On a visit to Standard Motor Products’ fuel-injector assembly line in South Carolina, Atlantic writer Adam Davidson asked why a worker there, Maddie, was welding caps onto the injectors herself. Why not use a machine? That’s how a lot of the factory’s other tasks were performed. Maddie’s supervisor, Tony, had a bracing, direct answer: “Maddie is cheaper than a machine.”
It was just this week that Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufactures so many of America’s favorite gadgets, initiated a plan to buy 1 million robots to replace human workers. When that day comes, thousands of men and women working at Apple’s Chinese manufacturing plants will be unemployed. You’ll have to wonder—in spite of notorious labor abuses at Foxconn—were those jobs better than none?
Source: How a Robot Will Steal Your Job