Where’s the Omelet?

At Venture Beat Matt Bencke makes an argument I’ve made myself and still believe—that automation will create more, better jobs than those it displaces:

In conclusion, the printing press, sewing machines, combustion engines, ATMs, and “gig economy” (ugh) all caused massive disruption that was eventually very good in the end. Machine learning will have a much bigger, broader impact, and it will take less time. It is inevitable, and it is already happening (though it’s still early days).

The problem that he doesn’t step up to address is that automation isn’t having that effect right now. His tacit argument is that today’s workers just aren’t prepared for the jobs that are being created.

But those jobs aren’t being created. What’s actually happening is that the credentials required for the relatively small number of new jobs being created are rising. The jobs still don’t actually need more than a high school education but American workers are increasingly finding themselves in competition for those entry level jobs with foreign workers with advanced degrees.

We’re frequently told that you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Eventually, those who say that better darned well come up with an omelet.

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