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Talent drain will sink America fast April 18, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Technology, Trump.
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Trump got it backwards. His order will back fire.

It will send more qualified high tech workers back to their own country.


Automation=fewer jobs March 28, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Trump.
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Common sense. But Trump didn’t tell you that.

Source: Fox News

Source: Fox News

Just like the auto factories in Detroit where robots replaced union workers on the assembly line, automation on port terminals will do the same for the dock jobs. In time, many of these jobs will be gone too. 
Other everyday examples are many: cashier jobs lost to the self checkout machines at Walmart and your local grocery stores, bank teller jobs lost to ATMs and waiter and waitress jobs to the self-ordering kiosks at restaurants, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast food joints. 

Even lawyers’p jobs aren’t safe because AI can provide basic law information better than young lawyers can. And AI can do it more accurately.

These are the jobs Trump won’t be able to save and it has nothing to do with globlization. 

The trend can not be stopped no matter how many sound bites or tweets Trump delivers. It’s like a tsunami which will hit American jobs hard.

It’s time to use robots to replace government jobs. Robots are friendlier than government employees. They are more efficient. They don’t need breaks and they don’t need vacation or sick leaves. They don’t need 403 (b) and they don’t complain. They don’t have family problems and they don’t call in sick at the last minute. They are on time and they don’t need overtime pays either. In addition, they won’t get pregnant, ever.

Will we ever have a robot in the White House? 

At least, it won’t tweet anything about Obama, Ryan or even the Freedom Caucus in the middle of the night.

Maybe Star Trek’s Data should seriously consider the offer.

Ghost shopping malls in the U.S. March 23, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs.
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The Fed has just raised the key federal funds rate by 25 basis points, citing improvements in the labor market and rosy economic indicators. Two more rate hikes are widely expected before the end of 2017.

Indeed, the latest unemployment rate data shows that the U.S. is almost at full employment with unemployment rate at 4.7% as of 3/10/2917. In other words, according to the U3 data, most people who want a job have a job: washing dishes, flipping hambergers, driving for Uber, waiting tables at local diners or walking dogs for the top 1% in NYC near Trump Tower. 

We are not going to quibble about the U6 number because the media doesn’t report it and most Americans have never heard of it anyway.

To me, 4.7% U3 means people’s pockets are stuffed with $100 bills. They are happy. They are satisfied with their lives. They go out for beer and lobsters. They fly to exotic resorts for vacations. Of course, they buy stuff they want instead of what they need. They might save a penny here or a quarter there. They are confident in their future according tow the latest consumer confidence survey results.

But, according to this 3/23/2017 thestreet.com article on Yahoo Finance and other sources on the web, why are these U.S. retailers closing hundreds of their stores all over the United States?

Are people having less money because their jobs aren’t paying enough?
Are Amazon and eBay so successful selling almost everything on the Web that they ripped the faces off these once untouchable giants?

Have their profit margins been squeezed by higher costs because China has been exporting inflation to the world?

Do these big and small retailers simply lose touch with the changing spending habits of the consumers?

Do baby boomers stop buying from them because they only have enough to pay for medicines and food?

Or could the reason be as simple as America simply has too many shopping centers?

Whatever the reason, real estate operators in the U.S. will need to adopt and modify their operations so that they don’t end up with ghost shopping malls on their portfolio. 

Here are the known store closings for 2017. The list is long and no doubt that you have been to many of thrm:

  • JCPenney – 138 stores
  • Sears and K Mart  – 150 stores
  • Macy’s – 100 stores
  • Foot Locker – 151 stores
  • Kohl’s – 16 stores
  • CVS – 70 stores
  • Office Depot – 198 stores
  • Radio Shack – 552 stores
  • Family Christian – 240 stores
  • HHGregg – 88 stores
  • Pier One Imports – 100 stores
  • Staples – 118 stores
  • Tiffany – 11 stores
  • Bebe – 170 stores
  • Payless – 500 stores
  • Abercrombie and Fitch – 54 stores
  • Guess – 60 stores
  • Crocs – 160 stores
  • BCBG   Maxzaria – 118 stores
  • The Limited – 250 stores
  • Wet Seals – 171 stores
  • American Apparel – 110 stores

All together, there will be roughly 3,500 empty retail spaces across the U.S. To make the matter worse, WalMart reportly will close 269 stores in 2017. 

