Winners of the machine era: highly-educated workers & capital owners


The result is that, with the aid of machines, productivity increases—the overall economic pie gets bigger—but that’s small consolation if all but a few workers are getting a smaller slice. “Certainly the labor market has never been better for very highly-educated workers in the United States, and when I say never, I mean never,” MIT labor economist David Autor told American Public Media’s Marketplace.
The other winners in this scenario are anyone who owns capital. Only about half of Americans own stock at all, and as more companies are taken private or never go public, more and more of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people. As Paul Krugman wrote, “This is an old concern in economics; it’s “capital-biased technological change”, which tends to shift the distribution of income away from workers to the owners of capital.”
My take:
  • The article forget one thing: machines rely on energy and energy price raise can change the deal a lot.
  • It can be an interesting idea to share a bit more the capital if capital revenue become the norm of the machine era. Naive idea but fascinating idea...

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