Advertisement

Job Collapse on the Way to New Athens

  • Amitai Etzioni
Chapter
Part of the Library of Public Policy and Public Administration book series (LPPP, volume 11)

Abstract

The case that America will not be able to replace jobs lost to technological advances is gaining adherents. Indeed, it is becoming one of the central issues of our time. This chapter assesses the economic issues around job loss and provides practical assessments of proposals like retraining, income security, and education reform. To address the quandary that the chapter outlines, the author then tests the core assumption that underlies the fear of a so-called Job Armageddon—that is, the assumption that income and materialism lie at the heart of one’s well-being. The author argues that society could improve itself through a shift in values that would discard the notion that wealth and consumerism are surefire sources of happiness. In proposing a realignment of values (and thus, economics), the chapter ultimately asks: can we find in community involvement, social bonding, and costless transcendental pursuits the answer to a fuller life?

References

  1. Andrews, F.M., and S.B. Withey. 1976. Social indicators of well-being: Americans’ perceptions of life quality. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arntz, M., T. Gregory, and U. Zierahn. 2016. The risk of automation for jobs in OECD countries: A comparative analysis. OECD Social, Employment, and Migration Working Papers 189.Google Scholar
  3. Barshay, J. 2013. High school test scores haven’t improved for 40 years; top students stagnating. Education by the Numbers.Google Scholar
  4. Bok, D. 2011. The politics of happiness: What government can learn from the new research on well-being. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brickman, P., D. Coates, and R. Janoff-Bulman. 1978. Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36 (8): 917–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brynjolfsson, E., and A. McAfee. 2014. The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  7. Cacioppo, J.T., and L.C. Hawkley. 2003. Social isolation and health, with an emphasis on underlying mechanisms. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46 (3): S39–S52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cain Miller, C. 2017. Evidence that robots are winning the race for American jobs. New York Times. Google Scholar
  9. Croft, J. 2016. More than 100,000 legal roles to become automated. Financial Times. Google Scholar
  10. Davenport, T. H., and J. Kirby. 2016. Only humans need apply: Winners and losers in the Age of smart machines. HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  11. Delaney, K.J. 2017. The Robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates. Quartz.Google Scholar
  12. Desilver, D. 2017. US students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries. Pew Research Center. Google Scholar
  13. Dorling, D. 2010. Injustice: Why social inequalities persist. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Engstrom, S. 1996. Happiness and the highest good in Aristotle and Kant. In Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking happiness and duty, ed. S. Engstrom and J. Whiting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Etzioni, A. 1996. The new golden rule: Community and morality in a democratic society. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  16. ———. 2013. A silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Journal of Modern Wisdom 2 (4049).Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2016. Happiness is the wrong metric. Society 53 (3): 289–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eurostat. 2017.Unemployment statistics, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-.
  19. Ford, M. 2015. Rise of the robots: Technology and the threat of a jobless future. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  20. Frank, R.H. 2007. Falling behind: How rising inequality harms the middle class, 29–42. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  21. Freedman, J.L. 1978. Happy people: What happiness is, who has it, and why. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  22. Frey, C.B., and M. Osborne. 2015. Technology at work: The future of innovation and employment. Citi GPS: global perspectives & solutions.Google Scholar
  23. Frey, C.B. and Osborne, M. 2013. The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerization? Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment.Google Scholar
  24. Frey, B.S., and A. Stutzer. 2000. Happiness prospers in democracy. Journal of Happiness Studies 1 (2000): 79–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. GAO. 2000. National service programs: Two AmeriCorps programs’ funding and benefits.Google Scholar
  26. Goffman, E., and W.B. Helmreich. 1961. Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Vol. 277. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  27. Goodman, P. 2016. Free cash in Finland, must be jobless. The New York Times. Google Scholar
  28. Graham, R. 2017. The retraining paradox. The New York Times Magazine.Google Scholar
  29. Greenstein, R. 2016. Universal basic income may sound attractive but, if it occurred, would likelier increase poverty than reduce it. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.Google Scholar
  30. Hechinger, J., and M. McDonald 2013. Harvard-for-free meets resistance as US professors see threat. Bloomberg Technology.Google Scholar
  31. Helliwell, J.F. 2003. Well-being, social capital and public policy: What’s new? Economic Modelling 20 (2): 331–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hicks, M., and S. Devaraj. 2017. Manufacturing in America. Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research.Google Scholar
  33. Hopkins, E. 2008. Inequality, happiness and relative concerns: What actually is their relationship? Journal of Economic Inequality 6 (4): 351–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ingram, P., and I. Katic. 2012. Does income inequality matter for life satisfaction? Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting.Google Scholar
  35. Kahneman, D. 1999. Objective happiness. In Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, ed. D. Kahneman, E. Diener, and N. Schwarz, 3–25. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  36. Kaplan, J. 2015. Humans need not apply: A guide to wealth and work in the age of artificial intelligence, 201. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Knight, J., and R. Gunatilaka. 2012. Income, aspirations and the hedonic treadmill in a poor society. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 82 (1): 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Korn, M. 2016. Imagine discovering that your teaching assistant really is a robot. The Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  39. Lane, R.E. 1993. Does money buy happiness? The Public Interest 32: 58.Google Scholar
