Henry Hazlitt has many beliefs as to why the economy does what it does and fluctuates from time to time. We explored one of his opinions in our previous blog about looking at the big picture and not just cutouts in time. Well this next topic could not seem more true to that statement than it already does. Hazlitt believes that not only does technology help our economy grow it provides more jobs than it destroys. This is a very controversial topic that has been debated for generations and one person who would argue this statement is Erik Brynjolfsson. Erik is an MIT professor at the Sloan School of Management. He not only believes that technology is hurting our economy but that it is destroying jobs faster than it can replace. These are two differing opinions and we will go in to depth about what each man's thoughts are.
Hazlitt's main argument is that technology is helping us grow as an economy and brings more jobs as a result than it destroys. This may very well be the case but he also states that people who argue these views such as the "technophobes" do not understand how labor works. Every where you work people are always trying to be more efficient and productive in less time, the same that a machine does when put to use. He argues that if we want to blame technology for the economy downfall then why are we as a civilization always looking for the shortcut or the faster way to complete a task if it will only lead to our economies downfall. Brynjolfsson's counter argument to this is the chart that shows productivity compared to labor. Throughout World War Two the two lines remained consistent and almost connected but once 2000 hit with the technology boom the two lines started to diverge. Now the gap is bigger than every and Brynjolfsson believes that technology is to blame.
There are many different points of view to these arguments and everyone is entitled to their opinion. After all no one knows the true code to economics as it is an ever changing landscape. One thing that can be certain is both of these men provide a good argument but Hazlitt's argument has more rationale behind it. Now that I have explained two points of view feel free to make your own decision or maybe come up with your own argument.