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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 05:13 PM

38. Yet increases in productivity are a net benefit for the economy

Look at food for instance, which is one sector where the changes have been dramatic. 100 years ago, 50% of the population was involved in agricultural production. They pretty much had to be, as the labor of one farmer could only feed two or three people. Then came mechanization, the green revolution, industrial agriculture, etc. - now the labor of one farmer feed 300 people or so, and only about 2% of the population is involved in agricultural production.

Is that bad? Was it bad for farmers? Was it bad for people in general? The costs of feeding a family derive directly from how many people have to make a living by growing that food...when you had to support a farmer just to feed your family, food was very expensive. When you and three hundred others chip in to support a single farmer, its very easy. We have plenty of food now and its at historically low costs, and there are plenty of people free to do other things than farm.

...the same could be said of just about anything, from making cars to making clothing or furniture or whatever, where automation has raised productivity while reduce demands on labor and lowering costs. You can try to find something to be negative about (and global warming is one legitimate candidate) but overall productivity increases are a good thing.

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LineLineLineLineReply Yet increases in productivity are a net benefit for the economy
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