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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Interesting and alarming for anyone who supports market solutions. What can be done?

  2. Calogrenant

    Fortunately, intellectuals from both parties are agreed on boosting the labor supply to solve this problem.

    1. Calogrenant, I misread that as “bootstrapping” the labor supply, until just now. I was going to sarcastically say, please, do tell, how do they plan to do THAT? But I understand what you mean now. Sigh, I agree. More unemployment, and more structural unemployment…

      There is a “reboot the economy” catchphrase and website that is proposed as a solution. I am not so sanguine, and think that Mr. Pethokoukis’s post covers the situation very well. The concept isn’t new, but it was much more hypothetical, merely a potential scenario, when former U.S. Dept. of Labor Secretary Robert Reich wrote about it in 1982 in one of his books. In 2006, Morgan Stanley’s chief economist referred to it as “labor arbitrage” and was concerned that outsourcing jobs overseas was short-term thinking by U.S. businesses, and would hasten its arrival. I would caution about Tyler Cowen a.k.a. Marginal Revolution. His findings, as summarized here are astute and credible. But some of his past commentary and proposed solutions were disturbing to me.

  3. “In reality the work isn’t going to the Chinese…it’s going to the robots” – Rifkin 1995

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