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Technology And Technology : The Economic Impact Of Technology?

Decent Essays
The article begins with an example of how technology has evolved. Before the 1970s, gas stations had to hire employees to pump gas for customers. Today there are over 168,000 gas stations in the United States and very few of these stations hire attendants to pump gas. Maney then explores the true economic impact of the automation. For instance, the number of men with college degrees doubled and the number of women with college degrees quadrupled between 1970 and 2015. With more educated people in the workforce, fewer people are seeking unskilled jobs liked gas station attendants. Instead, they work for higher paying jobs and adding more value to society and the economy. Maney then describes some of the other benefits of automation,…show more content…
However, technology is already shifting the workforce. Ordering a pizza online or using the self-checkout at a grocery store are extremely common occurrences, but a decade ago these jobs would require a store employee. In the end, these are just technological improvements that shift the supply curve. Despite the fact that some jobs are being destroyed, this change benefits all consumers because lower costs for the producers leads to a more affordable product. He also mentions the impact of the new jobs that are being created. While a robot can control a car or make a cappuccino, he highlights the limits of this new technology. People can now focus their time, energy, and careers on creative thinking, complex problem solving, and social interactions. That being said, having a full-service gas station might be more expensive for consumers and producers, but the personal service will draw customers who are willing to pay for the experience. In this case, there is an added benefit of not using robots that the consumer is willing to pay for. However, the consumer probably does not care if a person or a robot welds his or her car together. With no added benefit, for the consumer, the firm will choose the more cost-effective option. One point that Maney does not mention is economies of scale. Often robots and artificial intelligence are not attainable for small businesses or
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