Posted by Charles II on December 14, 2012
Hope this isn’t an omen:
On a more serious note, Gillian Tett of FT talks about how computerization is leading to the end of work, in Jeremy Rivkin’s phrase. Exim Bank financing rose 25% (meaning that US exports are increasing), but the jobs behind those exports have actually fallen by 12%. So automation appears to be destroying more jobs than it is creating. She says that Brian Arthur of Palo Alto claims that computerization is responsible for 60-80% of productivity growth since 1995. Personally, that would be no surprise: comparing the work required to send 10 gifts by online shopping vs. six gifts by conventional shopping is enough to convince me that computers are a good thing.
But we have to come to terms with the end of work. As discussed in the thread below on guns, social violence rises when unemployment and hopelessness rise.
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