by John Mattingly
Imagine these two words spoken a thousand years ago, or five hundred, or even a hundred years ago, when most people were so survival-shackled the last thing they wanted was more jobs to be created.
An extreme contrarian might suggest that a 10 percent jobless rate in the U.S. is actually a sign of our success. We’ve reached a state in which one in ten people aren’t working and the nation isn’t falling apart. Not yet, anyway. In fact, this may be the new reality: obsolescence of the human worker. As a species of tool makers, we may have tooled ourselves out of a lot of work. Economists point out that innovation vanquishes certain jobs while creating new ones, but who knows? This time, maybe not. Maybe ten, or even twenty percent of the population won’t have a job.