If the middle class is disappearing, who will do all that work? Robots? That’s the question posed by GOOD editor Andrew Price in his article titled “Automation Insurance.” From GOOD:
Economists will remind you that new technologies create new jobs as they destroy old ones. That’s true. When you have robots, you need robotics engineers. But those aren’t going to be mid-range jobs.
On the low end of the spectrum, we have physical jobs that we can’t automate yet (yard work, for example). On the high end of the spectrum, we have creative and cognitive jobs that we can’t automate yet (law and management, for example). But as technology advances, and it certainly will, more people are going to be elbowed out of the workforce.
We may be heading toward a future with plentiful high-end jobs and plentiful low-end jobs, and not much in the middle.
We are talking about perhaps 1/3 of the people in the US being unemployed if these mid-range jobs disappear. Where will the jobs come from for these people to earn an income? What will they do?