Note: The content of this writeup has become redundant by the nuking of TheLady's writeup which used to be right above mine. The rest of my writeup is preserved below:
TheLady: If a machine is invented that can do the work of 100 workers, what should be done for the sake of the poor workers? Ban its use? Lynch the inventor?
Perhaps society would be better off before the invention of the loom, which drove thousands of cloth weavers out of business as it allowed one person to do the job of many. How about the printing press? Before that was invented, books could only be copied by hand, a painstakingly long process. Goodness knows how many book copying monks were told that their services were no longer necessary ...
Yup. That's capitalism for you. If you don't like it, I suggest that you start learning how to weave.
TheLady again - Technological change tends to be stepwise rather than gradual. There will always be sudden changes in the workforce. The workers can either adapt, find new work elsewhere or they can be retrenched. It is that simple.
The other thing is that capital risked for development of the same robot did not come out of the workers who have yet to be retrenched. Someone with money (not necessarily even someone from the same company) risked his/her money in order to develop the new machine. That the workers become redundant is coincidental.
It is the way of things. It happens all the time in nature but when it happens to humans, all sorts of whining usually eventuates even though it there usually are all sorts of warning signs long before the eventual deadline.
The important point here is someone risked money in development. All too many projects die and the ones that survive tend to do well because they have proven that they can survive in the marketplace. People lose money on failed projects.
As I see it, the best economy is one where interference from the government is limited to ensuring that nobody breaks the law. Trying to fiddle with interest rates, taxation policies and the currency markets is like trying to wash your car with a lever controlling the release of water from the Hoover dam as your tap.