Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paul Krugman — Robots and Robber Barons

Why is this happening? As best as I can tell, there are two plausible explanations, both of which could be true to some extent. One is that technology has taken a turn that places labor at a disadvantage; the other is that we’re looking at the effects of a sharp increase in monopoly power. Think of these two stories as emphasizing robots on one side, robber barons on the other.
The New York Times | Opinion
Robots and Robber Barons
Paul Krugman | Professor of Economics, Princeton University
Professor Krugman bites the bullet and hits the issue head on:
Wait — are we really back to talking about capital versus labor? Isn’t that an old-fashioned, almost Marxist sort of discussion, out of date in our modern information economy? Well, that’s what many people thought; for the past generation discussions of inequality have focused overwhelmingly not on capital versus labor but on distributional issues between workers, either on the gap between more- and less-educated workers or on the soaring incomes of a handful of superstars in finance and other fields. But that may be yesterday’s story.
The right wing commentators are already after today — George Will and Mary Matlin kicked it off.

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