Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If The Facts Are Against You Ignore Them

America is right now a richer society than it was at some point in the past. For quite a while now lowering labor costs through machines/robots/computers and other "productivity enhancers," which is another way of saying doing more with fewer people or more jobs in low wage areas with little or no "burdensome" regulations, led to stagnate wages and under- and un-employed people because an economy so structured doesn't create jobs with the added benefit of increasing income/wealth inequality. If you don't believe me, look out the window. Still, Matthew Yglesias argues
[t]hat’s not to say the robo-waiters of the future doom us to endless mass unemployment and immiseration. If labor costs related to waiting tables falls, over the long run that’ll mean more and better restaurants with more jobs for people with specialized skills. More sommeliers and more chefs, in other words. Consumers will also buy more things in other sectors of the economy, so there’ll be more jobs for nurses and yoga instructors. On average, replacing labor power with technology makes us better off. But the specific people who are made better-off will be the people with the complementary skills.
 Just because the world is the way the world is because of a mindless commitment to Neoliberalism, he is suggesting, doesn't mean that continued mindless commitment to Neoliberalism won't fix the problem Neoliberalism has created.

What is equally appalling is his argument that if only workers wouldn't ask for more money then none of this would ever have happened. Yes, we should all just accept whatever the market demands instead of trying to end economic inequality by putting people over profits.

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