Technology vs Man

Topics: Unemployment, Great Depression, Economy of the United States Pages: 3 (991 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Technology versus man is not only a theme found in literature, such as when the scientist, Frankenstein, created the monster who came alive and turned on the scientist, but is also a theme found in the real-life world of American economy. The Economist is a weekly newspaper focusing on politics and business news and opinion. It ran an article called “Into the Unknown” which put forth the idea that changes in technology that destroy jobs can also create new ones. The machine (created by man) will not necessarily turn on the man to destroy him by taking away his means of making a living. Though the machine may eliminate one means of making a living, in so doing it may create a number of new means. When technology starts to eliminate jobs, it also creates an opportunity to profit from the creation of new jobs. “Into the Unknown” says the fear that a rise in technology would cause a decline in jobs is not a new one. In 1929 American economist Stuart Chase in his book Men and Machines, made the prediction that the creation of machines to do the work that man once did would soon destroy the American economy. The machines would go on producing the same amount of product, but jobless people would not have the money to buy the product. He felt that this economic disaster was just around the corner. Time has proven him wrong according to this article. What Chase didn’t understand was that the machine that destroyed one job set the course for the creation of new, possibly unthought-of jobs. Economic predictions are often wrong and short-sighted. Even short-term labor-market predictions can be wrong as seen in the 1988 example of the twenty occupations that the government predicted would suffer the most job losses between 1988 and 2000. Half of those occupations gained jobs instead of lost. The fear of out-sourcing jobs to other countries is another modern day economic fear according this article; but the author feels out-sourcing could be a way of getting rid of less...
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