Here’s a paradox you don’t hear much about: despite a century of creating machines to do our work for us, the proportion of adults in the US with a job has consistently gone up for the past 125 years.
Why hasn’t human labor become redundant and our skills obsolete? In this talk about the future of work, economist David Autor addresses the question of why there are still so many jobs and comes up with a surprising, hopeful answer.
Autor explaining the “O-Ring” principle as the reason for this, said that as “our tools improve, technology magnifies our leverage and increases the importance of our expertise and our judgement and our creativity.”
The second part of his answer is “Never get enough”.
“Our endless inventiveness and bottomless desires means that we never get enough, never get enough. There’s always new work to do,” Autor said.
Autor went on to say that nations must build strong institutions from the wealth created by technology, and use those institutions to prepare citizens for the kind of work that will be available in the future.