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The productivity benefits of technology don't go to the workers. I'm not an economist, so I may have missed something, but isn't that obvious?

If your job is to operate the copy machine at an office, and they buy a new machine that goes twice as fast, do they double your salary? No, they pay you the same. If you run a company and a tractor or a computer lets you fire 100 workers and hire one, do you pay him 100 times as much? No, you might pay him more, but not that many times more. If you sit at a desk and a new computer system makes your job so easy that anyone could do it, will you be paid more on the basis of your increased productivity? No, you will be paid less, because there is more competition for your job.

In this economy, most people are worried about making enough to live on from a 40-hour-a-week job.

Paying people more or working fewer hours has to come from a cultural value. For example, a software start-up could try instituting a 15-hour work week, or a highly profitable company could try paying its employees way over market salaries instead of hoarding the cash or investing it in expansion. The article is correct in that respect; a company culture of getting to market as fast as absolutely possible will not result in any 15-hour work weeks.




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