Changing Workforce / Lean Six Sigma / Industrial Robotics

Perspective: Time to talk robots

By Emma Roller for The New York Times

Jan 05, 2016

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Manufacturing — that is, the business of making stuff — has changed significantly over the past half-century. Perhaps you’ve noticed. While America’s share of industry has constricted, with fewer people needed to perform the same amount of work as in the past, it’s not quite time to start eulogizing.

But the way the presidential candidates have been talking about reviving manufacturing jobs has not been very enlightening, and in some cases they have been willfully obtuse. Their statements are meant to appeal to disaffected workers, but they both oversimplify the problems and ignore the real source of trouble. A lot of the manufacturing jobs the United States lost over the past 50 years didn’t go overseas; they simply disappeared with the advent of new technology.

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