Tag Archives: Luddites

But Wouldn’t Robots Take Over?

Man, Economy, and Robot

Man, Economy, and Robot

Economists agree that the accumulation of labor-saving capital is responsible for the great growth of wealth experienced in recent centuries. It has allowed the productivity of the public to soar, which has in turn improved wages and working conditions.

Yet parallel to the phenomenal betterment of the life of the common man have always been vocal cries against the job-destroying machines. The robots, as it goes, are taking our jobs! [1]

It is curious that the opponents of the accumulation of capital are always drawn from the present generations. Many men and women today wax eloquent about the jobs this or that industry will have to shed because the machines are simply better than the humans. However, they hardly decry the capital accumulation of the past. If the machines that are being employed today destroy so many jobs, why not also speak out against and destroy the machines of the past? Instead of only fighting against the greater use of capital in today’s world, why not try to turn the clock back further? Instead of the steam shovel, reach for the old-school shovel. And before grasping it, pick up Milton Friedman’s spoon [2]. Finally, drop it and use your bare hands to dig in the dirt.

“what if robots become so good that they are better than humans at everything?”

Regardless of this logical conclusion, fashionable futurist philosophers of today ask the question “what if robots become so good that they are better than humans at everything? Wouldn’t we all lose our jobs, and hence our livelihoods, while the rich have their corporations run by robots and retain all their profits?” Continue reading

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