We are in for a long , difficult economic and societal dilemma as spelled out in this piece. The political expression of it is the growing gap between the rich and the poor and the hollowing out of the middle class that politicians bloviate about without offering any real solutions. Perhaps they fail to understand or believe the underlying problem, opting instead to try and legislate job growth..
I'm reading this book, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, referenced in the Economist story, which provides deep insight about the disruption of the traditional economic expectations.
"In a forthcoming book Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics, argues along similar lines that America may be pioneering a hyper-unequal economic model in which a top 1% of capital-owners and “supermanagers” grab a growing share of national income and accumulate an increasing concentration of national wealth. The rise of the middle-class—a 20th-century innovation—was a hugely important political and social development across the world. The squeezing out of that class could generate a more antagonistic, unstable and potentially dangerous politics.I believe it's different this time because of the blinding pace of technological change and the ability to explore new models of productivity, work and service, nearly all of which reduce the human labor content in many previously 'safe' occupations.
The potential for dramatic change is clear. A future of widespread technological unemployment is harder for many to accept. Every great period of innovation has produced its share of labour-market doomsayers, but technological progress has never previously failed to generate new employment opportunities."
Our institutions are more deeply entrenched and harder to change. Poorly educated people do not stand a chance for their insufficient skills to command a good-paying job in this new economy. With more generous government benefits, the incentive to work disappears from most folks.
'via Blog this'