First the medium, and then the man?

 

Christopher Mims has a provocative article in Quartz this week pointing out how computers, and especially the Internet, have taken jobs away from middle-class information industry workers.  But this trend isn’t just limited to information workers.  Mims points out that technologies have displaced mass numbers of workers before:  90% of all workers in the 1800s worked in agriculture – now just 2%; 33% of US workers were in manufacturing a few decades ago – now less than 10%.  According to a recent AP study, in the last decade “…two-thirds of the 7.6 million middle-class jobs that vanished in Europe were the victims of technology….”

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Is Mims simply a Luddite, ranting against inevitable progress?  Or do technological advances come at a high cost, especially to the very workers who are supposed to benefit from them?  What do you think?

The good news is that the US Senate finally met their Constitutional mandate and passed a budget.   The bad news is that it relies heavily on $975 billion in new tax revenues, but does not cut spending.  It focuses on slowing debt growth, rather than reducing debt, and includes a large deficit in the final year of the budget.

Normally, the White House also offers a budget, and all three are “reconciled” through negotiations.  But the Obama administration has announced their budget won’t be ready until April.  The Senate leadership has promised to work with the House on reconciliation anyway.  The House passed their budget earlier this month.

I thought progressive taxes and regulations were supposed to improve the lives of the poor and middle class. It’s hard to think of a place more progressive than New York City, and yet …

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According to the Census findings, things have gone the other way in NYC in recent years.  What say you, Mayor?

It takes dough to loaf