[ExI] undercover at Walmart
emlynoregan at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 13:27:53 UTC 2009
2009/2/11 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
>> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of BillK
>> Walmart is only the peak of the mountain.
>> >From the 1970s onward, western society changed from making things to
>> buying things.
>> Why spend time making something when you can buy it cheaper
>> from China?
>> Well, now we know why. And the millions unemployed and
>> homeless know as well.
> BillK I see that problem but remind me, why this is Walmart's fault? We
> westerners have environmental standards, labor unions and high prices for
> workers in our country which would make it nearly impossible to produce
> goods as cheaply as China can churn them out and ship them over. The
> difference isn't small.
> Last month I bought some Chinese power tools, two drills, two jigsaws, three
> grinders. Each one cost me 11 bucks. Seventy seven bucks, for a box of new
> tools durn near too heavy for me to hoist! Their quality wasn't stellar,
> but acceptable. The only possible way western manufacturing can compete
> with that is to have a completely automated assembly line, a lights out
> factory, employing approximately one person.
> This isn't Walmart's fault, it is ours, for not building the robofactories
> when capital was still available.
Hell yes, I totally agree with this Spike. Where are the
robofactories? I don't think you get them when you have artificially
cheap labour (in the past due to slaves, in the present due to
exchange rates and sometimes actual slaves). A system built on slavery
or almost-slavery is just not going to bother innovating. Fix that,
and some interesting stuff might finally start happening again.
In the meantime however, we just have artificially cheap gadgets and dumb tv.
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