Search Results

Chico Harlan [ht: ja] describes the arrival of the first robots at Tenere Inc. in Dresser, Wisconsin: The workers of the first shift had just finished their morning cigarettes and settled into place when one last car pulled into the factory parking lot, driving past an American flag and a “now hiring” sign. Out came two […]

Actually, robots do kill people. A 21 year old external contractor was installing the robot together with a colleague when he was struck in the chest by the robot and pressed against a metal plate. He later died of his injuries, reports Chris Bryant, the FT’s Frankfurt correspondent. While we certainly need to be aware […]

I’ve been writing for some years now about the emergence of new technologies, especially automation and robotics, and their potential contribution to raising already-high levels of inequality even further. The problem is not, as I have tried to make clear, technology per se but the way it is designed and utilized within existing economic institutions. In other […]

U.S. capitalism has a real problem: there don’t seem to be enough workers to keep the economy growing. And it has another problem: capitalists themselves are to blame for the missing workers. As is clear from the chart above, the employment-population ratio (the blue line) has collapsed from a high of 64.4 in 2000 to […]

Posts of the year II

Posted: 5 January 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

As I explained yesterday, some of my own favorite posts do not appear on the list of the ones that received the most views last year. Here is a selection from the second half of 2017: Economics as religion? Dictatorship and stolen time Culture beyond capitalism “We’ve got the robots” From oligarchs to Soviets—and back again Time to […]

Posts of the year I

Posted: 4 January 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Some of the posts I most enjoyed writing do not appear on the list of the ones that received the most views last year. Here is a sample of my favorites from the first half of 2017: Indignity of not-work? Makers vs. takers? College and the American Dream Economism—or vulgar economics Beyond Trump and free trade Lies, […]

New technologies—automation, robotics, artificial intelligence—have created a specter of mass unemployment. But, as critical as I am of existing economic institutions, I don’t see that as the issue, at least at the macro level. The real problem is the distribution of the value that is produced with the assistance of the new technologies—in short, the […]

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin may not be worried. Nor, it seems, are other members of the economic and political elite. But the rest of us are—or we should be. As regular readers of this blog know (cf. all these posts), the robots are here and they’re rapidly replacing workers, thus leading to less employment, downward pressure […]

Millions of workers have been displaced by robots. Or, if they have managed to keep their jobs, they’re being deskilled and transformed into appendages of automated machines. We also know that millions more workers and their jobs are threatened by much-anticipated future waves of robotics and other forms of automation. But mainstream economists don’t want us to touch […]

Noah Smith is right about one thing: mainstream economists tend to use the word “capital” pretty loosely. It just means “anything you can spend resources to build, which lasts a long time, and which also can be used to produce value.” That’s really broad. For example, it could include society itself. It also typically includes […]