What Should “We” Do About Unemployment Due To Technological Innovation
November 26, 2010 · Posted in General Economics
When people use “we” in such contexts they usually mean the government, that is, a group of people with the right to use guns and prisons to take your property if you don’t oblige. But people like to avoid putting it this way and make it more abstract so they can avoid thinking about what they are actually talking about. It is similar with concepts such as “as a society”, or “the common good”, “the national interest”, “the country”, etc.
Whenever I hear such words I call BS. If you want to have a serious discussion about societal issues, name things by their proper names!
What did “we” do with all the farm workers who lost their jobs once the industrial revolution affected the farming business? What did “we” do with the piano players once movies had sound?
Well, former farm workers, even many who still could have stayed on the farm and make their pittance, sure didn’t waste much complaining and waiting for checks from Washington as they rushed to the big cities to start working for one of the myriad new technology companies.
And that’s your answer right there: The best thing “we” can do is to have a free and dynamic market that picks up those who are initially adversely affected by technological innovation.
In essence: The best thing “we” can do is to do precisely nothing.