Re: Speed, Technology, Progress ...

Stever Robbins (
Wed, 1 Feb 1995 19:20:28 EST5EDT

> Date sent: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 10:34:33 -0600
> To:
> From: (Randy Bear)
> Subject: Speed, Technology, Progress ...
> Send reply to:

> Jack, I agree that "a society which systematically puts people out of work
> is obsolescent". However, I'm not sure all this progress is really
> putting people "out of work". Maybe I'm an idealist, but I tend to think
> we are providing opportunities to refocus the energies of these workers to
> new challenges.

> As people lose work, they look for new opportunities of employment.
> These workers may acquire new skills through
> job training programs or formal institutions.

Check out the book "The End of Work" by Rifkin. He points out that
this theory only works as long as the rate of retraining equals or
exceeds the rate of job displacement. There is substantial empirical
evidence which suggests that jobs are being lost faster than
people are being retrained. Given that we can barely train
literate high school gradutes (New York Times, about four years
ago, summarized a study that more than 1/3 of high school graduates
can't read), I'm not sure that we even have the capability
to retrain on a mass scale.

- Stever

Stever Robbins
Accept no substitutes!
"You're only immature once, but you can be young forever."