forbes had an article regarding Hostess Bakery, union shop with 14 plants and 9,000 employees , that closed down and entrepreneurs bought the cake recipes & build 3 semi automated factories with 1,000 employees. They eschewed buying the bread portion of the bakery business. Too labor intensive requiring route sale personnel & trucks. They ship the cakes from warehouses via common carrier and of course eliminated many baker jobs.And when no one is baking bread because it is too expensive? Let them eat cake!
And when no one is baking bread because it is too expensive? Let them eat cake!Sacrébleu! That reminds me of some famous event in history. Wait, Wait! Don't tell me! It's right on the tip of my tongue. Something to do with France maybe?OK, give me a hint.
And when no one is baking bread because it is too expensive? Let them eat cake!LOLWell apparently making Wonder bread didn't fit their business plan. They just scooped the most profitable icing off the old hostess business.
Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.And when no one is baking bread because it is too expensive? Let them eat cake!LOLWell apparently making Wonder bread didn't fit their business plan. They just scooped the most profitable icing off the old hostess business.YES! That's how you stay in business. Years ago when one of my competitors (in total four bit the dust trying to compete with me) went out of business he invited me to his (now closed) shop to buy his merchandise. I offered him pennies on the dollar for the stuff I wanted and rejected the junk.He took it.Desert (LOVES Twinkies and thinks Ebenezer Scrooge gave away the store;-) Dave
Well apparently making Wonder bread didn't fit their business planWhen I first moved to downtown St. Paul in 1983, there was a Wonder bread bakery just on the other side of the freeway (about 3 blocks away).On my walks to work in the morning, the smell of freshly baked bread was heavenly. Even better than most SubWays.They had a "day old" store down there as well, so I had no shortage of bread and Hostess goodies. :)
Well apparently making Wonder bread didn't fit their business plan. They just scooped the most profitable icing off the old hostess business.If there was significant money to be made in Wonder bread, that brand would have been scooped up. If the particular set of buyers who bought Hostess didn't want it, someone else would have grabbed it.And in fact, someone did.
If there was significant money to be made in Wonder bread, that brand would have been scooped up. If the particular set of buyers who bought Hostess didn't want it, someone else would have grabbed it.And in fact, someone did.I figured it was another bread baker as they would have route trucks already making deliveries. And it was: Flowers.http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/02/27/host...A person familiar with the situation says a bid by Flowers Foods to buy several bread brands from bankrupt Hostess Brands was met with no competing offers. The individual requested anonymity because the auction process is private.The $360 million bid by Flowers also includes Nature's Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita breads.Taken together, Hostess has said its six bread brands generated just under $1 billion in sales last year, with Wonder bread accounting for about half that. WOW! $500 million annual in sales of Wonder Bread. Talk about generating dough!
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