Reminder about post-scarcity economics
The middle-class feels poorer because the rewards of the modern economy, based on automation and information technology, are winner-take-all. Lucky people who are the first to discover and exploit natural monopolies become billionaires. Low-paid Chinese “stealing” American jobs is only a temporary gap before robots are able to do those jobs for even less per hour.
The problem is that we are wedded to the notion that the only way someone can be allowed to partake of the abundance of cheap Chinese-manufactured stuff, or robot-manufactured stuff, is if they earn their money in a job in a laissez-faire economy.
While one “solution” is to destroy all of the robots and to close our borders to trade with China (thus creating an artificial labor shortage), a better solution to the problem is to move from laissez-faire capitalism to a better way of allocating resources.
As much as Donald Trump’s trade solutions sound good in the gut, they are based on zero-sum pre-post-scarcity caveman thinking.
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paying someone $15/hour to do something a Chinese person or a robot can do for $1/hour is just as much make-work as having the government hire people to do pointless stuff and fund it by taxing businesses and the rich. And the government-created jobs could be more enriching and fulfilling. I sure wish the government would pay me to blog.