When seeking to lower costs, the choice has always been between automation and cheap Third World labor.
The big question over the next twenty years will be: what happens to the populations of the Third World when automation finally becomes cheaper than what it costs to keep an unskilled Third World worker fed?
Bingo, and it will happen. I have a few ideas of what to do about it, but few would like them without making serious adjustments in their thinking.
I posted this earlier but you asked....
I visited a closed plant in North Carolina to assess the equipment being exported to Bangladesh. It was aa fully automated process for converting raw cotton to T shirt Yarn. Raw cotton came in one door and yarn ewnt out another. It was of Japanese manufacture and about 9 years old. It was fully automatic and required few employees.
What it means in Bangladesh is that similar labor intensive plants must close and there will be a net loo of jobs along with increased production.