AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (8 comments)

  1. Flash Fact: most of the jobs added in the recovery have been low-wage jobs

    The Atlanta Fed macroblog disagrees relative to prior expansions.

    1. That is a liberal trope, about all the low paying jobs. It is always presented as fact, with no backup.

      But really if you think about it job growth should form some kind of curve. a few low end, and then more as you get to the median income, and then it should drop off. It you are telling me that 1000 60K per year jobs were created for every $10 million job, yeah, I would buy it,

  2. 1000 years ago – will the horse drawn plow decimate the middle serf? Or will it release folks from the chore of farming so they can do other things, like create crafts and form guilds, and small trading villages?

    Hmm?

    Will the printing press put hand scribes out of work forever, or will new quicker ways of printing cause the print market and books to explode?

    Hmm,

    Will the truck destroy the jobs of horsemen, or will replacing horse drawn carts with trucks greatly expand the way transport goods and create more trucking jobs, then ever existed with horses.

    Will gas lighting permanently destroy jobs of the whalers?
    Will Airplanes decimate international travel.
    Will computers cost everyone their job?

    I think in every case technological innovation has caused markets to expand as they made goods cheaper for the rest of us. And in the process created more jobs, that pay more money than ever before.

    Lets cut everything back if you are so worried, and go back to the hand drawn plow, or have everybody farm by digging holes in the ground with their hands. Or shoot farming would hurt hunter gatherers. Lets all go look around for Acorns, and dig up roots, like in North Korea.

  3. Will robots terminate the US middle class?
    If anything they will save it.
    Democrats will terminate the middle class

  4. Delmar Jackson

    So, the middle class is wiped out by technology, the elite top 15% are the new masters of the universe, and they outsouce all they can while flooding the nation with millions of immigrants so they can continue to have cheap nannies and leaf blowers and profit from lower wages , while passing on all the social, economic and environmental costs and burdens to the communities they doubtless do not live in.
    This future world masters forget when they change A and B, C will not necessarily stay the same. C is waking up.
    Immigration is a racket, it is a transfer of money from labor to capital. Those who would experiment with society and not expect to experience any consequences of their actions have selective memories of human history.

  5. Mr. Poopus

    When I started in the workforce back in 1980 it was 3 draftsmen, one personal secretary, one typist and one runner per every engineer. Our had a staff of 5 engineers, 10 engineers in training, 20 draftsmen, 5 personal secretaries, 5 runners, 1 office manager and a receptionist for a total of 47 people. When advances in word processing became available in 1987 it became one office secretary per 3 engineers and no typists. When automated computer drafting became available it dropped to 1 CAD draftsmen per engineer. When email became available it went to one runner for the entire office. We are down to 5 engineers, 3 engineers in training, 2 CAD draftsman and one office manager – a staff decrease of 90%. This is great for productivity and the huge increase in salaries for the engineers, (Myself included), but I can’t help but think that in the long run this is just setting us up for some kind of eventual political upheaval should we get into an economic depression.

  6. Pat Bunjes

    There is no doubt that just as machines created masses of jobs at the beginning of The Industrial Revolution they will eliminate masses of employment opportunities across the economic spectrum (but, probably hitting the Middle Class hardest) as technology advances. There is no stopping that. It is the nature of humans to advance. Those who can keep up will. It is the number of those who can’t keep up who will become a potential problem. It won’t be because these people are stupid, lazy, etc. We simply are not all born with the innate abilities that will be demanded to control increasingly complex (and able-minded) machines. The abilities of these machines will allow industry to operate more and more efficiently… reaping greater and greater profits. There’s nothing wrong with that. Businesses are not charities. They need only create/sustain the minimum number of jobs necessary to operate. That, actually, is their obligation. I am not certain what the solution to this potential crisis is. In the past the loss of manual labor jobs to one or another circumstance was overlooked or brushed off by members of the Middle Class as being what happens when a person doesn’t try hard enough, get a good education, and so on. When people who have tried hard, who have gotten the proper education, etc. begin to discover that they are the ones who are becoming obsolete… then the potential uprising will not be by (assumed) marginally educated laborers. It will be by educated – and very disillusioned – people. Instead of shrugging, Atlas may find himself running for the hills.

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