How about cleaning up after old people when they mess themselves? How about any of the DVD sorting facilities at Netflix, which is practically the exact job you described? How about the massive amount of call centers we have in the US? How about almost any low level job in agriculture? I don't think your imagination is deep enough to fathom how bad a job can really be, even in a first world nation.
There are plenty of people who are willing to work or already work a monotonous or difficult job for low pay here in the US.
More investment should go into automation, but given that the world labor market makes humans so cheap(mainly due to not having the care about the workers health or safety), human labor usually wins out.
Once all these jobs go to automation, what do you do with the workers? That is then societies problem really, we'll need to figure out if there should be a social net that guides people into higher education so we have people building/repairing robots instead of doing what the robots are actually doing. Given the vested interests in the status quo, this is probably not too likely to happen in the near future.
Also, the solution to the automation problem is not higher education, the solution is the return of the skilled laborer. You can't automate a robot to drive to a customer's house, cut open some drywall, fix a plumbing leak, restructure some electric piping to a new section of the wall, install a socket, make a report and get it signed by the customer, get payed, drive back to the company hub, and finally give you the money. Hell you can't automate a robot to make custom dragon blood forged steel swords, which we'll probably need for the zombie apocalypse. Bachelor and masters degrees are currently too easy to get to the point even a monkey could get a bachelors these days, specially if it's a wealthy monkey. The result is that GOOD plumbers, electricians, or dragon blood forged steel sword making blacksmiths are so hard to get this days because all the offspring of skilled laborers want to go to a fancy school to be doctors, lawyers, or architects, because it's all the rage to get a university degree this days.
For what it's worth, most people actually doing the "cleaning up after the elderly" job are certified nursing assistants, who often earn basically a notch or two above minimum wage.
The pay might be shit, but we'll make it up in overtime:)
1000 yen per hour is about £7.90; the UK minimum wage is £5.93 ((if you're over 21) but there are some tax breaks and benefits available to some low paid workers). There are plenty of jobs at that minimum wage, and many of those jobs will be as dull as checking gaskets.
How about cleaning up after old people when they mess themselves?
You know, some people actually appreciate what their parents have done and take pride (or at least sympathy) paying back that debt when the time comes.
I'm not sure that you grasp the working conditions in some parts of Asia (i live in Hong Kong). People would be willing to take the job, but they'd ask for benefits that wouldn't even compare. I don't think there are, as you say, plenty of people willing to take on these types of jobs in their present state. In fact, there are already sectors in the US that are having a hard time finding people because people have generally become too prideful. Just look at the skilled trade problem, which is way better work than what patio11 is talking about.
Any company in the US that pays significantly more than minimum wage and which claims "we can't find workers" is basically lying.
When they say "we can't find workers to do X" what they meaning is "we can't worker to do X [low-voice-over]between the ages of 23 and 27 who graduated in the top 15% of their class, with six+ year of experience in X and who have strong willingness to work 100 hours/week and able to start yesterday[/low-voice-over]"
We've been looking for technical employees (cable'ers, phone techs, etc, etc) for a while (in Florida) and usually come up with crap. We start at $20hr, with full benefits, and a strict 40 hour work week (we like to avoid overtime). That is a very high starting salary in Florida. And we've hired and fired 6 different people for the same position over the last 2 years.
And I can't even tell you how hard it is to find a decent programmer here. Sure there are tons of guys who (barely) write Java or VB. None are remotely qualified to write code for my sister let alone the company. Either I end up writing it or I outsource to NYC. And when you do find someone good, there's a bidding war. I lost a programmer I wanted to hire to one of my customers (a hospital). They offered us a fee if we'd send him over. I sent him him over. They're a good customer so we turned down the fee. :)
These are common complaints down here in Florida; the 4th biggest state in the country by the way. It's not helping that our school system down here is a fucking mess. And that many parents are more concerned about their kids learning evolution than math.
There is one ray of hope for us: the military. I just hired our 3rd vet (I'm a vet by the way too) from a job fair held at the Palm Beach VA.
Q: "We pay salaries competitive with the market average, why can't we find good experienced programmers or engineers?"
A: "So you want top talent for average wages? See the discrepancy here?"
I can hire PHP and Java programmers rather easily, but both groups would have a lot to unlearn.
Have you considered trying to hire from abroad? You may need a high salary by USA standards to hire USA workers to work in São Paulo, but tis doable. You have now found the market rate for programmers in São Paulo
I was writing from the Bay Area. I suppose I should realize how different the rest of the country is.
Can you elaborate on that?
But otherwise if a worker makes the more money, why not go for it?
I was speaking more about people who work in assisted living facilities or nursing homes who do not know the people they clean up after personally. Often these people are probably lucky to be making $13/hr an a hour. Just like there are those who don't mind such a job, I am sure there are those who don't mind sorting gaskets either.
"I'm not sure that you grasp the working conditions in some parts of Asia (i live in Hong Kong)."
Are you suggesting they're good or bad? There are some decent places to work in Asia if you're on top. Job conditions are slowly improving, but often you'll still hear about workers living in boarding houses provided by the company so they can work 12 - 16 hours days 6 days a week. Additionally patio11 was talking about first world countries...
"I don't think there are, as you say, plenty of people willing to take on these types of jobs in their present state. In fact, there are already sectors in the US that are having a hard time finding people because people have generally become too prideful."
You probably aren't looking too hard then. In the current economy you have people with masters & PhDs applying at McDonalds or other low wage/low skill jobs. Often these employers do not hire these people because of "over-qualifications". I also don't think that a lack of skilled tradesmen is due to pride, but perhaps due to a refocusing towards service sector jobs & the deterioration of our education system. The US does not have a standardized vocational education path & often many "vocational colleges" here are scammy for profit colleges that offer little benefit & a lot of debt to their students.