New technology offers both positives and negatives. On the plus side, it makes our world a more interesting place. It improves our lives and allows businesses to get more done in less time. The negative? New technology inevitably takes away jobs. The Economist newspaper recently had a look at the double-edged sword of technology.
As the Economist story says, new technology has always brought about a loss of jobs. This has been true since the dawn of time. The Economist's example? A century ago, one in three U.S. workers worked on a farm. These days? Less than 2 percent of U.S. workers do any work on a farm.
But as a result of technology, farms in the United States are more productive than ever before, according to the Economist story. Farms today produce a lot more food than they did when so many more U.S. residents were working on them. Simultaneously, the laborers who left farm life found, thanks to technology, different jobs.
The worry these days, though -- one expressed in the Economist story -- is that this isn't happening. Technology is eliminating a lot of jobs. But it's not creating enough new ones to replace these losses. The Economist says that it's up to the U.S. government to create new education opportunities for displaced workers so that these workers can grab the creative jobs that will make up the new economy. Will this happen? That's the big question.