Home appliance cost in hours

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This is from the Carpe Diem site written by Mark J. Perry. Manufacturing workers can now buy 11 appliances with 152 hours of labor what used to cost them 886 hours of labor back in 1959.
http://alturl.com/a7gqu or
http://www.aei.org/publication/monday-evening-links-6/
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On 3/9/2016 8:32 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Could say the same about most products made by increased automation or robots. Should apply to cars too.
Products that have become increasingly expensive like medicine and education not only rely on the same number of workers but even piling on more workers. Both should be amenable to automation like computers for teaching and medical devices for diagnostics.
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 8:32:28 AM UTC-5, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Only problem is there are no manufacturing workers left to buy them. ;)
But that's OK, Trump is going to solve the loss of manufacturing jobs. According to him and his simple mind, it's because of "currency manipulation" by China and Mexico. He completely neglects the huge differences in wage rates, environmental regulations, required health insurance, OSHA regulations, cheap energy costs with China burning coal, etc. And then we all know that because of automation, today far less labor is required.
The other night he made another stunning display of ignorance. He said "we have a $58 bil trade deficit with Mexico. The wall will cost $10 bil. You think I can't make that deal?" What "deal" is that? The $58 bil deficit is because Americans buy more goods from them than they do from us. Which is what one expects when it's a modern super power economy trading with a less developed country. So, what "deal" is he even talking about? How does one trade a trade deficit for a $10 bil wall?
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| This is from the Carpe Diem site written by Mark J. | Perry. Manufacturing workers can now buy 11 appliances | with 152 hours of labor what used to cost them 886 hours | of labor back in 1959. |
That's quite an intellectual can of worms:
* Accuracy?
It's interesting, but is it true? There are a lot of factors hard to calculate. What exactly does manufacturing mean in each era? How exactly did the Fed calculate their numbers? In 1973 I was making $1.90/hour as a drug store clerk. In 1975 I was making $5.05/hour, but that was only because I was doing back-breaking warehouse work, on the night shift, with a Teamsters union payscale. Yet they say manufacturing jobs were averaging $3.95/hour in that time period. Could that be because far more people were unionized, or are the numbers faulty? There's no way to know, really.
* Bias?
Did you know that the AEI, who published this article, are a right-wing, pro-business organization? They call themselves a "think tank", which essentially means a propaganda manufacturing and lobbying operation. Their "About us" blurb sounds libertarian. One of their "scholars" is Dick Cheney! Could they possibly print anything that *doesn't* say everything's hunky dorey for blue collar workers? The whole purpose of the AEI is to publish propaganda like this in order to mold the opinion of readers like you.
* Product comparability?
What about quality? A toaster back then was heavy steel and lasted many years. A toaster today is light sheet metal and burns out quickly. Likewise with stoves. The new ones have electric ignition, but they're little more than sheet metal boxes. Many of those items work better than the older versions, but are also more cheaply made, with shorter life spans.
* Real relation to cost of living?
Then how do we calculate other cost of living factors into it? If this is the good old days, then why is it that a high-paid white collar worker can't afford a condo, while in 1973 a janitor could raise 3 kids and own a house? People on many tropical areas can have a roof and food while not even working. They don't need central heat and their groceries literally grow on trees. Their cost of living is near zero. Are they better off than us,or are they worse off because they don't have cars or cable TV? If there's no easy answer to that question then what does it really mean that I can buy cheap toasters?
* Dubious ethics?
Manufactured goods are generally cheap, but of poor quality, and the cost savings is mainly derived from exploitation of others. Cheap clothes come from China or Brazil. Cheap appliances come from Pacific Rim countries or China. Much of that work is done with virtual slave labor. Elimination of tarrriffs and trade restrictions means that rich American business owners can do business free of American legal and ethical restrictions. (Tim Cook even has the nerve to claim that Apple's offshoring of billions to avoid corporate tax is "outdated" and harmful.) NAFTA gave us more slaves in Mexico. TPP will open up new slavery opportunities in Asia. All of which gives us cheaper prices but a worse economy, because jobs are leaving the US. And what does it do to a country spiritually that we create an economy based on slavery we don't acknowledge? For awhile there was the popular scam that the US was transitioning to a "services economy". But along with the scam of "inevitable globalization", that idea has lost its credibility in the light of day. The whole country can't be wealthy waiters and waitresses, or "consultants".
* Social factors?
Another intriguing point that's partially related: Juliet Schorr, from Harvard, did a study -- I think it was back in the 80s -- which she based a book on, called Overworked America. In it she documents how the only modern appliance that saves time is the microwave. We actually do more work now, cleaning our houses more often, washing our clothes unnecessarily, etc. We're uncomfortable with the freedom these conveniences have created. In the 50s there was an idea that modern convenience and automation would lead to a 3-day work week. But we didn't consider two big factors:
1) Exploitation by the rich: Higher productivity has only led to a greater salary disparity between workers and business owners. Most people are not benefitting. Instead, CEOs typically make 450 times what workers make, whereas it used to be more like 20 times. We're turning into a banana republic.
2) Existential doubt: Most people can't handle having 4 days off every week. Many people do work or create busyness schedules for themselves that serve little purpose aside from giving them a sense of purpose. We're a productivity-obsessed culture.
That exact same issue is coming around again now. In just the past few days I've seen articles about how AI and robotics will eliminate lots of jobs. So we face the same question again: Do we enforce a sharing of the wealth or do we just let the economy sink further and let homelessness increase while jobs disappear. I can guess what AEI "scholars" will say on that score. They'll probably cite studies showing, essentially, that idle hands are the devil's playground, so that any sharing of wealth would necessarily be harmful to society.
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*** (Tim Cook even has the nerve to claim that Apple's offshoring of billions to avoid corporate tax is "outdated" and harmful.)
That should have read that Tim Cook thinks the tax regulations are unfair and outdated. He portrays Apple as being into being a sleazy tax cheat because in a fair system Apple wouldn't need to pay tax. :)
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 10:17:47 AM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

