Monday, October 26, 2015

Branko Milanovic — No one would be unemployed and no one would hold a job

Several days ago Steven Hill presented at the Graduate Center CUNY in New York his new book “Raw Deal: How the ‘Uber Economy’ and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers”. It discusses (according to Steven’s presentation; I have not read the book yet) the decline of trade unions, the future of jobs and robotics. It struck me that there are (In his presentation as well as in most of what we read), when it comes to the future of work, two narratives that often seem contradictory. There is a narrative of job-automatization and robotics whereby most of our jobs end up taken by the robots. Then there is a narrative of people working more and more hours as work intrudes into their leisure time: instead of taking it easy throughout the day as the first narrative implies, we would use our “free” time to rent apartments we own or drive our cars as taxis. According to the first narrative, we are in danger of having too much leisure time; according to the second, of having none.
Let’s consider the two scenarios in turn, and separately.…
But perhaps it may be better to think of the two scenarios as just one scenario that would combine lots of labor substitution with heavy segmentation of tasks (and much more intense labor discipline made possible thanks to automation). In that case, jobs to which we have become accustomed would cease to exist: lots of today’s functions will be automated, and for many others, “amateurs”, not professionals, would do them.… 
Global Inequality
No one would be unemployed and no one would hold a job
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

1 comment:

Peter Pan said...

This is the stupidest article I have ever read. His statement is nonsensical as he has failed to redefine 'unemployment' and 'job' - except perhaps in his own mind.

Wittgenstein must be spinning in his grave.