With so many stores closing up in 2017, how many employees will lose their jobs? 

Is America’s economy really that good?

供過於求 March 22, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Taiwan, 林口.
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當然,對一般民眾來說,商店就在樓下,他們的生活起居就方便的多了。肚子餓了,去樓下轉角的滷肉飯攤子買一個套餐回來吃。衛生紙沒有了,全家就在對面。水果剛剛吃完,頂好在隔壁一條街上。如果你想買活魚,豬肉和魚丸,走個五分鐘,夜市就在公園的後面。你要燒餅,你要麪包,你要魷魚羮,走路五分鐘左右都有的賣。五金行,床單,化妝品,醫生診所和房地產中介公司全都不遠。有些地方,修車廠就在住宅大樓和餐館邊上。大小不同的倉庫,接收破銅爛鐵的小工廠也不遠。在龜山 (林口在新北市,高速公路另外一邊是龜山。它屬於桃園市) 還有一個煉油工廠。高高的煙囪不斷的冒著白茫茫的煙。長庚醫院就在煉油廠不遠。可能是因為臺灣地小,這個煉油廠很早以前就蓋了。現在也沒法拆。好在林口離它很遠,風向也不對,吹不到我們這裏。








林口的人口增加率不高,三井 Outlet 雖然帶來不少遊客,但是好像並沒有過多的人想要在林口定居。在比較不熱鬧的街上已經有許多租不出去的店面。新蓋好的大樓下面的店面更是沒有人問津。在附近幾個大樓下的商店生意好像都不是很好。真不知道他們是如何維持的。



在這一棟樓的左邊是一個狗公園 (給狗遊玩和方便用的)。狗公園過街開了一個早餐店,賣比較西式的早餐。我只見過幾個客人。中午根本看不到客人來,下午就打烊了。它邊上有一個名不經傳的房地產中介公司。好像天天都沒人似的。真替他們擔心。




That will be the biggest deal for sure March 8, 2017

Posted by hslu in Debt and deficit, Economics, jobs.
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Higher interest rates are coming thanks to a tighter Fed.

Prime rate will be higher, mortgage interest rate will rise, U.S. dollar will strengthen and interest payment on national debt will gradually take up more of federal government’s tax revenue after FOMC’s highly anticipated move next week.

If the U.S. economy continue to pick up strength and labor force begin to tighten in the coming months, pretty soon we will see 4% handle on the long bonds. But the biggest deal will happen when the Fed begins to shrink its huge fixed income assets on its balance sheet, currently at $4,458,018 million as of March 1, 2017.

You want to buy or sell your houses before it hits the market. Otherwise, you will see a bear market on housing for as long as eye can see into the future.

Believe me, that will be no fun at all if you are facing a market with 6% to 7% mortgage interest rate.


錢多,事少,離家近。你要不要? March 1, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Taipei, Taiwan.
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這家小小的 (四步半寬,十一,二步長,about 9 feet x 24 feet,差不多六坪半) 服裝店在忠孝SOGO的後面一個小巷子裏。它看得到SOGO,走路最多兩分鐘,附近的生活機能特佳。如果在這附近一個六層高,三,四十年的老公寓租一個小小的,差不多六坪的套房,大概只要一萬到一萬二一個月。如果嫌這裏貴,我猜,在板橋或文山區租一個小小的套房(六坪)大概八千塊一個月就可以搞定了。坐地鐵從那裏,不到二十五分鐘就可以到忠孝復興地鐵站。中間不用換車,方便的很。吃飯八千一個月,最多一萬。地鐵月票也不是很貴。三萬二一個月還可以存一點錢。剛剛出社會,還可以吧。要是我,我要了。
在臺灣,只要在自己住家的樓下或附近巷子裏有一個” 7″(7-11也) 和幾個路邊的小餐館或地攤小吃店就是生活機能不錯的地方。如果有個超市,那就生活機能美滿無缺了。還有,沒有電梯,不超過六層,可能又髒,又舊,又亂的老房子(三,四十年的國民住宅)就叫公寓。有電梯,超過六層的,就叫電梯大樓。套房是小坪數,大概六到十坪吧,小隔間,沒廚房,只有一張床,一個書桌,一張椅子,一個廁所和一個洗澡間。有沒有窗戶不重要。




