This latest article for Huffington Post is actually an expansion of my recent blog post here. It's a bit longer and refined.
Here's the link to the HuffPo article.
We are indeed creating new jobs, but these jobs are not 1:1 replacements. When someone who graduated from a free high school loses a 40 hours per week manufacturing job with benefits they've worked for 20 years that paid $50,000 per year because technology has eliminated the need for a human to fill that role, and the only job they can find without taking out a second mortgage to go back to school is a 30 hours per week temp job without benefits in the service industry that pays $20,000 per year if they're lucky, they've indeed gone from one job to another, but are they better off? Is the consumer economy better off with the notable hit to consumer spending power? Does the fact that robotic manufacturing allows this person to buy a dishwasher for $500 instead of $700 counteract the $30,000 loss in salary and security? Does the ability to purchase an iPhone 6 for the same price they paid for an iPhone 3 a few years ago make up for that loss in income either?
Advancing technology is not being allowed to improve our lives to the degree it could, if we were to make other decisions as a society. Instead, we're actively forcing ourselves to work a greater number of hours thanks to the effectiveness of the tools we created to require fewer hours. Does this outcome make any real sense? Is all this new and extra work in the labor market truly necessary or are we performing it because a job, however unnecessary is currently necessary to live?
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