Friday, June 11, 2010

Was Rifkin right?

The Clarion Content saw a note that caught our eye this afternoon while reading David Brooks on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times. Brooks was discussing the effects of the economic stimulus package on the American economy and employment. He was defending debt reduction as the urgent priority now. The Clarion Content is not so sure.

Regardless, we were fascinated to see this tidbit about the nature of employment loss during the current economic turbulence, "According to a Hamilton Project/Center for American Progress study by MIT economics professor, David Autor, high-skill sectors saw no net loss of jobs during the recession. Middle-skill sectors like sales saw an 8 percent employment decline. Blue-collar jobs fell by 16 percent."

Brilliant, but controversial political theorist, Jeremy Rifkin was predicting this sort of employment shakeout in America all the way back in the first term of the Clinton administration. His book The End of Work, agree or disagree, should be mandatory reading for American policymakers today. It is, if hyperbolic, eye-opening.

The Clarion Content would argue that one way to address these unemployment trends, which are likely to whip up tremendous social tension if ignored, is to allow lots of legal immigration, priming the economic pump from the bottom upward.

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