An image of a robot.


Kevin LaGrandeur on Surviving the Rise of Machines

March 13, 2017

President Trump has declared war on companies that send American jobs overseas and undertaken several initiatives in the name of protecting our middle class, but the real threat to American jobs isn’t foreign workers, it’s robots and computers, writes Kevin LaGrandeur, Ph.D., professor at NYIT College of Arts and Sciences, in an op-ed published in USA Today.

“Alleviating the worst effects of technological unemployment will require radically new approaches to economic policy,” offers LaGrandeur.

Reforms might include a universal basic income, a shorter workweek, and a mechanism for paying individuals when personal data is used by technology firms to turn a profit. “What’s clear, however, is that we can’t meet this distinctly 21st-century challenge with outmoded protectionism,” he writes.

Ultimately, the extraordinary productivity gains from automation promise to provide cheaper goods, economic growth, and more jobs. But in the short-term, there is a real possibility of mass technological unemployment.

“This historic upheaval in our labor markets demands a dramatic policy response aimed at smoothing the transition to a more automated economy,” he notes. Proposals like these may seem radical, but they are precisely the kinds of innovative policy solutions that this moment demands.

Read LaGrandeur’s entire op-ed.

This op-ed is part of an NYIT thought-leadership campaign designed to help generate awareness and build reputation for the university on topics of national relevance. Read more op-eds by NYIT experts.