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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Luddite Falsehood

"The Luddite fallacy is the simple observation that new technology does not lead to higher overall unemployment in the economy. New technology doesn’t destroy jobs – it only changes the composition of jobs in the economy.

Historical background

The Luddites were a group of English textile workers who violently destroyed machines. They broke up power looms because they feared that these new machines were taking their jobs and livelihoods.

Against the backdrop of the economic hardship following the Napoleonic wars, new automated looms meant clothing could be made with fewer lower-skilled workers. The new machines were more productive, but some workers lost their relatively highly paid jobs as a result. It was this unemployment of former skilled workers which led to the industrial unrest and direct action."

Read the rest here.

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