不過,話說回來,臺灣的年輕人確實是這臺灣個畸形社會的二等公民。他們仰仗超級有錢人的施捨過日子,就像美國的 99% 看 Wall Street 和聯邦政府的貴族施捨過日子。



Globlization and American Jobs January 26, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, Globlization, jobs, Trump.
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Under the false promises of “Globlization,” American corporations have ‘raped’ foreign countries for decades. Powerful U.S. international companies utilized natural resources from these poor countries, moved manufacture plants to foreign countries, exploited cheap labors overseas, sold goods big and small to customers all over the world, raised some American’s living standards, pushed up labor cost in the U.S. and made many corporate CEO’s, Trump included, filthy rich. 

The so-called “top 1%” owned Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts, lived in expansive condos on Park Avenue in NYC and prime central locations in London and enjoyed fancy vacations at French Riviera and Morocco. They hired expansive CPAs to hide their money from tax men, passed their wealth to trusts and skipped paying taxes using every loopholes possible.

Greedy American financial institutions, the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bear Sterns and Merrill Lynch, and hundreds of hedge funds made billions by ganging up the system against ordinary people.

Some Americans diligently worked long and hard, raised good families, dutifully paid their taxes, enjoyed their comfortable lives, breathed cleaner air, bought widescreen TVs from Amazon and cheap imports from Walmart, drove new SUVs made in Korea or Japan (Consumer Report consistently gives cars from GM, Ford low ratings. Worse for Chrysler or Jeep), took cruise vacations to Caribbean islands, loaded up their credit cards to the limits, paid 18% interest on the balance and piled up debts which they have no hope of ever paying it off.

Blue collar workers in the U.S. worked for factories in the rust belt, joined Unions for protection against the management and earned an honest living. Their high wages, however, put their products at a disadvantage. These companies lost millions year after year. Layoffs happened. Factories closed down because these out-dated plants couldn’t compete with more efficient factories in foreign countries. 

Millions of blue collar workers lost their jobs for months and years. These laid off American workers were gradually forgotten by the labor market. Their families lived in poverty and depended on government to survive. They hated the status quo and believed their American dreams died since the financial crisis. These were the people who rejected Hillary and the Washington establishment and ushered Trump into the WH.

Well, the fact of the matter is that “Globlization” has benefited America tremendously. However, that benefit has been overwhelmingly enjoyed by a selected few at the expense of many at the bottom.

Many Americans hated “Globlization” because they falsely believed, some no doubt have come from Trump, that “Globlization” took their jobs away. 

This wasn’t entirely true. Some American jobs no doubt went to Mexico and Asian countries because U.S. corporations chose to invest over there. 

However, many plants in the U.S. got automated to offset high labor cost so that they could tlcompete with foreign companies. Millions of robots in the factories and millions of automated machines big and small displaced human workforce. Productivity improved and some products made in the U.S. became competitive again. What’s left behind were millions of unemployed Americans because their jobs were gone forever.

Well, if Trump is really serious about his criticism of globlization, he should set an example, closes his foreign businesses, moves them back to the U.S., hires Americans, pays them handsomely, offers them a generous 401(k) package and gives them a pension too.

IBM Watson AI is Taking over White-Collar Jobs in Japan January 4, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Technology.
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Is your job safe? Are you ready?


You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I’m telling you why:

Uncle Watson is coming to town!

He’s making a list, And checking it twice, Gonna find out who’s leaving or staying,

Uncle Watson is coming to town!

He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows when you’ve been lazy or good,
So be good for goodness sake!


You better watch out, You better not cry. You better not pout, I’m Telling you why.

Uncle Watson is coming to to town!

Will Uncle Watson call you name soon?

Are you ready?

