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All: this article deserves a better discussion than it's gotten so far. It's a rare thing: a new angle on one of the absolutely most-discussed topics here. That's interesting, regardless of where our reactions all land on agree/disagree, like/dislike, us/them and so on.

If you're going to add comments to this thread, can you please engage with the specifics of the article?




This article got its central point not only wrong but patently wrong.

Remote work puts downward pressure on the highest salaries [think globalisation but on a smaller scale — poor countries are main beneficiaries of globalisation]. People with a low amount of opportunities will have more opportunities [upward pressure] and the highest earners will need to compete with higher number of people [downward pressure].

It literally decreases inequality.

The article points out that there is a difference in earnings and higher-earning jobs can be done remotely more often, which is not that valuable insight itself but it is meaningless in the context of inequality. People that have jobs that can't be done remotely are 'constant' in this equation — their situation won't change meaningfully.


Why is it meaningless in the context of inequality? Inequality is a relative measure, so if higher-paying jobs become more lucrative, while lower-paying remain the same, inequality has increased.

You can argue that inequality stemming from that doesn't actually matter, because nobody is worse off - but that's a different argument from whether remote work creates inequality or not.


But that is not what is going to happen. Jobs that can't be done remotely will be +/- constant — that's a simplification as there will be some second-order consequences like movements in real estate prices in both directions. Jobs that can be done remotely will become less lucrative [reasons above]. [There may be some second-order consequences like the unlocking of innovation, but that's speculative and hard to estimate economic impact here].

I have a personal, sad and rather extreme theory — anything that can be done remotely will be commoditized. But that's another story.




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