What the New York Times Gets Wrong about Automation

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Saul Zimet

“Automation reducing the number of available jobs is a fear that has been common since the industrial revolution. Farms, textile mills, and other places of industrial production were already replacing workers with machines in the early 19th century and causing Luddite backlash. But overall, this process has always created just as many jobs as it has destroyed. The portion of the US workforce employed as farmers has gone from roughly 70 percent to less than 2 percent since 1840, but that has not left 68 percent permanently unemployed. Rather, whole new industries, unimagined in prior centuries, have emerged and employed huge portions of the population, largely facilitated by the capital and human effort that was saved by automation.” (08/27/21)