I have watched dozens of videos about warehouse automation, like this one, youtube.com/watch?v=b3X3r5UVtE
and with the exception of Kiva they are all European.

I consider this lack of investment in automation a direct result of our immigration policies. Where is the incentive to make long term infrastructure investments if you can just throw cheap labor at the problem?

I would say this problem is not American entrepreneurs wanting to invest in their own ideas to promote growth. More so an unavailability of capitol for anything so pedestrian as manufacturing.

Or for any small business really. As far as I can see there is no capitol available to an average American with a few exceptions:

Home loans
Car loans
Student Loans.

The result of this is clearly visible if you look. My mid-sized college town has fundamentally changed over the last decade. The college itself has doubled in size. Rental housing targeted at students is still growing at cancerous rates.

All the commercial development has induced local property owners to sell out.

As a result we have an ever increasing amount of new commercial spaces opening. Spaces that are very expensive and not practical for locally owned small businesses. Many spaces are either empty or turn over very fast.

As an aside, something that does not get talked about very much is how big a change to our economy has occurred over the last 20 years.

Small business is very badly damaged by high rents and internet competition. First you lose to franchises who can afford high rents. Second you lose to entities that have no stake in your community and can work for pennies a transaction.

The problem is that the jobs we have lost over last 20 years are not just manufacturing, they are the jobs that have fundamentally defined what is a community for generations.

OK, so it goes you might say. We all used to be farm labor. I should just learn to code right?

Each loss of employment to automation was followed by growth in other areas of employment.

From farming to textile mills and then manufacturing. Followed by a significant growth in white collar jobs, creative industries, tourism and recreational industries.

All of these are undercut by foreign outsourcing because they erode the domestic wage base.

This new state of affairs is Economic Colonialism.

It shouldn't be called trade because it is predominantly going in one direction.

It does not matter how cheap imports become if our real wages keep declining.

Keep in mind that this is not just an international issue, it is intra-national as well.

The flow of economic benefit is away from Middle America and small towns toward the already powerful economic elite.

One of the benefits of living in a college town was all that sweet, sweet student loan money in the hands of slightly foolish young people.

In the last decade, we've lost retail small business to high rents and Internets. Local restaurants lose to franchises that are capitalized enough to have their own efficient supply chains.

Student housing is now predominantly luxury student rentals with all amenities included owned by out of town property management companies.

The best part is we subsidized it all. Every developer won tax concessions from the municipal government.

The college is a state entity and does not pay property tax.

So who pays sky high property taxes?

We do!

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I'm tired of feeling like a serf.

How about you?

@mrbungle I may be off subject here but....I had ordinary jobs as a cabinet maker, house painter etc. Often I got paid a few dollars more than friendly and often talented illegal aliens (Mexicans, Guatemalans ). I liked and respected them. They even stood up for me when a legal Greek immigrant fired me because he could hire "Mexicans" cheaper. Now thinking back...I've become a conservative and want to "Build the wall". My wages were held down by illegals. Nothing personal re. them.

@justin You are exactly on point. A economist would say that free movement of capital and labor are paramount.

When questioned about the social costs they would just wave their hands and repeat themselves.

I'm tired of that. It's ideological and not rational. Our first responsiblity is to our fellow citizens and legal immigrants.

@mrbungle Also...I'm now a legal immigrant to Thailand. I have to report to"Immigration" every 90 days. I have to prove where I live and prove I have enough money to be here. Dems who support "illegals" are just not thinking straight. That said, Thailand lets illegals in because they work for less. That is just corruption. There are many women on the construction crews because they work for even less then their illegal husbands. ($7. or $8 per day compared to as much as $10. for legal Thais.

@justin Some Americans have no idea how good they have it and no idea how bad it can be.

I will freely admit I shared some foolish beliefs when I was younger, but I guess I'm fortunate that I noted contradictions and incongruities when I saw them. I think that helped break down the cognitive dissonance.

It helps to have traveled, to have had a number of different kinds of jobs and to have dealt with all kinds of people.

You learn from your experiences and it pushes out the dogma.

@mrbungle Well said. Now most of my family are "Judas Goats". Most have never left the USA. They are really clueless about most of the people out here in the world. Thais get by on much less and don't waste much. They eat quite well and have a very strong social fabric that helps them in a poor economy. Interesting how some people "learn" and others...are Dems. (joke) The information is out there for all Americans that can get online. Many CHOOSE to remain ignorant...Not good.

@justin Well hardship helps you learn and maybe in a weird way this political schism is the hardship a generation or two need to get with the program.

As an aside I like emergent economy design. When you have to solve problems with limited resources you get pretty creative.

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