Hate to link to the Old York Times, but:
In 2014, Chinese factories accounted for about a quarter of the global ranks of industrial robots — a 54 percent increase over 2013. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it will have more installed manufacturing robots than any other country by 2017.
Midea, a leading manufacturer of home appliances in the heavily industrialized province of Guangdong, plans to replace 6,000 workers in its residential air-conditioning division, about a fifth of the work force, with automation by the end of the year. Foxconn, which makes consumer electronics for Apple and other companies, plans to automate about 70 percent of factory work within three years, and already has a fully robotic factory in Chengdu.
This is not a bad thing. As machines do more and more of farming, manufacturing, driving, etc., the smartest people will gravitate more and more to occupations that require human creativity. Everyone else will enjoy leisure, or work in occupations that require a physical human presence (plumbers, electricians…)
This has already happened.
More people apply for disability benefits now than get jobs, usually citing some intangible symptom like depression or back pain. They are the new leisure class, content to live a comfortable existence at “wages” far below those of their cognitively-gifted fellow citizens, who work ever more hours for ever more money.
Suck on that, Occupy!