Does Automation Really Lose Peoples Jobs?

The man in the picture has had his job replaced by a machine.
His job was to knock on peoples doors to wake them up in time for work. If he has to wake people for for 8am and it takes him a minute to knock on the door and walk to the next house by the time he has done 60 houses the last person will be 60minutes late. It also means he only has 60minutes of paid work for the entire day.
The machine he was replaced by was an alarm clock. I’d think by making alarm clocks,selling them and repairing them he would have more income and with people being on time to work the village would be more productive and happier as no arguments who should be woken up first.

The Luddites held this view over 200years ago and in these times of COVID 19 and uncertainty people are often understandably worried about job security.

Every product has a limited time in which a business can manufacture it. The business may run out of time because the product goes off as in the case of food, it may run out of time because the patent elapses as in the case of medicines, in the case of technology the item gets surpassed such as film for cameras, or falls out of favour such as fidget spinners or power balance bands. If the product has no shelf life limit the market will eventually saturate so it is still a race for the business.

In addition a business who can make 1million products a year will do worse than a business who can make 1million products in 6months and shut for the next 6 due to the business overhead costs.

This shows the race for the business to make as much of their product as possible while the product is in demand and profitable so the business can reinvest their profits into development & marketing for the next product/patent/trend.

Where a product manufacture can speed up,safety and quality improved by automation it leads to better profits for the business. It is a race an competition.

So now what happens to the people who were manufacturing the product?

The people manufacturing the product will have spent hours looking at it, knowing how it can be improved, how production can be sped up and made more efficient from the way its packed to reduce transport costs to common quality issues. They can be redeployed into product development,marketing,research, obsolescence prevention, machine maintenance and feeders, machine teachers, cost control and even just as machine minders.

In our next post we will look at just how valuable a person is to be able to replace them completely with automation.