By Alwyn Scott – The $4 billion GE has spent on developing digital products – ranging from tiny sensors in jet engines to augmented reality and software that can crunch large volumes of data – is on the scale of investments Google and Facebook Inc (FB.N) made to build their businesses, Bill Ruh, CEO of GE’s digital division, told Reuters.
Now that GE has shed non-essential operations, including most of its large financial unit, its fortunes will rise or fall depending on whether that investment delivers.
GE’s technology – and similar systems by IBM, Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) and others – is a hot new battleground in manufacturing.
The companies promise they can spot problems before machines break down, yield cost savings of 30 percent or more, and raise labor productivity that has slowed sharply in recent years.
The company has spent $5 billion setting up new U.S. factories in the last five years. As it now adds digital technology to its plants, it needs fewer, and higher skilled, workers than in the past.
“We’re going to have a smarter worker,” Jeff Immelt said in an interview. “We’re not going to have as many workers.” more> https://goo.gl/MDXuzw
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Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Capital, Industrial economy, Internet, Productivity, Technology
The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Author: Peter Temin.
By Lynn Parramore – America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates.
In one of these countries live members of what Temin calls the “FTE sector” (named for finance, technology, and electronics, the industries which largely support its growth). These are the 20 percent of Americans who enjoy college educations, have good jobs, and sleep soundly knowing that they have not only enough money to meet life’s challenges, but also social networks to bolster their success. They grow up with parents who read books to them, tutors to help with homework, and plenty of stimulating things to do and places to go. They travel in planes and drive new cars. The citizens of this country see economic growth all around them and exciting possibilities for the future.
They make plans, influence policies, and count themselves as lucky to be Americans.
The FTE citizens rarely visit the country where the other 80 percent of Americans live: the low-wage sector. Here, the world of possibility is shrinking, often dramatically. People are burdened with debt and anxious about their insecure jobs if they have a job at all. Many of them are getting sicker and dying younger than they used to. They get around by crumbling public transport and cars they have trouble paying for. Family life is uncertain here; people often don’t partner for the long-term even when they have children. If they go to college, they finance it by going heavily into debt.
They are not thinking about the future; they are focused on surviving the present. The world in which they reside is very different from the one they were taught to believe in. more> https://goo.gl/LKhYy6
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Tagged Capital, Debt, Government, Health, Jobs, Leadership, Space, United States