Apple isn't a tax cheat. They are following the law, minimizing their taxes within the law, just like you and most other tax payers do. And he's right, the tax law is screwed up. We have one of the highest corp tax rates in the world. What we need is a lower tax rate, in which case companies like Apple would bring that money home.
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On Wed, 09 Mar 2016 07:32:22 -0600, "Dean Hoffman"

One other factor that needs to be considered is the life expectancy of the appliance. I would guess that a modern appliance, e.g. a blender, doesn't last nearly as long as a 1959 blender.
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 12:41:47 PM UTC-5, CRNG wrote:

I don't know if I want my appliances to last as long as they used to.
A 1959 blender spun a blade.
A 2016 blender can be programmed for different consistencies, food items, etc.
Our old blender had to be started and stopped to prevent cavitation - the blade just spinning in a void and doing no work. Our new blender starts and stops itself to allow the food to settle back down around the blade. The smoothie button takes one push to run a pre-programmed sequence of starts and stops to create really good drinks.
A 1959 range had little to no insulation and not only over-heated the kitchen but caused severe burns on the hands of 2 year old girls who used the oven door to help them stand up on Thanksgiving morning.
A new range can be pre-programmed for temperature and cook time, can actually monitor the food temp, not just the oven temp, and is much safer and more energy efficient.
Who knows what the next generation of appliances will be able to do?
As long as I'm not replacing them the every year, I don't mind a shorter lifespan considering how fast the technology gets upgraded.
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 12:41:47 PM UTC-5, CRNG wrote:

engineering and technology have created machines that have reduced the amount of work needed to be done by people.
We need to revamp the economic system so that __everyone__ can benefit from this, not just those that own the macinhes.
M
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 1:06:16 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Everyone is already benefitting, as evidenced by the greatly reduced number of hours of labor required to purchase the new appliances.
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 1:20:10 PM UTC-5, trader_4 wrote:

No, those people that have been replaced by a machine and loose thir jobs are not benefiting.
Suppose we take development to an extreme Nth degree, and machines do everything and noby has to work excrpt only one guy has to push the button to turn it on....
does he get all the money and everyone else none?
How do you divide the fruits of society if machines do all the work? Is it Utopia or Distopia?
Mark
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On 3/9/2016 5:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You can't push the button on the machine until somebody builds the machine. The toaster assembler may have to get additional training to do a new job though, just like the guys from the buggy whip factory did.
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On 3/9/2016 8:17 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

A quote, from way back. When you lose your job to robots, become a robot repairman.
I've known people over the years, having lost jobs doing this or that. In the Reagan years, you just went and got another job. In the Obama years, you just stop being counted as unemployed.
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The toaster assembler may have to get additional training to

but the machines will design and build the new ones
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On 3/9/2016 3:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I don't think many people are being replaced by machines as compared to being replaced by "cheaper people".
Also, a fair bit of stuff simply isn't getting done -- things that we were accustomed to having done in decades past (witness IVR systems that push the cost of customer support onto the customer; product forums that expect customers to support each other -- instead of having genuine support staff; pre-release product testing -- instead of getting lists of bugs from folks foolish enough to be "early adopters"; etc.)

Get a job fixing machines?? :-/
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 9:35:26 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

Well, that's just wrong. There is a long history of automation radically decreasing the number of man hours it takes to do a job. Look at a modern 1000 acre farm for example. How many workers, how many hours did that take at the turn of the last century, compared to now? Digging ditches by hand before the backhoe? Building cars before robots assembled them, painted them, etc?

That is getting done and it's an excellent example of automation. How many telephone operators were put out of jobs by the Strowger switch? How many phone receptionists at companies were replaced by the PBX? IVR is the latest example. Some of them work extremely well. The electric company here for example, I can call to report an outage, give them a voice or text number to notify me back when power is restored, it gives me an estimate of when the power will be back on, all by machine. Decades ago, you spoke to someone, all they did was take the info.
It's the most basic process that has given us our high standard of living.
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 5:06:17 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

There are other jobs. And even if you're on unemployment, you're benefitting by the cost of food, clothing, cars, almost everything bought, being substantially lower due to automation.

Ridiculous example because there are lots of jobs that can't be done today or anytime soon, by machine. Healthcare, service industry jobs, designing/building the automation eqpt, etc.

You let the free market work it out. And before you say that isn't available to all, there are plenty of people who started a cup cake shop, a cleaning business, etc that are making way more than any of those factory workers ever did.
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On 3/9/2016 6:32 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

No doubt because the labor costs involved in MAKING them have moved to "cheaper markets"?
I wonder what the same chart would look like for the Chinese market?
I'd also like to see the annualized TCO to indicate what the REAL costs of each item happen to be. I see a LOT of stuff binned that sure doesn't LOOK very old/worn!
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On Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 1:50:33 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

That's a factor in some cases, sure. But the larger driving force is that far less labor is needed today because of automation.
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On 03/09/2016 08:32 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

How many times do they have to buy replacements for the 2016 appliances because they don't last nearly as long as the 1959 ones?
Perce
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