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Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality 2019-05-21 00:57:12

Summary:
Paul Krugman: Don’t Blame Robots for Low Wages: "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.... So it seems like a good idea to point out that in this case what everyone knows isn’t true.... We do have a big problem—but it has very little to do with technology, and a lot to do with politics and power.... Technological disruption... isn’t a new phenomenon. Still, is it accelerating? Not according to the data. If robots really were replacing workers en masse, we’d expect to see the amount of stuff produced by each remaining worker—labor productivity—soaring.... Technological change is an old story.

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Paul Krugman: Don’t Blame Robots for Low Wages: "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.... So it seems like a good idea to point out that in this case what everyone knows isn’t true.... We do have a big problem—but it has very little to do with technology, and a lot to do with politics and power.... Technological disruption... isn’t a new phenomenon. Still, is it accelerating? Not according to the data. If robots really were replacing workers en masse, we’d expect to see the amount of stuff produced by each remaining worker—labor productivity—soaring.... Technological change is an old story. What’s new is the failure of workers to share in the fruits of that technological change...

Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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