Why there just might be enough jobs in the future, even with driverless trucks.

A TED Talk by David Autor — or just read the transcript.

. . . It’s foolish to say there’s nothing to worry about. Clearly we can get this wrong. If the US had not invested in its schools and in its skills a century ago with the high school movement, we would be a less prosperous, a less mobile and probably a lot less happy society. But it’s equally foolish to say that our fates are sealed. That’s not decided by the machines. It’s not even decided by the market. It’s decided by us and by our institutions. . . .

One thing’s for sure (if you ask me): lowering taxes on the rich won’t finance the infrastructure revitalization we so badly need, that would increase productivity and create so many jobs.

Nor finance the debt-free higher education that would prepare today’s kids for future jobs and reduce inequality.

(Nor finance Trump’s proposed military buildup that would rob us all.*)

Lowering tax rates on those best off is not the key to economic growth — George W. Bush proved that.

Raising them — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama proved — does not kill economic growth.

The rich are not the job creators, as Nick Hanauer’s fundamentally important six-minute TED talk explains.

As Autor argues: “Clearly, we can get this wrong.”  But we don’t have to.


*”Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” — DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER



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