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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 […]

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No matter how we measure it, most Americans are falling further and further behind the tiny group at the top.    That’s not at all surprising. Whether we compare the growing gap between average wages and Gross Domestic Product per capita (as in the chart on the left) or real median household income and real […]

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Forget Bitcoin. It’s the underlying technology, blockchain, that is generating the most excitement. Even utopia! Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented in 2009 by a person (or group) who called himself Satoshi Nakamoto. His stated goal was to create “a new electronic cash system” that was “completely decentralized with no server or central authority.” After cultivating […]

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
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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 […]