The End of Work: 2 of 2: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job by John Tamny

May 19, 05:51 AM


(Photo: Articulated welding robots used in a factory are a type of industrial robot


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The End of Work: 2 of 2: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job by John Tamny

Bryce Covert is the latest pundit to fall for the silly notion that wages in the U.S. have stagnated since the 1970s. Implicit in what is laughable is that markets aren't just stupid, but that they're stupid for decades as they fail to incorporate the information that most informs human migration. In short, if Covert's wage assumptions were true then it would also be true that there would be no immigration issue for each side to play politics with. That immigrants have come by the tens of millions since the 1970s (a happy development in my mind) is the surest sign that wages have risen substantially since then. Having fallen for what's untrue, Covert concludes that fewer freedoms for the shareholders without which there are no companies and no jobs is the answer. Reliant on bad information, it's no surprise that her conclusions are even worse. The opinion piece can be found here.

It's popular to say that "grit" is the path to success. No, avoidance of grit is. Grit didn't make Warren Buffett, nor does is make basketball savant LeBron James. Both work endlessly, but their genius isn't pursuit of grit. It was finding work that didn't feel like work to them. That's why robots and automation are so crucial to progress. They won't force us into breadlines as much as they'll free us to specialize. The division of labor among humans elevates every human, and robots will trump the human division of labor many times over. Precisely because they'll represent hundreds of new hands as opposed to two per human, our ability to specialize (and avoid grit) in the future will be much greater. Robots will greatly enable human success precisely because they'll free humans from unnecessary work. The opinion piece can be found here.