In our upcoming book, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century – Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come (available for pre-order here), Jim Bennett and Mike Lotus paint a word-picture of America in 2040, which is less a prediction and more an exercise in hopeful and forward-looking thinking for conservatives and libertarians. We include predictions regarding the impact of distributed manufacturing.
The recent article in Wired by Kevin Kelly entitled Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs makes similar points. Here are two good quotes from Kelly:
Right now we think of manufacturing as happening in China. But as manufacturing costs sink because of robots, the costs of transportation become a far greater factor than the cost of production. Nearby will be cheap. So we’ll get this network of locally franchised factories, where most things will be made within 5 miles of where they are needed.
It is a safe bet that the highest-earning professions in the year 2050 will depend on automations and machines that have not been invented yet. That is, we can’t see these jobs from here, because we can’t yet see the machines and technologies that will make them possible. Robots create jobs that we did not even know we wanted done.
It is important to remember that technological change destroys categories of jobs, and creates new ones that literally cannot be imagined yet.
We are going to be facing a tidal wave of creative destruction in the years immediately ahead.
Our book offers some ideas about why we are well suited to benefit from these changes, and how to navigate the rapids to get from here to there.
Stand by for very interesting times.