  40. Lowrey, A. 2017. The future of not working. The New York Times Magazine.Google Scholar
  41. Magen, Z. 1996. Commitment beyond the self and adolescence: The issue of happiness. Social Indicators Research 37 (3): 235–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Manyika, J., S. Lund, B. Auguste, and S. Ramaswamy. 2012 Help wanted: The future of work in advanced economies. McKinsey Global Institute.Google Scholar
  43. Markoff, J. 2016. Machines of loving grace: The quest for common ground between humans and robots. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Matthie, R. 2000. Happiness: A guide to developing life’s most important skill. New York: Little Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  45. McEntee, K. 2016. Law grads still face a tough job market. Bloomberg Law.Google Scholar
  46. McGinnis, J.O., and R.G. Pearce. 2014. The great disruption: How machine intelligence will transform the role of lawyers in the delivery of legal services. Fordham Law Review 82 (6): 3041–3066.Google Scholar
  47. McKinsey Global Institute. 2017. A future that works: automation, employment, and productivity. San Francisco: McKinsey & Company.Google Scholar
  48. McKitrick, M.A., J.S. Landres, M. Ottoni-Wilhelm, and A.D. Hayat. 2014. Connected to give: Faith Communities. Jumpstart Labs.Google Scholar
  49. Miles, B. 2011. Spirit of the underground: The 60s Rebel. The Guardian. Google Scholar
  50. Muro, M. 2016. Manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back. MIT Technology Review.Google Scholar
  51. Myers, D.G., and E. Diener. 1995. Who is happy? Psychological Science 6 (1): 12–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Noonan, L., and M. Arnold. 2015. Thousands more bank jobs under threat. Financial Times.Google Scholar
  53. Nussbaum, M. 2005. Mill between Aristotle and Bentham. In Economics and happiness: Framing and analysis, ed. L. Bruni and P.L. Porta, 173. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Ollman, B. 1977. Marx’s vision of communism a reconstruction. Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory 8 (1): 4–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Packard, V., and B. Abbott. 1963. The status seekers: An exploration of class behaviour in America. Penguin books.Google Scholar
  56. Putnam, R.D. 1995. Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy 6 (1): 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Putnam, R., and D. Campbell. 2010. American Grace: How religion divides and unites us. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  58. Rines, S. 2017. America shouldn’t expect a job boom anytime soon. The National Interest. Google Scholar
  59. Rotman, D. 2013. How technology is destroying jobs. MIT Technology Review 16 (4): 28–35.Google Scholar
  60. ———. 2015. Who will own the robots? MIT Technology Review.Google Scholar
  61. Sachs, J.D. 2013. Restoring virtue ethics in the quest for happiness. In World happiness report 2013, ed. J. Helliwell, R. Layard, and J. Sachs, 84–85. United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
  62. Schwarz, N., and F. Strack. 1999. Reports of subjective well-being: Judgmental processes and their methodological implications. In Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, 61–84. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  63. Sen, A. 1999. Development as freedom. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  64. Senior J. 2006. Some dark thoughts on happiness. New York Magazine.Google Scholar
  65. Senior, J. 2010. All joy and no fun. New York Magazine.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, A., and J. Anderson. 2014. AI, robotics, and the future of jobs. Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  67. Stevenson, B., and J. Wolfers. 2008. Economic growth and subjective well-being: Reassessing the easterlin paradox. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.Google Scholar
  68. Strack, F., et al. 1990. Salience of comparison standards and the activation of social norms: Consequences for judgements of happiness and their communication. British Journal of Social Psychology 29 (4): 303–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sugden, R. 2005. Correspondence of sentiments: An explanation of the pleasure of social interaction. In Economics and happiness: framing the analysis, ed. L. Bruni and P.L. Porta, 97–98. New York: Oxford University.Google Scholar
  70. Suster, M. 2013. In 15 years from now half of US Universities may be in Bankruptcy. My surprise discussion with Clay Christensen. Business Insider.Google Scholar
  71. Tanner, M. 2014. The basic income guarantee: Simplicity, but at what cost? CATO Unbound. Google Scholar
  72. Tcherneva, P.R. 2012. Full employment through social entrepreneurship: The nonprofit model for implementing a job guarantee. Levy Economics Institute 12(2).Google Scholar
  73. Thompson, D. 2015. A world without work. The Atlantic.Google Scholar
  74. Tönnies, F. 1887. Gemeinschaft und gesellschaft. English edition: Ferdinand, T. 1955. Community and association (trans: Loomis, C.P.). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  75. US Department of Education. 2016. Expenditures on corrections and education. Google Scholar
  76. US Department of Labor. 2016. Labor for participation: what has happened since the peak? Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Labor Review.Google Scholar
  77. US Government Accountability Office. 2015. Contingent workforce: Size, characteristics, earnings, and benefits. Google Scholar
  78. Van Parijs, P., and Y. Vanderborght. 2017. Basic income: A radical proposal for a free society and a sane economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Wang, S. 2007. Aquinas on human happiness and the natural desire for God. New Blackfriars 88 (1015): 322–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wells, N. 2016. The ‘gig economy’ is growing and now we know by how much. CNBC News.Google Scholar
  81. Wilkinson, R.G., and K. Pickett. 2011. The spirit level. Bloomsbury Press.Google Scholar
  82. Wiseman, P. 2016. Why robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses. Associated Press.Google Scholar
  83. World Economic Forum. 2016. The future of jobs: Employment, skills and workforce strategy for the fourth industrial revolution. Geneva.Google Scholar
  84. Zhong, R. 2017. India considers fighting poverty with a universal basic income. The Wall Street Journal. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amitai Etzioni
    • 1
  1. 1.The George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations