Skip to comments.Welcome the Robots: American workers should not fear the rise of the robot
Posted on 08/03/2014 5:04:36 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Is the increasing automation of our economy a threat to American wages and jobs? Should the American worker fear the rise of the robots? No, not really.
Eighty years ago, John Maynard Keynes warned that society faced a new disease of technological unemployment in which the means of economizing the use of labor [were] outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor. Much more recently, Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute wrote about how robot workers could tear Americas social fabric. Strain worries that machines could eliminate the livelihoods of millions of less-skilled workers.
These fears are misplaced. In reality, technological advances will improve living standards and working conditions for the vast majority of Americans. Computers have certainly automated many tasks. From travel to banking to manufacturing to retail, machines now perform formerly human tasks quickly and reliably.
Technology has eliminated countless jobs in the U.S. and around the world. Even Foxconn, famous for its vast iPhone-assembly lines in Taiwan, plans to install a million robots.
But almost as quickly as technology has eliminated some jobs, it has created new ones. Like developing smartphone apps. Or shuttling Uber passengers. Or moving inventory in Amazon warehouses. Contrary to Keyness prediction of 15-hour workweeks, the economy has always found new uses for displaced workers.
(Excerpt) Read more at heritage.org ...
They work for free, and don’t chain migrate.
Seems to me like you have the cause and effect backwards.
Silence, you mechanical misery!
“Like developing smartphone apps. Or shuttling Uber passengers. Or moving inventory in Amazon warehouses.”
None of which create more than a handful of jobs and likely net out negative. Apps employ a few coders, but for every good app, there are a dozen that are simply time wasters. Uber is great idea, but it gets rid of taxicab drivers. Amazon gets rid of malls and warehouse workers, only added jobs are truck drivers.
I’m not seeing the jobs creation. I start businesses, I don’t want workers anymore.
“They work for free, and dont chain migrate.”
And, you don’t have to learn Spanish to get them to work.
Why use a backhoe to dig a pit, when you can employ 200 men with shovels, or 10,000 men with teaspoons?
Anyone familiar with the effects of automation on Britain during the Industrial Revolution will take exception to this statement. Agricultural workers were forced off the farm and into the cities and their "gin alleys" where they festered in squalor. The automation of the weaving industry out of the cottages and into the water driven looms and then steam driven factory looms accelerated this trend.
Eventually, yes the benefits of the Industrial Revolution raise all boats, the author is quite correct about this, but the politicians will always be quick to exploit the lag time between dislocation and general prosperity. They will certainly be quick to exploit the class who cannot adjust such as the elderly. Modern demagogues (Democrats) are quick to exploit the alleged problems accompanying extreme wealth creation such as we have seen in the founders of Microsoft and Facebook. Robots will tend to concentrate money in the hands of those who control robots.
I recite this so that we as conservatives are not behind the power curve. To deny that problems will come from robots is to stick one's head in the sand in the hopes that the problem will not occur and then go away if it occurs. Better to anticipate the problem and structure solutions which are compatible with the Constitution, conservatism and capitalism. If we fail to offer these kinds of solutions we will have "solutions" forced upon us with all their unintended consequences, with all their restrictions of liberty, and all their deadweight on growth.
What we need are robotic lawyers.
As part of TCM’s Walter Pidgeon day, “Forbiden Planet” is on late night tonight at 12:30 AM.
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