A flawed defense of neoliberalism

A flawed defense of neoliberalism

James Kircheck's defense of neoliberalism in the June 11 News-Gazette Commentary section, page C-10, has some gaping holes.

He points out that automation has overtaken "free trade" as the major source of job loss in the developed world, accounting for 85 percent of job loss, but the appearance of new symptoms hardly means the patient has been cured.

While it is true that fewer people are producing more goods, it is also true that fewer people are benefiting from this new economy. Job loss and wage stagnation have continued unabated since the '80s, while wealth continues to be concentrated in the upper 2 percent.

The economics driving automation will continue to eliminate both low-paying, labor-intensive and high-paying, high-skill jobs. At the same time, the continuing breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are reducing the need for white collar workers.

Mr. Kircheck's solution to these problems is a sort of "noblesse oblige" in which displaced workers are retrained and presumably relocated to fight for whatever is left.

While some may see the golden age of capitalism from their penthouse view to others, it may be more apparent in the rearview mirror.

MARK FITZGERALD

Urbana

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