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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/18/14

Rejoinder to a Rebuttal of My Most Recent Article on the Transfer of Income to the Rich

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Reference article

To read this rebuttal in its entirety, go to the discussion in the reference article linked above.

The rebuttal, in bold italics, begins as follows:

Workers are getting more productive because of technology. Somebody has to develop and manufacture the technology that makes workers more productive. So, to some extent, workers laid off due to technology improvements must reinvent themselves to thrive in the new technology space or become unskilled labor.

My reply:

For a great many decades, technological advancement was met with an ever shorter workweek and everyone eventually regarded this shortening as fair. Why should it be any different today? At one point in our history, workers were expected to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. This seemed quite proper to the owners of factories and machinery, and to everyone with privileged income and social station, but to almost everyone else, it did not seem fair. So, by way of protest and organized opposition, the legally imposed length of the workday and workweek was reduced to 10 hours a day, and then, by the same methods, to 8.

Today, US workers put in as many as 300 more hours a year than their counterparts in Western Europe, yet economically those countries are doing just as well as ours. Take Germany for example: Their workers put in far fewer hours than ours do each year, yet their workers are by-and-large better paid. And the German economy is doing just as well as ours, if not better.

If they just become unskilled labor, they unfortunately compete with unskilled labor around the globe.

Precisely why they should not be reduced to performing unskilled labor.

We consciously let American companies use unskilled labor elsewhere. If we didn't, there would be no American companies left, they would all go bankrupt.

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)

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