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At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way.

At a sister factory here in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work with yoga-like flexibility. Video cameras guide them through feats well beyond the capability of the most dexterous human.

One robot arm endlessly forms three perfect bends in two connector wires and slips them into holes almost too small for the eye to see. The arms work so fast that they must be enclosed in glass cages to prevent the people supervising them from being injured. And they do it all without a coffee break — three shifts a day, 365 days a year.

All told, the factory here has several dozen workers per shift, about a tenth as many as the plant in the Chinese city of Zhuhai.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/busine...ustry.html
The system of using 'workers' because it is cheaper is a by product of societal control by and for the factor operator.

For instance, Steam power to reduce the required labor of many tasks could have been developed 1000s of years ago, although using manual labor was 'cheaper' if the quality of life of the worker is not a concern.

All factories being automated helps free a worker to 'work less' with the same amount of societal production.

That system does not work in capitalism, unless the worker is 'disposed of' since capitalism is about 'profit for the investor'

If it is cheaper to use a worker, including long hours of labor, that is the direction a non 'social concerned' system would go. If the quality of life of the worker is important, then all production would be automated.

And the 'production to demand' ratios would change with automation, where capitalism would not work.

Hence the effect of automation is to give people more time to live, and more productivity with less work. If that cost more, it only benefits the worker, and society, not the person investing.

It is all about the question, Are people human, or are they a resource in a profit equation.

It should be noted, the last time Capitalism was failing, where FDR went with the New Deal, and Soviet USSR tried to form Marxism, a war was started that destroyed 80% of European production, again making the Capitalism equations work up till about 1970 where rebuilt Japanese and European economies again had more production then demand, and for some years a 'debt system' has been in place to try and correct that, where demand is stimulated by 'theoretical' debt both personal and public to various individuals, is used to create demand.

Full automation, and removal of the 'need for workers' will require a system that does not look at workers as a resource, but as humans with the right to live, and experience life. That system is not the profit motive system. That is why there is a constant cropping up of 'population control' Dr. Strange love, Steven King The Stand, Manson, and various people that want to reduce global population because the workers as a resource are not needed in the profit motive view.

And hence the class war of the 1930s returns as a few try to eliminate millions of workers that are not needed as a resource, and the workers don't put up with that, and become a threat to those that would want to do those things.

That is why there are population control measures in some systems.

That is why lack of health care, and poverty, and 'they don't matter' is used as an excuse, it is the death star effect of profit motive, where in an unbalanced system, the 'profit motive' people will literally want the workers to die, since they become a hindrance to the profit motive goals of a few, as they have time to think about life and society.

Or something like that Smile


Adding this comment.
To explain debt, the national debt, and personal credit card or mortgage debt is for there to be 'demand stimulation' and still fit in the profit motive. Since groups that 'loan' presume they will be paid, and have an illusion of profit, allowing for a 'non profit motive' debt stimulation to occur, within the rules of profit motive.

If all debt around the world was removed or zeroed out, the effects on society would be minimal. Although for 'profit motive' to still control the system, debt instead of progressive taxation is used so that those with assets get a continual 'profit' from any activity done in the form of interest payments. And some control by conditions on loans.

Instead of debt, corrections to the distributions of wealth of capitalism could occur, but it would not be part of 'profit motive' for the few, so it is not done within the confines of that system, to maintain that system.

However collapse of paying back debt is the same effect as retroactively applying a progressive taxation, instead of a debt system.

It should be noted, I am due beer and travel money, and that has not arrived.