Automation, Financialization, and Institutional Change: Challenges for Progressive Policy
Avraham Izhar Baranes
Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 2, 495-502
This article argues that the issue of “technological unemployment” resulting from automation is the result of ceremonial encapsulation within the process of progressive institutional adjustment. While institutions of production have adjusted to account for new technological developments, institutions of distribution have not. As discussed here, the main cause of this lack of adjustment is a financialized economy, in which shareholder returns motivate and dominate economic decision making and activity. As a result, gains and benefits from technological advances exacerbate existing income inequality and reduces the power of labor. I discuss this issue in detail before explaining how progressive policies that divorce private wage-labor from access to the system of social provisioning may serve to smooth this process of institutional adjustment caused by the introduction of automated processes.
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