HOT BLAST: Not 'enough jobs for everyone who wants work'
Oct 25, 2013 | 1290 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sign seeking drivers is posted outside the Pearl, Miss., customer service center for Central Transport, a long haul transport trucking company. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A sign seeking drivers is posted outside the Pearl, Miss., customer service center for Central Transport, a long haul transport trucking company. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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David Cay Johnston examines the employment picture in the United States. (Warning: The following may produce deep sadness.) Why? Because, as Johnston writes:

The long-term prognosis is that America does not have — and is not going have — enough jobs for everyone who wants work, at least not under current government policies.

He examines the root cause:

The harsh reality is that today we can produce much more with far less labor. Not only is more work moving offshore; more work is being performed by machines, a form of capital.

The long-term trend is clear in Census data. About 90 percent of Americans were tied to farms in 1790. That fell to 41 percent by the 1900 census. It now hovers just above 1 percent of the population.

Manufacturing is going the same way as agriculture. It takes fewer hours to build a car now than in the past. Much of the work is done by robots. Even hotel chambermaids are at risk from automated vacuum cleaners.

In fact, any job that can be performed on a computer — engineering, tax-return preparation, financial services — may become automated or move to lower-paid locations that, while halfway around the globe, are only a fraction of a second away.



 
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