In the age of information and new technology, many jobs can now be handled by machines. Should this be a threat to human workers or an opportunity for us to redefine what work is? It’s important to look at how we can best use new technology to make our lives easier, more productive and better for the planet.
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Check out this collection of videos and podcast episodes focused on how we can embrace Technology & Innovation for a better future.
The Job Guarantee: What About Automation?
Professor L. Randall Wray, on with Steve Grumbine at Real Progressives, discussing automation and the Job Guarantee. One of the arguments sometimes made against the Job Guarantee is that, “well we don’t need jobs. Automation is coming and it will destroy all jobs. Trying to give people jobs is clinging to the past.” It’s true that automation destroys jobs. But this should be a good thing! If automation eliminates boring and grueling jobs, then this frees up people to be able to do things that are more fulfilling and creative.
Drs Steven Hail and Philip Lawn on why increased automation hasn’t led to a better quality of life
Drs. Steven Hail, economics lecturer at University of Adelaide, and Phil Lawn, senior ecological economics lecturer at Flinders University discuss why increased automation which despite leading to greater productivity hasn’t led to a better quality of life for workers as many scientists had predicted. For instance in the US, despite the growing number of jobs that are being automated, people are working more hours on average rather than less. It’s true that automation destroys jobs. But this should be a good thing! If automation eliminates boring and grueling jobs, then this frees up people to be able to do things that are more fulfilling and creative.
Macro n Cheese Podcast Ep. 71 – Labor Pains with Tschaff Reisberg
As MMTers, Tschaff and Steve understand the importance of fighting for a Job Guarantee. They talk about the myriad benefits which include protecting labor, stabilizing the economy, and preventing inflation. It also combats anti-immigrant sentiment; if your own job is secure, you have no reason to fear others.
Check out these related articles from our local community and beyond.
A collection of peer-reviewed white papers and working papers from our friends in the MMT academic community.
The job guarantee (JG) is a public option for jobs. It is a permanent, federally funded, and locally administered program that supplies voluntary employment opportunities on demand for all who are ready and willing to work at a living wage. While it is first and foremost a jobs program, it has the potential to be transformative by advancing the public purpose and improving working conditions, people’s everyday lives, and the economy as a whole.
On August 19, 1964, the then US President Lyndon B. Johnson established the – National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress. He established the Commission in response to growing concern during the deep 1960-61 recession that the unemployment had been created by the pace of technological change. Ring a bell! He wanted to an inquiry to explore this issue and come up with recommendations on how to deal with the possibility that automation was wiping out jobs and the future would be bleak.
Somehow, contemporary commentators including many on the so-called progressive Left are stuck in the ‘robots are coming for your jobs’ narrative, which then somehow morphs into a resignation that there will never be enough jobs for all those who desire them, and then surrender, we need a basic income to keep people eating.
This resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all; investing in nfrastructure and industry; securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and promoting justice and equality.
Links to progressive bills and proposals currently making their way through the United States Congress