Nonsequitur: Technology Makes Us Poor?

March 27, 2013

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?

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