Continuing Conversation... McAfee, McArdle, and Ohanian on the Future of Work
By Amy Willis
This week’s EconTalk was a live episode.
Share these prompts with your friends, family, students, and co-workers.
Check Your Understanding:
1. Ohanian argues that recent changes in the workforce are not the result of the recent recession, but many years in the making. What sorts of changes is he referring to? What factors does he think will govern the future of work?
2. McArdle argues that to improve the future of work, we need to improve the culture of work. What does she have in mind, and how likely is the cultural change she seeks?
3. McAfee argues that cries of “technological unemployment” have all been wrong. Why does he make this claim, and to what extent do you think he’ll be correct into the future?
4. Lee Ohanian suggests that a reduction in new business creation is making it harder for unemployed workers to find new jobs that pay well. Andrew McAfee argues that we’re doing a bad job with entrepreneurship in America. What policies might encourage entrepreneurship in America? Or are there policies that should be changed that are making it hard to start new businesses?
5. Roberts suggests that education is broken and that the current model of 15-30 students in a room learning from the teacher is not very effective. What might replace that model? What is stopping change?
6. McAfee notes Schumpeter’s famed creative destruction and argues that technology today shifts the balance more toward “creation” than “destruction. Kevin Kelly is another optimist regarding the potential of technology. Kelly thinks robots can- and should- take over the jobs of many individuals. Is his more “destructive” view of technology’s path more or less optimistic than McAfee’s? Why?