Friday, July 10, 2009

American Workers vs. Machines

Jerry Bower's latest article is about how, essentially, the American worker has it too easy, has too many protections, and machines generally are better.
As long as we are pressing to less flexible labor markets, with higher minimum wages and more unionization, as long as we leave employers in the dark as to exactly what kind of government-mandated health insurance liabilities they're getting themselves into when they hire a human being, as long as we leave unemployment compensation as an unfunded mandate paid by employers with every growing durations of coverage, we will continue to tip the scale away from people toward machines.

. . . The micro-chip is the way the small-business class will survive Obamanomics. Unless and until Obama moves to the center or America chooses a successor who will the best advice I can give to you is this. Don't buy man-hours; buy machines.
I'm not sure how bad American Workers would have to have it before they would be more efficient than a machine. Slash salaries, end health-care, lower minimum wages, end unemployment compensation and it still seems like machines are a better deal, unless they are some very high maintenance machines.

But then again I'm not sure what jobs, exactly, machine are stealing. Certainly Bower doesn't speak to that; he just asserts that employers are buying machines rather than hiring people.

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