Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I, Robot. The alternative to Foxconn.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese corporation, is giving its Chinese (mainland) workers 30% pay raises and it wants governments to take over its company towns (presumably they'll pay the rent?).

Sounds good. Some device prices will rise, some margins will be squeezed, Foxconn employees will have more disposable income.

Or maybe not ...
... The chairman of Foxconn, Terry Gou, told the Taipei shareholders’ meeting that the company was looking to shift some unspecified production from China to automated plants in Taiwan, Reuters reported..
The alternative to the Foxconn employee is the robot. Every year the robot gets cheaper. Every year Foxconn employees become more expensive.

Long ago, when China was still emerging from Emperor Mao, a Chinese-Canadian friend and I debated the future of China. He argued all manufacturing would go to China (where he lives now). I agreed, but then I said it would go to the robots.

It's going to go to the robots.

We are in the world of white water economics. In ten years the Great Recession may be remembered largely as the time we went over the waterfall ...

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