The Feedback

America may be innovative, but for some reason our technological advances aren’t producing jobs the way they have historically. Last week, we asked why.

Reader Maverick 18 saw the problem as one of outsourcing:

The problem is who has what technology? In the U.S. we have shifted massive amounts of technology to Asia in particular, and that’s where the jobs have gone. Jobs in smokestack industries have not been eliminated primarily by adding automation, but by replacing U.S. smokestacks with overseas smokestacks.

Reader Bob Kozlowski blamed government:[EXPAND More]

Automation has never destroyed jobs, redirected them but not destroyed them. It is government regulation and taxes that has moved manufacturing off shore. Ask any CA bureaucrat in the EPA, or other regulatory agency, and they will flat out tell you they (and they make the rules) do not want manufacturing. Until that simple fact is addressed and not danced around you will not have manufacturing in this country, automation or not.

And reader Deborah Hagar took the view that we’re not yet up to task of realizing the potential of our progress toward knowledge work:

The main problem is that we have not kept up with this transformation and built the right infrastructure to support this transition. You can train people all you want, but if you are not providing them with the ‘competitive’ skills to add value to their jobs, they are subject to replacement by technology. Technology can be our ticket to reigniting our economy, if we build the right balance.

On the topic of whether comedian Louis C.K. was being wise or foolish to sell his standup DVD free of copyright restrictions, reader John Goddard had this to say:

I like a good joke but giving away copyright on what you produce is a decision any creative person needs to consider carefully. Things that are considered ‘free’ often have little value to the consumer or business customer.[/EXPAND]