The New York times a story (20 Apr 2013) with this headline: "Toyota Expansion Reflects a Push for U. S. Lexus Sales"
This may sound to some of you like a good thing, and to others like a paranoid pipe dream --but let me assure you-- this is NOT more good news about the re-birth and return of high paying manufacturing jobs to America.
Don't get me wrong: this IS good news, but not for the reasons you think
This new Toyota factory in Kentucky will either close its doors in 20-years, or be down to it's last two employees (both working in sales). The jobs that left Detroit for factories in Asia, now have Ford factories in Detroit again, assembling Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Canadian, American, European, and Mexican made component systems into Ford-branded world-cars.
Putting a Lexus nameplate on a slightly modified version of the same car assembled by robots in Kentucky will not make a great deal of difference to long-term job growth.
No half-baked idea
However, using a fraction of the workforce at a fraction of the wages that assembly line workers made 30-years earlier (adjusted for deflation) does make a difference. In time, the next-gen workforce of the Dearborn, Michigan factory (successor to the soon-to-obsolete Kentucky-based Lexus factory) will be whittled down to a handful of people in sterile jumpsuits. In fact, there's a good chance it could be less than a handful of workers.
Soon (if it has not happened already) there will be more people employed driving cars than making them ...until driving is also completely automated in another 10-years. So what will we do then?
Well, here's the good news: nearly 2/3rd of the Earth's population is still in relative poverty, though things are getting better. Populations in many parts of the world are living long enough to get sick as fast as the industrial/medical/insurance combine can create new diseases, cures, practices, and insurance policies to harvest the profits.
"You call this GOOD news?"
The good news is that in about the same time frame (give or take a decade) we figured out how to dismantle the banking and financial sectors and have done away with currency (as we know it) altogether. It's similar to what happened to gold when the Dutch popularized the "stock corporation."
We'll all be trading bitcoins (or something like it) -not for "money" (a proxy word for “interest,” or “dividends”) but for knowledge and services. I won't own a Lexus made (circa 2025) in Kentucky, except as a collectible. More likely, I will ride (rather than “drive”*) in a vehicle that will take me wherever I want to go, for some number of bitcoins that I must earn by doing whatever it is I do. (FYI, I will be making cup-cakes that are photo-realistic replicas of scenes from the premier of Puccini’s, Manon Lescout , or I just think about the designs while my 3D Kitchen-Baker Oven renders them perfectly.)
If my customer has her own 3D Kitchen Baker I'll just transmit the recipe and the design and she can take the cake out of her oven when it's ready, provided she transmitted the correct number of bitcoins to my account from her account. If her bitcoins haven't registered in my account, the door to her 3D KBO won't open up.
I don’t know how many bitcoins she has or commands for the work that she does, I just know that I charge 50-bitcoins for my Lescaut “bitcake.” (*As for the van company that will take me an my Lescaut “bitcake” to site of the part, I just pay in bitcoins from my IGoogle Glasses by blinking my eyes. The glasses also scan my corneas to validate the transaction.)
The customer I am going to visit, in this case is a renowned 'pastry curator.' She scours the world for the best recipes and the best ingredients and supports a network of Glocal Bakers in hundreds of locations around the world. She, and others like her, share knowledge of global baking culture and practice. They all hold degrees from Glocal Bakery University. Some GBU graduate curators have built worldwide reputations and conduct incredibly popular master classes through the University’s network.
A good education is just the icing on the cake
The Glocal Baking University Network (GBUN) has an impeccable reputation in any number of important pastry practices. Some even specialize in such specialties as sustainable baking and engineering. GBUN works with populations, in anywhere in the world, to design pastry products using indigenous and/or exotic ingredients obtained locally, grown organically using sustainable methods and environmentally sound practices.
These exquisite and exotic sustainable cakes are the latest rage among the pastry cognoscenti. Global popularity rises and falls daily among the rich and knowledgeable. Some elites run GBUN contests through widely publicized charity bake-off events. A winning Glocal Baker can receive millions of bitcoins in prize earnings for their recipes. GBUN also verifies and validates the recipes and ingredients for wholesomeness, authenticity, and environmental practices and receives. GBUN earns fees bitcoin commissions for this authentication work. The GBUN foundation will also accept bitcoins.
Yogi Berra likes bitcoins
The Glocal Bakery is so popular that nobody goes there anymore (ed: Thanks, Yogi). They just order delivery. The fleets of brightly illuminated 3D Robo-Delivery vans have become a familiar sight. People love the way the vehicles’ translucent skin constantly changing its skin to display a new advert for whatever mission it is now engaged in.
Prices for some popular, but rare, ingredients can cost a small fortune from a GBUN rated producer. The competition to get the attention of a GBUN sanctioned curator can be fierce.
Some producers have become so popular, that it’s not unusual to visit a rural village on some remote island and find the GBUN baker, curators, or Robo-Dilvery licensee riding around in a brand new Chauffeured* Lexus. –dlh
(*Chauffeured™ is a registered Trade Mark of the Satellite Valet Corporation, Shawnee, Kansas, USA. Lexus™ is a trademark of the Toyota Corporation, Berne, Switzerland. Glocal Baker™ is socially owned public benefit corporation of 680,000 co-operative bakers around the globe, located at http://www.glocal-baker.sbc). Don’t bother to click, it’s a pipedream for now.)
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