Comment: I think you have it

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I think you have it

I think you have it backwards.

"...but part of it is also the impact of the lowering value of labor in general (as I see it)."

The value of labor increases as technology increases.

Example: A bike cost $16.75 in 1900 and the average income was $0.21/hour, so that means that it cost 4786 minutes of labor to purchase a bike.
A bike cost $104.92 in 1990 and the average income was $11.35/hour, so that meas that it cost only 554 minutes of labor to purchase a bike.

Seems to me that the technological innovations from 1900-1990 has increased the value of labor by around 9x (in terms of bikes).

How about some other commodities? 1 pound of butter cost 74 minutes of labor in 1900 as compared to 11 minutes in 1990. 1 pound of rice cost 20 minutes in 1900 as compared to 3 minutes in 1990.

If you're worried about labor being "obsoleted", what about the people who manually picked corn cobs who lost their jobs to combine harvesters? Surely we'd have far more unemployment today because people can't get a job picking corn!

The fact is that society adapts and there are always unskilled jobs for workers (in as much as we have no evidence that this is not true), as long as a government-imposed minimum wage doesn't price out that labor.