Canon is building a new automated facility in Japan for the manufacture of cameras and closing other out-of-Japan manufacturing facilities that are labor intensive. In the past, we in the United States and other countries like Japan moved production to countries where labor was cheaper. Now Apple is going to build new automated manufacturing facilities in the United States. In addition, robots have been displacing labor in all kinds of manufacturing and distribution facilities.
In the United States of America, we rely upon taxing the income of labor to support our society, our infrastructure, our government, to pay for the cost of disasters, etc. All of these costs have been going up and are on the verge of exploding due to decaying infrastructure, climate changes, etc.
After inflation, the income of laborers and those who are most likely to be replaced by robots have been stagnant on a per person basis for the last decade, while costs for most things have been increasing. I think we have a problem.
How are people going to make a living? How are we going to be able to pay for the rising cost of health care? How are we going to be able to tax incomes to cover the costs of social services, infrastructure, social security, etc. when we have no income? It is impossible unless we radically alter our taxation model. We need to develop different taxation and income sources if we are going to improve, or even maintain, our infrastructure and living standards.
We have a choice. Either we go back to subsistence living like we did in the distant past, or we change our political, cultural, and economic structures now. Think back to how we made pictures in the past. Cameras won’t revert to film, but our available cash to buy future cameras might be nonexistent if we still want to eat and have shelter. They will be priced far above our ability to afford them. We might already be seeing the results of our changing abilities to afford luxuries. The sales of cameras have been declining while their costs have been climbing.
We may be lucky to afford a smartphone that will replace our computers, cameras, telephones, post office, entertainment, credit cards, local banks, etc.; but that would also mean fewer jobs available to provide individuals with income. No income, no taxes, no police or firemen or roads or bridges, and no money to buy the basics. Where will this downward spiral end?