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I was in a Rite Aid pharmacy the other day and about to pay for my stuff at their new bank of automated self-check out kiosks. I heard one woman behind me say to her friend, “Oh, I would NEVER use those things. They take jobs away from people.”
What’s that? You’d like to work for my small business? I appreciate your interest. And I, like so many others, feel terrible about how long you’ve been unemployed. We would like to do something about the situation. We’d like to help you. But there’s something you (and the woman from the Rite Aid) need to know. I’m not sure how to say this kindly so it’s best I just say it: many of us don’t really need more employees.
Of course the fact that you’re out of a job has a lot to do with the state of the economy. Growth is anemic. The uncertainty in the current business environment is holding a lot of us back from making the investments that we’d like to make. And regulations and the prospect of more regulations, let alone higher taxes to pay for our country’s deficits, are giving many of us cause for concern. For that we can certainly blame many: our politicians, the government, the banking system, the media…even ourselves.
But it’s not just that. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why you don’t have a job (and the prospects of finding a job are not encouraging) can also be blamed on someone else: Microsoft. And other technology companies like them.
Because there’s something else going on in this economy. Just look at the below chart. It shows that our country’s Gross Domestic Product, while growing at a painfully slow pace, is now higher than it was before the 2008 recession. And yet it’s...