想一想,你害怕了嗎? December 11, 2016

Posted by hslu in Computer, Economics, jobs, Knowledge, Travel, US Government.
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如何迎接一個摧毀性的創業時代 (1)

1998年時, Kodak公司 有170,000 員工 ,銷售(洗)全球85%的照片,到2001年,公司就破產了。其實,數位照相機早在1975就發明了,但是積體電路、IC卻要等到2001年才能配合數位相機的速度需求。

現在因為人工智能(AI)的發展,配合更高速度的積體電路,科技正在加快速度的進展。據悉,在很短的5 -10年後,健保、自駕汽車、教育、服務業都將面臨被淘汰的危機。

1. Uber 是一家軟體公司,它沒有擁用汽車,卻能夠讓你「隨叫隨到」有汽車坐,現在,它已是全球最大的Taxi公司了。

2. Airbnb 也是一家軟體公司,它沒有擁有任何旅館,但它的軟體讓你能夠住進世界各地願出租的房間,現在,它已是全球最大的旅館業了。

3. 今年5月,Google的電腦打敗全球最厲害的南韓圍棋高手,因為它開發出有人工智能(AI)的電腦,使用能夠「自己學習」的軟體,所以它的AI能夠加速度的進步,達到比專家原先預期的、提前10年的,成就。

4. 在美國,使用IBM 的Watson電腦軟體,你能夠在幾秒內,就有90%的準確性的法律顧問,比較起只有70% 準確性的人為律師,既便捷又便宜。所以,你如果還有家人親友在讀大學的法律系,建議他們停學省錢,因為市場已大幅的縮減了,未來的世界,只需要現在10%的專業律師就夠了。

5. Watson 也已經能夠幫病人檢驗癌症,而且比醫生正確4 倍。

6. 臉書也有一套AI的軟體可以比人類更準確的鑒察(辨識)人臉,而且無所不在。

7. 到了2030年,AI的電腦會比世界上任何的專家學者還要聰明。 

8. 2017年起,會自動駕駛的汽車就可以在公眾場所使用。約在2020年,整個汽車工業就會遭遇到全面性的改變,你再不需要擁用汽車。你可以用手機叫自動駕駛的車,來帶你到你想去的目的地。

9. 未來的世界,你再也不必擁有車,或花時間加油、停車、排隊去考駕照、交保險費,尤其是城市,將會很安靜,走路很安全,因為90%的汽車都不見了,以前的停車場,將會變成公園。

10. 現在,平均每10萬公里就有一次車禍,造成每年全球有約120萬人的死亡。以後有AI電腦控制的自動駕駛汽車,平均每1000萬公里才有一次車禍,約減少一百萬人死亡。因為保險費和需要保險的人極少,保險公司會面臨更多的倒閉風潮。

11. 大部份的傳統汽車公司會面臨倒閉。Tesla、 Apple、及 Google 的革命性軟體,將會用在每一部汽車上。據悉,Volkswagen 和 Audi 的工程師非常擔心Tesla革命性的電池和人工智能軟體技術。

12. 房地產公司會遭遇極大的變化。因為你可以在車程中工作,距離將不是選住房屋的主要條件之一。市民會選擇住在較遠、但是較空曠且環境優美的鄉村。

13. 電動汽車很安靜,會在2020變成主流。所以城市會很變成安靜,而且空氣乾淨。

14. 太陽能在過去30年也有快速的進展。 去年,全球太陽能的增產超過石油的增產。預計,到2025年時,太陽能的價格(低廉)會使煤礦業大量的破產。因為電費非常的便宜,淨化水及海水淡化的費用大減,人類將能解決人口增加的需水問題。

15. 健保:今年醫療設備商會供應如同「星球大戰」電影中的 Tricorder,讓你的手機做眼睛的掃瞄,呼吸氣體及血液的化學檢驗:用54個「生物指標」,就可檢驗出你是否有任何疾病的徵兆。因為費用低,幾年後,全球人類都可以有世界級的疾病預防服務。

16. 立體列印(3D printing):預計10 年內,3D列印設備會由近20000美元減到400美元,而速度增加100倍快。所有的「個人化」設計鞋子,將開始用這種設備生產,其他如大型的機場,其零件也能使用這種設備供應,至於人類太空船,也會使用這種設備。

