There is not a finite amount of work that can be distributed throughout an economy. The amount of jobs are not tied to a zero-sum, “lump of labor”. Worries about immigration and automation taking away jobs and leading to unemployment are unfounded. Since the number of jobs are not fixed, changes in the workforce and technology lead to new jobs and or simply different jobs over time.
- Malthusian catastrophe is similar in that it argued food supply was fixed for any give population size
- Predictions about the future don’t account for new knowledge
- People are bad at long-term thinking
- Automation reduces marginal cost of nonautomated tasks
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Data from the World Values Survey suggests the population of high-income countries is getting more zero-sum in mindset. A possible explanation is that GDP growth at the time the cohort was born are correlated—if you see wealth growing you are more likely to believe there is enough for everyone and if you don’t see growth you are are inclined to believe people can only get rich at the expense of others.