How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class”

New York Times; August 24, 2013

In the four years since the Great Recession offi­cial­ly end­ed, the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of American work­ers — those lucky enough to have jobs — has risen smart­ly. But the United States still has two mil­lion few­er jobs than before the down­turn, the unem­ploy­ment rate is stuck at lev­els not seen since the ear­ly 1990s and the pro­por­tion of adults who are work­ing is four per­cent­age points off its peak in 2000.


This job drought has spurred pun­dits to won­der whether a pro­found employ­ment sick­ness has over­tak­en us. And from there, it’s only a short leap to ask whether that ill­ness isn’t pro­duc­tiv­i­ty itself. Have we mech­a­nized and com­put­er­ized our­selves into obsolescence?