Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Interview with Jim Pethokoukis on robots and jobs
I was recently interviewed by Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute for his Ricochet podcast. The subject was the "rise of the robots" - i.e., what happens if and when technology starts replacing human labor entirely. A transcript, and the podcast itself (if you like hearing my voice), can be found here. The upshot of what I said:
* Technology wasn't as big a cause of declining labor share during the past couple decades as people think Globalization was a bigger culprit. But technology is a much bigger worry going forward.
* Teaching people to be entrepreneurs is one way to stop the rise of the robots from causing horrendous inequality; each person or small team of people can command their own little "army of robots", in the form of a company that they own.
* We will also probably need to resort to some mass redistribution of income. The best way to do this is to have the government subsidize wages, i.e. to pay companies to hire humans and pay the humans more. This is like putting our thumb on the scale against the robots.
Anyway, read or listen to the whole thing here!