Saturday, June 08, 2013

"Destroying jobs is the entire point of this invention stuff"

I can't help but be uncomfortable at the handwringing over the fear that there won't be enough jobs in the future. There's even a hashtag for it #peakjobs (Twitter). ASI argues that the jobs technology destroys is a good thing - but it does require faith that like every time in the past, more new more productive jobs - many we haven't even conceived of, replace the ones destroyed:

Think about it for a moment, if we still had 22% in farming and 36% in manufacturing then that's 58% of the people. Currently 81% of the population work in services (there's a bit in construction, water etc as well). If we've 58% who cannot be in services because they're in food or manufacturing then we'd, just as in 1841, only be able to have 33% working in services. So, which half to two thirds of the services we currently do get would you like to give up simply because we don't have the people available to do them? OK, we all agree the diversity advisers can go but beyond that?

Quite. By mechanising agriculture and manufacturing we've been able to get the production of both of those that we desire and also have a vast expansion of services that we also get to enjoy. We have more thus we're richer. And that of course is the point of doing such mechanisation: to make us all richer and long may it continue.

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