Dutch technology strikes again. I think we rejected their expertise for engineering flood abatement after Katrina. (What do they know about flooding, eh?) This seems like it might catch on. Will construction workers join coal miners? Truck drivers?
Technology replaces labor regularly. Wages have little to do with that since most robotics will be less costly than even low wages. Probably even slaves since you do have feed them and rest them every now and then. Perhaps we need to consider an economy with much fewer jobs and how people will feed, clothe, educate themselves and stay healthy without the standard of compensation for labor.
Think about that class of 2025 when you make career choices.
7 thoughts on “The future of home building is…3D printing?”
RE: “Perhaps we need to consider an economy with much fewer jobs and how people will feed, clothe, educate themselves and stay healthy without the standard of compensation for labor.”
Perhaps we should. In an economy where goods cost nothing, people won’t need money to buy them.
Here’s a related question: Should housing markets no longer need lumber, what other uses might be found for trees?
Let them grow to slowly replenish the natural carbon sinks nature has provided for us.
This technology is new and if it catches on, it will certainly be decades before traditional housing will be surpassed by 3D printing. Just like self driving vehicles.
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RE: “This technology is new and if it catches on, it will certainly be decades before traditional housing will be surpassed by 3D printing. Just like self driving vehicles.”
Exactly. The question is, What will happen during those decades? Is it really likely that the “standard of compensation for labor” will evaporate?
Personally, I doubt it for the simple reason that resources have multiple uses. As you note, trees could be used as carbon sinks. If anyone is willing to spend money on that application, the collapse of one market for trees (lumber) will become the source of supply for a different market (e.g. carbon credits).
I am sure other industries will evolve over time.
What happens in the change over to keep people fed and sheltered is the challenge.
We have a labor shortage now in certain industries. The primary reasons are retirements, lack of daycare, low immigration rates, pandemic concerns and, temporarily, extra unemployment compensation.
But that is cyclical and pandemic induced. Wages are rising, however, so spending will increase and economic futures look good.
Hopefully as automation and robotics take hold we can figure out compensation for labor as it pertains to purchasing power.
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RE: “What happens in the change over to keep people fed and sheltered is the challenge.”
If, as you say, other industries will evolve, why even worry about it?
Worry? I’m too old to worry. I am posting my opinion about economic theories that may need some changes in this next century.
Compensation is roughly based on the economic market value of what your skills or products are worth to another entity. Not evenly applied, but that is the nuts and bolts of economies since trade was invented.
If labor is replaced faster than we can shift gears, we have a challenge.
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RE: “If labor is replaced faster than we can shift gears, we have a challenge.”
I suppose that’s possible in the sense that one can imagine it. I’m pretty sure nothing like it has ever happened in history. We have, however, seen technological progress drive up the supply of goods to the point that today’s poor can live better than yesterday’s kings.