Sitting outside of a library trying to finish up my sandwich under a bright sunny sky, I smirked.

Two reasons.

One — less important than number two and not quite the reason why I am posting this up — is an action that reminds me of fiscal stimulus mentality.

At the university, which is a public school, a small army of workers was redoing the pavement. Before the work began, I could find nothing wrong with it. It was built quite well and pleasing to the eyes too. Yet, there went the works. Although I can never be certain if that effort was funded by Australian stimulus money without further information, I am inclined to believe it was related.

And now, the new pavement awaits me, which splendidly looks and functions exactly that it was before.

It has to be related with stimulus program. It simply has to be. Nonsensical project, public works, the recipe of stimulus project is all there.

Of more interesting is that no robot was involved in the process of redoing the pavement. You might think that I am joking but I assure you that I am only half joking. No robot. No fancy machine. Just plain manual laborers working under the sun.

Where am I getting at?

If you have been visiting this blog for a very long time, you will notice that I am particularly peeved with some groups of Malaysians who rile up against the country’s so-called addiction to cheap labor. They blame general low wages in Malaysia is caused by the availability of cheap labor from abroad. Furthermore, due to availability of cheap labor, companies in the countries continue to not move up the value chain or not employ better technology. If only there is no cheap labor, Malaysia would be supremely technologically advanced and Malaysians would be better paid, or so they argue.

Well, here in Australia, one of countries with the highest GDP per capita in the world, no robot still. Just manual labor.

I could imagine those anti-cheap labor people saying “construction is but one industry and there are other industries that will employ better technology if only the cost of labor is greater than the cost of capital.”

Maybe, but I smirked still. And I am smirking now too.

2 Responses to “[2111] Of no robot, just manual labor”

  1. on 18 Nov 2009 at 13:56 moo_t

    Do you mean sweat shop blue collar worker pay are cheap in 1st world ?

  2. on 22 Nov 2009 at 14:54 Hafiz Noor Shams

    i didn’t say that. i just said that it does not involve higher level tech

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