For this chapter, many of the forum participations of our classmates have been focusing on the future of human jobs. Cutberto’s and Nesher’s participation both deal with the question of what will happen to human jobs. Will technology create more, will it destroy them all or will it transform the whole economy? The answers the rest of our classmates have made to their questions are all very different. Some are optimistic in the creation of jobs while others are not. Maybe we can’t all agree with the answers to this questions but there is something sure about the future: no matter what direction we are going, there will always be some costs, and those costs are that waves of automation have always involved periods of traumatic disruption.
“If the robots are coming for our jobs, make sure they pay taxes”. This is the title John Naughton used for his article published in the Guardian on February 2017. In this article, John cited Tyler Cowen when he pointed out that the industrial revolution lead to "a shift out of agricultural jobs while eventually a boon for virtually all humanity, brought significant problems along the way."
John says this time won’t be different.
From 1760-1831, private per capita consumption only rose 22% and real wages fell 10%. It took 60 to 70 years after the onset of industrialization for English workers to see sustained real growth in their wages.
Cowen says that this is the track the US is on right now. The household income is down since 1999 and medial male wages probably higher in 1969. Because of this John concludes that transition costs from automation will be higher than what many people think.
Some of the interesting proposals to deal with this costs are to make the robots that substitute human labor pay taxes. Bill Gates proposes to reallocate the people displaced to other works that required human empathy and have currently not enough people, for example taking care of people with different abilities. The taxes paid by robots could be use a wages for this jobs.
Here is then link of the video.
What do you think of this idea?
Do you have other ideas to cover the costs of automation?