17. 今年底,你的手機就會有3D掃瞄的功能,你可以測量你的腳送去做「個人化」鞋子。據悉,在中國,他們已經用這種設備製造了一棟6 層樓辦公室,預計到2027年時, 10% 的產品會用3D的列印設備製造。

18.  產業機會:

a. 工作:20年內,70-80% 的工作會消失,即使有很多新的工作機會,但是不足以彌補被智能機械所取代的原有工作。

b. 農業:將有 $100 機械人耕作,不必吃飯、不用住宅、及支付薪水,只要便宜的電池即可。在開發國家的農夫,將變成機械人的經理。溫室建築物可以有少量的水。到2018年,肉可以從實驗室生產,不必養豬、雞或牛。30%用在畜牧的土地,會變成其他用途的土地。很多初創公司會供給高蛋白質的昆蟲當成食品。

c. 到2020年時 ,你的手機會從你的表情看出,與你說話的人是不是說「假話」? 是否騙人的? 政治人物(如總統候選人)若說假話,馬上會被當場揭發。

d. 數位時代的錢,將是Bitcoin ,是在智能電腦中的「數據」。

e. 教育:最便宜的智能手機在非州是$10美元一隻。

f. 到2020年時,全球70%的人類會有自己的手機,所以能夠上網接受世界級的教育,但大部份的老師會被智能電腦取代。所有的「小學生」都要會寫 Code,你如果不會,你就是像住在Amazon森林中的原住民,無法在社會上做什麼。你的國家,你的孩子準備好了嗎?

參考一下;這也是矽谷 VC, Innovators,Entrepreneurs … 談的資料。




以後上餐館不用waiter,去銀行不用 teller,買東西不用 cashier,坐公車和高鐵不用 driver,坐飛機不用 pilot,去醫院不用看 doctor,去養老院不用看 nurse,開車不用加油,吃飯不用付小費,買房子不用 agent,牛肉麪不用人煮,sushi 不用人包,旅館會消失,汽車會不見,煤礦沒有人開採,石油沒有人生產,許多公司會倒閉,醫生失業,律師討飯,卡車司機沒飯吃,那人做什麽?

總不能大家都給 Uber,Airbnb,Google,Tesla,Apple 和聯邦政府做事吧。

如果大部分的人没有事做,誰有錢住Airbnb,誰能叫的起 Uber的車,誰買得起 iPhone25?誰有錢去看 Watson的孫子呢?

如果大家都身體健康,病了就在家用3D打個肝臟或直腸,早上去街角的 8-12 找個笑瞇瞇的robot 開個刀,下午就可以回家吃飯了。空氣好,到處是樹木花草,每個人都不生病,個個都長命百歲,世界上這麽多人,大家都吃什麽?說不定連殯儀館都要關門大吉了。

What will Japanese think December 7, 2016

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Trump.
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You might not know the guy standing next to Trump but I am sure most Japanese do.

His name is Masayoshi Son  and he is a Korean-Japanese businessman who runs SoftBank and owns 7% of Yahoo, most of Sprint and some Alibaba, among other businesses.
He is in the news because of this:

You might think the headline sounds great for America but what will Japanese think? 

How come Masa (that’s how Trump calls him) isn’t investing $50 billion in Japan and creating 50,000 new Japanese jobs? 
Japan is mired in a recessionary economy for decades despite repeated fiscal stimulus from the government, a huge deficit for years, a national debt so large that Japanese people will never be able to payoff and a negative interest rate for years to come?

Doesn’t Japan need Masa’s $50 billion investment more so than the U.S. does?

 Doesn’t Japanese have more ‘宅男’ who can’t or won’t find a job? 

Didn’t Masa make most of his fortunes on the backs of the Japanese people?

Shouldn’t Masa pay something back to the Japanese soceity first before moving his capital out of Japan and into the U.S.?

Are there any behind-the-door deals between Trump and Masa that we don’t know of? 

Is it another example of crony capitalism that Trump seems to be very good at?

Or is it because it is easier to make money in the U.S. than in Japan?

We will see how things play out after Trump is in the WH.

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