How the Emergence of 3D Printers will Destroy America
The ability to manufacture a three dimensional object with a printer is not really a new technology. However, it's only been within the last few years that this method of manufacturing has become more publicly known due to its growing economic viability. Printers now exist that are reasonably affordable to the average American. The advent of inexpensive consumer grade 3D printers will significantly impact all aspects of our society as we know it. What we will see in the coming years is the destruction of our American way of life caused single handedly by the 3D printer industry. This idea might seem far-fetched but if you continue reading I can assure you that my case will be well stated.
Loss of Jobs
It's been said that new technology creates new jobs. However, it's equally true that new technology eliminates jobs. Unfortunately for the American working class, new technology generally means a net loss of available jobs. For example, think of how many laborers lost their jobs when the tractor was invented to cultivate crops. Or what about the number of auto workers who had to look for another job after they were replaced by robots? Common sense will tell you that there has to be a link between our technologically advanced society and our unemployment rate. Don't let the politicians fool you though. By some sources, America's unemployment rate is actually around 14% as of 2014. Moreover, some reports have even calculated the unemployment rate to be as high as 30%. This striking statistic includes the millions of American who have simply given up on finding on job as well as the people who don't want to work.
The reality of new technology is that when it is created and implemented, society as a whole actually suffers because of it. The same sad truth will hold true with the growing demand and sales of 3D printers. 3D printers will not only replace American manufacturing jobs, they will eventually eliminate the need for all jobs related to retail sales at stores across the nation. This includes dealing a devastating blow to the shipping industry as well. Eventually it will become cheaper, easier, and more socially acceptable to print out a new shirt or the latest toy for your child from your garage than it would be to go buy it at a store or order it online.
The food service industry isn't safe either. We are only a few short years away from being able to print out our own food using only a variety of simple raw ingredients. As of today, we already have printers capable of creating edible products. In the not too distant future Americans will have the ability to print out any edible delight that they choose using a 3D food printer. Gone will be the days of standing in the long grocery store lines or waiting hours at a restaurant for your gourmet meals. When that day in the future comes, the food service industry as we know will be decimated.
What About Raw Ingredient Manufacturers?
But let's not forget about the companies that will process and manufacture the raw ingredients that the printers will use to create the things that we want.
In the early years of 3D printers the raw ingredients necessary to make the printer work will be things that are already readily available to most consumers. These things would include water, basic flours, protein powders, vitamin supplements, etc. For non-edible products this may include things like plastic pellets and specially formulated resins. The companies that produce these commodities will see massive growth as demand for their products increase.
Eventually using individual raw ingredients will evolve into specially blended mixtures to produce a variety of substances. For the food industry products like Soylent could eventually be poured into the "ink reservoir" of the printer to produce a variety of edible concoctions. This concept will still rely heavily on the manufactures that make the ingredients necessary to formulate the powders.
And then some day in the future a third revolution in printers will occur. For food ingredients, the printers will finally allow us to create meals and other objects using air, water, soil, and sunlight. (I've discussed this concept in a previous article about radical future inventions if you are interested in leaning more about this). Once this occurs our printers will be relying on the basic ingredients of nature and the industries that produced the raw materials in the past will collapse. Not too long after this revolution the only viable companies that will be left will be the ones that make the 3D printers in the first place.
A New Symbol for Greed and Distrust
Obviously the use and implementation of consumer grade 3D printers in the future can only lead to one outcome. And that is the total and complete destruction of American society. Entire industries will be devastated and our economy will sink to a level that has never been felt before. Unemployment will skyrocket to more than 70% and the only jobs available will be in politics and in fields related to the 3D printing industry. The 3D printer companies of tomorrow will be the symbol of corporate greed just as the oil companies are today.
A Dying Society
However, this final industry won't last forever either. When robotics are combined with 3D printer technology, the devices will able to replicate themselves. This will lead to society's eventual collapse as our technology will no longer need us to support it. A system that is capable of sustaining itself by simple replication and the use of nature's readily available raw ingredients will no longer provide humanity anything meaningful. There won't be any jobs - why would there be? Anything you could ever want or need will come from a 3D printer and the supply would far exceed the capable demand of the human race. There won't be any social classes anymore either. I can only imagine what life would be like at this point in the future.
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