Blogs by Regis Auffray
Changes Are Coming
12/13/2010 7:30:50 PM
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Some current statistics on where the USA (and certainly Canada is in there too) stands due to globalization, computers and the internet. I take stats with a large grain of salt but the following are will within the ball park, if one has followed the trends up to now.
CHANGES ARE COMING
Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come
1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.
2. The Check. Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.
3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. They certainly don't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.
4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music fromiTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.
5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes
6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies." You can see it here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/62945/before-the-music-dies
7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.
8. The "Things" That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.
In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.
9. Privacy. If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.
All we will have that can't be changed are Memories.
The United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is absolutely amazing. It was America that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution. It was America that showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.
#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.
#2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.
#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.
#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States? Zero.
#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.
#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.
#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.
#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.
#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new "global" manufacturing strategy.
#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.
#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.
#15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products. Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.
More Blogs by Regis Auffray
Changes Are Coming - Monday, December 13, 2010
More on Paraprosdokians... - Thursday, October 28, 2010
Paraprosdokians - Sunday, October 17, 2010
Why Can't I Own A Canadian? - Friday, August 13, 2010
Puns for the Educated... ...?!? - Thursday, February 11, 2010
Aspiring Writers - Sunday, January 17, 2010
For All Who Have Wept, Weep, and Will Weep - Thursday, December 17, 2009
A little more in the realm of humor/humour... ...as kids see it. - Sunday, November 22, 2009
A Little Biblical Humor - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sharing a smile or two... - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Grandma's Smokes - Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Sandpiper - Saturday, April 25, 2009
Newfoundland Ghost Story - Saturday, April 04, 2009
Please help... ...it only takes a couple of minutes. - Saturday, February 21, 2009
À Propos the Economic Crisis... - Saturday, February 07, 2009
When Insults Had Class - Saturday, January 31, 2009
Puns - Saturday, January 17, 2009
My daughter's article - Friday, November 28, 2008
The Apocalypse Quiz - Sunday, November 23, 2008
A Lesson on the Limerick - Sunday, November 02, 2008
Love - Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Synesthesia - Sunday, September 07, 2008
The Human Body - Sunday, August 03, 2008
A short note about "only..." - Sunday, July 27, 2008
The English Language - Thursday, July 10, 2008
Age - Wednesday, July 02, 2008
A New Element Found! - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
A Sobering Look At The Results Of Rising Oil Prices - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Why Computers Sometimes Crash - Monday, May 12, 2008
For The Pun Of It - Friday, April 18, 2008
Rachel Corrie - Friday, March 14, 2008
LOVE - Sunday, February 17, 2008
Oh Where, Oh Where Has My AD Mail Gone? - Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Old Man and the Dog - Monday, January 28, 2008
Attitude - Saturday, January 19, 2008
The Hospital Window - Saturday, January 12, 2008
Wisdom? - Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Guess what? Happy New Year (J t'a J...) - Saturday, December 29, 2007
Je t'aime, J......, - Sunday, December 09, 2007
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More on blood... - Sunday, September 23, 2007
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Love... - Sunday, August 19, 2007
Help save the EARTH! - Monday, July 09, 2007
Happy Fourth of July... - Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I'm still here... - Wednesday, June 27, 2007
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I did not know... - Saturday, June 16, 2007
Often since meeting you... - Thursday, May 10, 2007
Encounters... - Saturday, March 31, 2007
Blog Tag... - Sunday, February 25, 2007
Sadness - Friday, February 09, 2007
The limerick... - Saturday, January 06, 2007
When? - Saturday, December 30, 2006