My understanding that technological improvements never have and never will cause a net loss in…
Michael Lorton

You’re ignoring that looms & agricultural improvements created unemployment — only the excess labor had the ability to emigrate. Where would you like Americans to emigrate to? So when you say you “understand” unemployment, would you care to explain how you understand it when you miss that major factor of 19th century unemployment?

ATMs became available in the late 1970s. It took ten years before they were omnipresent and people trusted them enough to deposit cash. It took another fifteen years before small companies could deposit checks without going to the bank. That’s a 25 year learning curve. Even so, my bank has not closed branches because some people still don’t use ATMs for businesses.

This article is positing 5 years — a change on the order of LPs to CDs.

Think of how many bookstore chains & record shop chains are now defunct because of Amazon. I love Amazon — it’s built for people like me who have odd tastes and who buy a lot of books and movies — but when I was shopping in Crownbooks or Tower Records or Sam Goody’s or even Borders, I was supporting stores who employed people in my area. And their wages were supporting other local businesses. Now those dollars are paying people in odd areas of the country & the Fedex or UPS drivers. I live in a city and people found other jobs.

But the smaller the city, the less likely it is that people found another job.

I’m not saying we should not do this or that we should. I’m saying the problems are more complicated than “you’ll have an extra trillion lying around to spend on other things.”

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