In his New York Times column, Peter Goodman makes his case for Swedish socialism based on a one line statement “Now, the robots are coming to finish off the humans.” Swedish workers are less concerned because they have better safety nets, he says.
I was in Sweden last year. Yes the airline baggage tagging was automated but the trains, taxis, banks, manufacturing did not appear much more automated than in Japan, Germany or even in Orlando
But more importantly, for years now academia and analysts have been projecting massive job losses already. In my book Silicon Collar I analyzed projections from Oxford and Gartner from 2013. Not one job has been lost in the 5 years. Because they never bothered to talk to practitioners. Like any tech, automation is hyped, too expensive, takes time to be approved by regulators, broadly adopted by consumers. It takes decades. My book looked at the last hundred years of automation adoption. Just because tech is accelerating, adoption is not. I found several societal “circuit breakers” which slow down automation which allow workers to evolve to new roles or changed jobs. Because most automation targets tasks not complete jobs, it changes the nature of work more than destroys it. By all means we all should prepare for more machines, and even consider different safety nets but to suggest the Swedish socialist model is overreaching.
I wish he had done a bit more analysis on that projection about robots finishing off humans. He would have instead have titled his article WE ARE ALL FINE.