July 19, 2018


Freed by Robots? : a review of The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job, by John Tamny (Michael S. Bernick, July 13, 2018, City Journal)

 Tamny, director of the Center for Economic Freedom at Freedom Works and editor of Real Clear Markets, sees the replacement of jobs by automation as a positive development that will free individuals to create economic roles reflecting their interests. The proper role of government, says Tamny, is to let it happen, restrain its impulse to intervene, and essentially let a thousand flowers bloom.

The new economy has created more room for specialized services and niche products. In the past, people with passions for, say, animal-training, or physical fitness, or fine wines, might have halfheartedly worked in routine jobs just to pay the bills; in an era of greater economic prosperity and larger discretionary incomes, people can make their living as animal-care specialists, personal trainers, and sommeliers. The range of outlets for creative content has expanded, too. Technology has made it possible to look beyond a handful of television networks, music producers, or legacy book publishers. Today, we can record and post our own songs, publish our writing, and broadcast video productions with accessible and affordable equipment once available only to major media companies. [...]

Tamny sees a bright future ahead if policymakers recognize the role of economic freedom. "Just as the division of labor among humans leads to much better work outcomes, so will the rise of automation benefit the worker. Only the outcome will be many multiples greater than that which springs from human divisions of labor." He welcomes the rise of robot workers. "Imagine the future if robots achieve their potential to erase all manner of work forms," he writes. "How very exciting."

Posted by at July 19, 2018 5:26 PM