“Lean In” and 8 Other Bad Business Buzzwords

“Lean In” and 8 Other Bad Business Buzzwords

A take on some of the key features of the bad business utopias that are busy colonizing the future. Photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images The near future is more likely to be a neoliberal dystopia than the tech-enabled utopia conjured up by big business, writes Peter Fleming in The Worst Is Yet to Come: A Post-Capitalist Survival Guide . He argues that we need “radical pessimism” to aim for the future we actually want, and aids the effort with sardonic humor that skewers the mythologies of our exploitative economic system.

In 1949, the right-wing economist F. A. Hayek published […]

What The Future Of Work Means For Cities

What The Future Of Work Means For Cities

George Jetson at work NOTE: This is an excerpt of Planet Money’s newsletter. You can sign up here .

Two weeks ago, MIT’s David Autor gave the prestigious Richard T. Ely lecture at the annual meeting of American economists in Atlanta. Introduced by the former chair of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke as a "first-class thinker" who was doing "path-breaking" work on the central economic issues of automation , globalization , and inequality , Autor strolled up to the microphone with a big smile. His talk was about the past and future of work, and he focused especially on […]

Opinion: Automation and our jobs

What’s next in automation as Missouri minimum wage increases?

Missouri’s minimum wage will increase to $8.60 per hour in January, thanks to the voter-approved Proposition B that appeared on the November ballot. The increase is part of a four-year escalator that will raise the minimum wage to $12/hour in 2023 for non-exempt employees.

Proponents argue it’s time to increase the minimum wage to help those on the low end of the economic spectrum, closing the gap in income inequality. Opponents suggest raising the minimum wage leads to fewer jobs that less expensive automation could accomplish.The Show-Me Institute, a politically conservative think […]

When It Comes to Robots Taking Jobs, Are We Asking the Right Questions?

When It Comes to Robots Taking Jobs, Are We Asking the Right Questions?

If they had feelings, you’d probably pity poor Waymo’s cars. The autonomous driving company ’s test vehicles have become an incredibly common target for vandalism, with human drivers running them off the road and other people slashing tires and flinging rocks. In the two years that they’ve been in operation, police say there have been at least 21 such incidents, reported Arizona Central late last year. That’s almost once a month.

It’s an elegant metaphor for an enduring dilemma facing technologists: People seem to fear the innovations that are not only supposed to make our lives easier, but free us […]

The World Bank Says Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs Yet. Don’t Listen To It.

The World Bank Says Robots Aren't Killing Jobs Yet. Don’t Listen To It.

Photo: Natalie Behring / Getty The World Bank has released its annual World Development Repor t, and the headline news this go round, as relayed by Bloomberg and others , is basically that “Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs.” Which, good news, if true.

“This fear that robots have eliminated jobs—this fear is not supported by the evidence so far,” the World Bank’s Chief Economist, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, told Bloomberg . More specifically, the report notes that for every job that’s been lost, new ones have been created. “This is the fourth industrial revolution, there have been three before, and in each […]

$15 Minimum Wage Is Bad News for Working Class Americans, Says Andy Puzder

$15 Minimum Wage Is Bad News for Working Class Americans, Says Andy Puzder

By Michael Teich

Restaurants across the country are facing higher labor costs and minimum wage hikes, and that could spell doom not only for the businesses themselves, but also for working class Americans, according to former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder.

"People believe they are helping the working poor, but in fact, you’re actually hurting them," Puzder told Cheddar on Friday.The call for a $15 minimum wage has been an intensely debated topic. Proponents claim it’s necessary to help workers meet their basic cost of living needs and shrink the income inequality gap, while critics argue hiking wages too high […]

The future of work in sub-Saharan Africa

The future of work in sub-Saharan Africa

African youth in agriculture Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 December 2018:

A recent IMF strategy paper says that “Far-reaching changes in technology, climate, and global economic integration are transforming the world of work in ways that we do not yet fully understand.”

The authors of the paper ask: Will the swift technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution raise the standards of living for everyone? Or will robots massively displace workers leading to a jobless future where only a few benefit from the fruits of innovation?Will mitigation efforts be able to cushion the adverse effects of climate change, including food shortages and […]

More sex in driverless cars?

More sex in driverless cars?

By Chang Se-moon Will sex be more common in driverless cars? At least some studies speculate that to be the case, suggesting the likelihood that more people will die in clashes of driverless cars, a byproduct of artificial intelligence (AI). (The Washington Post, Nov. 13, A15)
Besides more sex in driverless cars, one practical question that everyone is concerned about in AI relates to what types of jobs are likely to be replaced by machine learning. Machine learning is a sub-field of AI that could impact practically everyone in the labor market, including sex workers.
Professors Erik Brynjolfsson of […]

If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

In 1912, the first Horn & Hardart automat opened in New York City.

A combination of high-tech ingenuity and frugal convenience, the automat was a restaurant that cut out costly servers. Patrons fed coins into streamlined sets of vending machines to get main courses, side dishes and desserts among hundreds of choices.

The concept actually originated in Germany in 1895. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart licensed it for the United States, opening first in Philadelphia. But it became a Big Apple icon, a backdrop for many movies. As one appreciation described it , “Dining was communal and cafeteria-style, to the extent […]

G20: Digital change and gig economy rewire the world of work

G20: Digital change and gig economy rewire the world of work

When his daughter was born, Paulo Aguilar, a Chilean entrepreneur, wanted to find a new way of working — one that would allow him to stay at home and see her grow up.

His solution was to log on to Mercado Libre, Latin America’s answer to eBay, to find out what people wanted to buy. Soon he started his own company, Comercial Limax, selling pet accessories from his study, where his daughter could visit whenever she pleased. Five years on, the company is doing well, with a warehouse and a team of eight.

Mr Aguilar is one of many adjusting to […]