Automation is Not the Main Reason for Low Wages and Job Loss

Author: Alexx | Category: Science | Business | Economics | Date: 11-11-2019

In an opinion piece, Princeton economist Paul Krugman states  that while many people assume that automation is the main reason for job loss and low wages, this is just not the case.  Instead, it is the lopsided power balance between employers and workers, a trend since the 1970s, that is responsible for the declining pay and status of workers in the U.S.  In other words, it is not technological advances but the “failure of workers to share in the fruits of technology change” that is responsible.

“The other day I found myself, as I often do, at a conference discussing lagging wages and soaring inequality. There was a lot of interesting discussion. But one thing that struck me was how many of the participants just assumed that robots are a big part of the problem — that machines are taking away the good jobs, or even jobs in general. For the most part this wasn’t even presented as a hypothesis, just as part of what everyone knows.

And this assumption has real implications for policy discussion. For example, a lot of the agitation for a universal basic income comes from the belief that jobs will become ever scarcer as the robot apocalypse overtakes the economy. So it seems like a good idea to point out that in this case what everyone knows isn’t true.” (more)


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