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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 6, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Robots, automation fill jobs in manufacturing, and soon beyond

Economists and politicians are not addressing change

I just read an article that appeared in the March 3 Seattle Times by Jon Talton [“Rise of the robots beyond assembly line,” Business]. I found it an insightful and provocative analysis of the effect of automation and robot technology on jobs.

What he and other recent writers have identified is a potentially catastrophic breakdown of the present economic paradigm. I wonder how many people realize the significance of this. Is anyone actively proposing alternative paradigms? If not, why not? If so, who? What might they be?

How many of the country’s economists and political leaders understand the medium- and long-term social consequences of such a far-reaching paradigm shift in the U.S. economic system or in the interconnected economic systems of other industrialized countries?

All I see are bewilderment and confusion among the majority of U.S. economists and politicians, who are so blinded by convention that they apply ineffectual solutions to effects rather than causes.

–William Manatt, Mount Vernon

Comments | More in Business, Economy, technology | Topics: jobs, manufacturing, Robotics

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