A lot of ink has been spilled on the prospect of various technological dystopias. The common thread is that automation and AI will make most human jobs as superfluous as tractors have made horses obsolete. One economist has begun to challenge the platitude that Amazon has led to a net loss of jobs.
- Do you agree that counting and classification errors could be the cause of statistics purporting that the online economy and automation are leading to an overall loss of jobs?
If this is the case, both the location and skill set of the modern worker present problems: Jobs in the new economy require skilled urban workers. The issue is nontrivial. Those left behind by the new economy form the Trump and Brexit base. Furthermore, the current education system and government policies in most countries don’t prepare people for the new economy.
- What skills should schools and universities teach?
- Should governments stop de facto subsidies for rural areas and cities that have become economic black holes?
Tyler Cowen has long argued that many in the US have grown complacent: Americans rarely move, don’t take risks and have lost their entrepreneurial spirit. Cowen sums up his views in this recent interview.
- Do you agree with Cowen’s arguments?
- If so, how should we as a society react?