My colleague Ryan Radia and I recently sent this letter to The New York Times:
Editor, New York Times:
Catherine Rampell’s September 7 article, “Once a Dynamo, the Tech Sector Is Slow to Hire,” mourns the recent decline in U.S. data processing jobs. She blames much of the decline on the automation of previously tedious tasks.
May we suggest one way to get those jobs back: No more automation. Ban the use of computers for data processing. Imagine how much information flows through today’s global economy in an average day. Computers handle most of the load. That costs millions of jobs.
The effects would reverberate far beyond the tech sector. The paper, pen, and pencil industries would also boom.
Companies are dead-set on doing more with less. True, that creates more jobs in the long run by freeing up resources — and employees — for new ventures. But if only they would consider doing less with more, they could create more data processing jobs.
Ryan Young and Ryan Radia
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Wow – I’m amazed The New York Time would publish such an awful article!
Regarding the content — hmmm — when a “higher skill becomes a commodity” — isn’t it no longer a “higher skill”?
and on another note….
Just think what eliminating airlines would do to boost the auto industry!
I assume that your letter was sent with mostly humorous intent.
Still, there is a fair chance that we will run into long-term problems as more and more tasks are automated. You may be interested in an article of mine dealing with related issues: http://www.aswedeingermany.de/60Misc/50Automatization.html