Nissan's automated conveyor system Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

与机器竞赛

伦敦—减轻机器人焦虑已经成为商业辩护学的一个主要焦点。常识认为,越多工作岗位被自动化,就越少的人的有工作。这样的看法绝非愚蠢。一个显著的例子是无人驾驶汽车。如果汽车可以自己驾驶,司机和的士司机等职业会怎么样?

经济理论告诉我们,这是杞人忧天。给工人配属机器能增加他们每一小时的产出。然后便是不可避免的选择:工资不变,工作减少,或工作时间不变,工资增加。而随着现有商品价格的下降,消费者将有更多的钱用于买更多商品或不同的东西。无论如何,都没有理由认为会出现人类工作岗位的净损失——或发生除了生活标准改善之外的任何情况。

历史经验亦然。过去两百年来,生产率稳步上升,特别是在西方。西方人选择了更多的闲暇和更高的收入。1870年以来,富裕国家的工作时间减少了一半,而真实人均收入上升了五倍。

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