Commentary

Robots May Take Some Jobs, But May Also Pave Way for Us to Pursue Our Passions

By Bill Walton | January 26, 2018 | 3:54pm EST
Robot arm transfers aluminum sheets or blanks in a factory for Tesla vehicles. (Screenshot)

Sunday evening comes around and you wish the weekend had just one more day. You are just not feeling it. Monday morning, whether you’ll be sitting at a desk or outside on the construction site, looks to be a drag.

You wonder if you’re lazy—or is it something else?

According to John Tamny, it’s something else.

Tamny, the editor of RealClearMarkets and a policy director at FreedomWorks, spoke with me on “The Bill Walton Show” about his soon-to-be-released book “The End of Work.”

“It’s not laziness.” Tamny believes “it’s that you’re in the wrong job.”

There’s a lot of hand-wringing by policy gurus that technology and automation will kill off millions of jobs. Instead, Tamny observes that many more millions of jobs will be created by productivity-enhancing technologies and economic growth.

Yes, there will be fewer manufacturing and truck-driving jobs, but the new jobs created will be far more interesting and engaging.

In the movie “The Graduate,” the magic word was “plastics.” Today it’s “robots.” If you’re sick of your job, technology is your friend, not your enemy.

Technology-driven economic growth is driving an explosion of work choices that make employment seem less like work.

Doubtful? Look at some of the careers that were nonexistent in the less wealthy world of the past: video gamers, Instagram influencers, dog walkers, and policy wonks (one of which Tamny would admit to being).

The historical reality is that a rising tide really does lift all boats. As the U.S. and global economy continues to grow, more and more people will get the chance to pursue the kind of work that most matches their skills, excites their passions, and elevates their unique intelligence.

 

Tamny reminds us, “People pining away for the good old days forget that most people worked long, brutal hours in steel mills and mines.”

Robust economic growth frees us up from the burden of jobs that require little skill, are not satisfying, and leave most people facing Monday as a day of dread.

As robots replace humans in certain types of jobs, new, impossible-to-foresee jobs will be created, and fewer and fewer people will be going to work. Instead, they’ll be pursing their passions.

Please listen in on my conversation with Tamny about the end of work. This is a man who understands the future of human flourishing.

William L. Walton is the host of “The Bill Walton Show.” He is the founder and chairman of Rappahannock Ventures LLC, a private equity firm, and Rush River Entertainment, a feature-film production company. Walton is a trustee of The Heritage Foundation.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by The Daily Signal.

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