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View Diary: Krugman EVISCERATES (!) Ryan-Rand (and thus Romney) (172 comments)

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  •  neo-Luddism might be in our future (1+ / 0-)
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    Ian Reifowitz

    Even the Luddites were not against technology in and of itself.  They were against technology that either A) put people out of work, an essentially permanent state at a time when education was beyond the reach of most, and B) technology that took all the skill out of the work that remained and reduced people to what were essentially machines: endlessly performing a single and very limited task.

    It's an interesting assumption that more and better machines will result in broader prosperity and/or greater leisure rather than an ever larger superfluous underclass, especially as computers take over thinking tasks just as robots have taken over many physical tasks.

    Supposedly a Roman emperor was approached by an inventor who presented him with a machine to automate some necessary but tedious and labor-intensive task. The emperor praised his ingenuity but rejected his invention, saying: "You must let me feed the poor plebs."  The task in question was apparently also an important jobs program where Rome's restless hordes of unskilled laborers - usually farmers who lost their land to large plantations worked by slaves - could earn room and board.  But Ayn Rand would have had utter contempt for that kind of thinking, arguing instead that anywhere a machine can replace a man - especially one in need of a jobs program - it should do so, ideally leaving only those she judged worthy: emperors and plantation owners.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:21:04 AM PDT

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