July 6, 2020

IT'S A THRESHOLD MISTAKE:

All Productivity is Good: Even Automation (Rob Atkinson, Jul 02, 2020, American Compass)

One of the few times when I have found myself in agreement with Paul Krugman is when he famously wrote, "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything." Yet, today, this statement is not only passé, but downright suspect, at least among many U.S. elites. For in a world characterized by neo-Luddite fear of new technologies and outlandish claims that technology will destroy most of our jobs, public and elite opinion has shifted to a view that "productivity is almost nothing, especially if any worker loses their job from it."

This matters greatly because for over 200 years the United States political system supported, or at least didn't significantly object to automation. That enabled extremely high rates of productivity growth.

But now many elites tell us that automation is harmful. This dominant narrative is diminishing support for automation and enhancing support for productivity-reducing policies.

An economy exists to create wealth.  The critics believe it is to create work.

Posted by at July 6, 2020 12:00 AM

  

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