Despite valid concerns and anxiety about machines displacing workers, human labor isn’t going away any time soon. Tasks that cannot be substituted by automation are generally complemented by it. There have been periodic warnings in the last two centuries that automation and new technology would wipe out large numbers of middle-class jobs.
In the early 19th century, for instance, a group of English textile artisans, known as Luddites, famously protested the automation of textile production by seeking to destroy some of the machines. A century later, concern rose again over “The Automation Jobless,” as they were called in the title […]