Advancements in robotics and software have, and will, play a strong role in the economy by displacing workers. That's not the basis for some science-fiction novel, it's our likely future, writes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. And economists are still grappling with the implications.
Automation of labor will drive massive income inequality in the future, Krugman writes, by concentrating wealth in assets owned by a few. The theory hasn't been taken seriously because of its association with Marxism, but it's gaining steam now.
Robots, Krugman warns, will automate more than just manufacturing jobs, it'll affect other high-skill high-labor jobs too, such as translations and legal research.
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones posits similar worries. Drum fears that if the production of goods grows cheaper at a rapid pace, it could put many out of a job and on welfare with no plan.
Izabella Kaminska of the Financial Times, however, has a less pessimistic view of the future. Automaton and advances in technology cause goods to become essentially free. In this economy, she warns, the most value would be driven to patents and panent enforcement, which could stifle innovation.
Via the New York Times and the Financial Times