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Wall Street Strategies has been providing independent stock market research since 1991 to individual, retail and institutional clients through a balanced approach to investing and trading. Charles Payne, our founder and chief analyst, is routinely sought after for his stock market, political,... More
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  • Jobs Coming Back And Robots Waiting In The Wings By Charles Payne 0 comments
    Jun 11, 2014 9:53 AM

    Question of the Day

    Should cities prohibit giving out food and other handouts to the homeless?

    Yes, because it enables them to stay homeless.
    No, it is the right thing to do.

    If you have any additional thoughts, please email me

    Click here to post your answer and let Charles know what you think.

    While the focus of national debate has been on higher wages for jobs that require the least amount of skills, and on taxpayer relief for college degrees that don't translate into jobs, the pace at which computers and robots may be taking all the jobs, continues to gallop along. Last September, a study collaborated by Dr. Carl Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne analyzed 702 occupations to determine how susceptible humans were to losing their jobs to technology.

    THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERIZATION?

    Every day, there seems to be another story of companies like Google, investing in robots or drones, performing jobs that currently put money into the pockets of humans. Even the debate about high-frequency trading is really about machines thinking and outguessing humans and this juggernaut cannot be stopped.

    In fact, mankind has feared this sort of progress for centuries. The first Industrial Revolution experienced anxiety and resentment. In 1767, Britain passed a law mandating the destruction of machines punishable by death.

    The Next Leap for Robots Coming Through Machine Learning:

    * Data Mining
    * Machine Vision
    * Computational Statistics
    * Artificial Intelligence & Algorithms

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

    It is one thing to be able to compute quickly, but we have always figured that the human touch would be the buffer between enjoying robots as aides, rather than fearing them as job competitors. As it turns out, robots are becoming less like Rosie of the Jetsons and more like those robots in the Will Smith movie, 'I Robot.' Speaking of movies, it is no longer farfetched to see these types of moves on the big screen. Philip K Dick's novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," (was made into a movie, entitled 'Blade Runner').
    This week, Softbank introduced the world to "Pepper," their new robot with a heart. Yes, this robot makes decisions based on love. The robots first words to the assembled press:

    "Being able to be considerate is my most important function."

    Softbank will position "Pepper" robots in its high-end stores, where they will specialize in public relations, but eventually their roles will expand, as the CEO sees them becoming "part of the family."
    Its sounds fun, but there is a giant economic impact that has to be acknowledged; one thing sticks out loud and clear: the lowest paying jobs are the jobs that will go to computers and robots, which makes you wonder why we are spending so much time and political capital on what is a specious debate.

    The Most and Least Susceptible to Computerization and Robots:

    A Deeper Look

    NFIB

    Fifty-five percent of small business owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months, and 46 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. This unspoken dilemma gets worse as we make it easier not to develop these skills. Maybe the robots can't get here fast enough.

    JOLTS

    Looking back on yesterday's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, I was really impressed by the 41 percent jump in people that quit construction jobs. With supply being a serious issue, it speaks to the fact that so many skilled workers have moved on to other industries, and those still wielding hammers are probably demanding higher pay. Trade +3percent and Health Services +11percent were also bright spots, with Professional Services -9percent and Manufacturing -14percent was worrisome.

    Shot Heard 'Round the World

    "The issue is that the Republican Party has been paying way too much attention to Wall Street and not enough attention to Main Street"

    - David Brat

    Nobody predicted this, but as much as it seemed like the Republican power elite would come through the primary elections overwhelmingly unscathed, the apparent heir was crushed. Despite being outspent $5.7 million to $231,000, the economics professor, Eric Cantor, pulled off the political upset of the century. Headlines focused on Cantor's unrepentant stance on immigration, which largely amounted to a form of amnesty, but economics were at the root of this shocker too.

    While there's still a general election, these results change everything.

    David Brat really took Cantor to task for Cantor's running interference for Wall Street and Big Business, both of which are key components of Big Government. I think this is a huge win for the nation that has a yearning to get back to basics in so many ways, but especially the way we approach economics. The war on success and rabid infatuation with higher taxes as a cure-all just aren't resonating, which is a point underscored by the polling results on President Obama's public approval; all sources reflect record-low readings.

    Corporate Welfare

    Two years ago, the House extended the life of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank: the taxpayer-owned bank established by FDR in 1934 used to facilitate trade with the Soviet Union at the time. Since then, it's become a slush fund for large American businesses doing business aboard. The bank makes loans to foreign entities in return for pledges. Those funds are then used to purchase products and services from American companies. But why would we have to seduce foreigners to buy the best products available for their needs, anyway?

    Case in point; Ex-Im provided a $2.0 billion loan to Petrobras to buy services from US companies is completely nuts. America makes the best offshore drilling equipment in the world (a fact Venezuela is learning the hard way); there's no need to grease the wheels. Moreover, Petrobras posted revenue of $141 billion last year, up from $91 billion in 2009; they don't need financial help from American taxpayers. But the beat goes on - but for how much longer?

    Officials at Ex-Im boast of $1.6 billion in profits since 2008, but risks at the bank have grown to $114 billion against loan loss reserves of only $4.4 billion.

    As crony capitalism runs amok, the bank pumps taxpayer money into large businesses that hardly need any favors.

    The last time the House took up the vote, the bank was extended by a count of 330 to 93 all "no" votes coming from Republicans. That passage not only extended the life of the bank, but it hiked the lending ceiling by $40 billion to $140 billion. Now, the bank wants a five year extension and new lending ceiling of $160 billion. The vote was going to be close, but after last night, I think even the GOP elite will ditch this long-standing relic of corporate welfare.

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