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News Link • Employee and Employer Relations

Government, Not Automation, Destroys Jobs

• fee.org by Jairaj Devadiga

This kind of fallacious argument is nothing new. For the past year or so, newspapers have frequently published articles arguing that automation is to blame for job losses. Even seemingly intelligent people like Bill Gates have made outlandish suggestions, such as taxing robots, to compensate workers who might lose their jobs as a result.

Bad government policies are the root cause for unemployment.

By doing a superficial analysis, one may indeed say that automation causes job losses. But by digging a bit deeper, one sees that bad government policies are the root cause for unemployment.

Circumventing Regulation

Take the case of driverless cars. Driving is not a job that requires specialized skills. Low skilled workers are abundant and also inexpensive to hire. Why, then, is Uber so interested in developing driverless cars? It is because governments around the world have imposed costly regulations, or outright banned Uber to protect the taxi cartels.

Never mind that this creates an immediate job loss for Uber drivers, it also gives Uber an incentive to invest billions in developing driverless cars to circumvent the burdensome regulations.

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