The Great Decoupling of the US Economy

by Andrew McAfee on December 12, 2012

If you were in charge of the economy, you’d probably care that it could produce a lot, that it had high productivity, that it provided lots of jobs, and that these jobs offered decent pay on average. You might well care about other things, too, but if these four indicators were all headed in the right direction over time (in other words, UP) you’d be pretty happy.

So how have we actually been doing in the US? Well, as the graphs below show we’ve been experiencing a long, slow decoupling between the first two of these — output and productivity — and the last two — jobs and wages. For more than three decades after the end of World War II all four of these measures went up together:


The French call the thirty years after the war les trente glorieuses, reflecting the shared economic prosperity of the period. Well, we had a bit more than trente spectaculaires of our own.

In the early 1980s the picture started to change for the average American worker. There were still a lot of jobs available, but they started to pay less well. Median household income became decoupled from the other three stats and grew more slowly than they did. By the time of the 2001 recession, median income was lagging behind pretty badly. If we’re going to stick with Gallic labeling, the years between 1982 and 2001 were the vingt troublantes:


By the end of 2011, things had become much worse in two ways. First, median household income was actually lower than it was a decade earlier. In fact, it was lower than at any point since 1996. And second, the American job creation engine was sputtering badly. Between 1981 and 2001 the economy generated plenty of low-paying jobs. After 2001, though, it wasn’t even generating enough of these, and employment growth started to lag badly behind GDP and productivity growth (on all three graphs here, GDP growth is charted on a separate axis because it grows more quickly than the other three). The last ten or so years have been les dix déprimantes.

What’s going on? Why have the things that workers care about – jobs and wages – become decoupled from the the other things that  economy-watchers care about? So far, explanations for this unhappy phenomenon include tax and policy changes, and the effects of globalization and offshoring. These are clearly powerful forces, but there’s one other one: technological progress.

I’ve been talking a lot about this latter force here and elsewhere, and it’s the subject of Race Against the Machine, a short e-book Erik Brynjolfsson and I wrote that came out a bit more than a year ago (we’re working on a full-length sequel now).

Our argument, in brief, is that digital technologies have been able to do routine work for a while now. This allows them to substitute for less-skilled and -educated workers, and puts a lot of downward pressure on the median wage. As computers and robots get more and more powerful while simultaneously getting cheaper and more widespread this phenomenon spreads, to the point where economically rational employers prefer buying more technology over hiring more workers. In other words, they prefer capital over labor. This preference affects both wages and job volumes. And the situation will only accelerate as robots and computers learn to do more and more, and to take over jobs that we currently think of not as ‘routine,’ but as requiring a lot of skill and/or education.

As a result, I don’t see the four lines in the graphs above re-converging any time soon.

Over the past couple days this argument has gotten some attention and support from Paul Krugman, a Nobel-prize winning economist, New York Times columnist, and incredibly popular and prolific blogger. On Saturday he put up a post titled “Rise of the Robots” in which he wrote:

If this is the wave of the future, it makes nonsense of just about all the conventional wisdom on reducing inequality…

I think our eyes have been averted from the capital/labor dimension of inequality, for several reasons. It didn’t seem crucial back in the 1990s, and not enough people (me included!) have looked up to notice that things have changed. It has echoes of old-fashioned Marxism — which shouldn’t be a reason to ignore facts, but too often is. And it has really uncomfortable implications.

But I think we’d better start paying attention to those implications.

Erik and I sent him an e-copy of RAtM after reading the post. Krugman is evidently a fast reader, because his Monday Times column, entitled “Robots and Robber Barons” had this to say:

There’s no question that in some high-profile industries, technology is displacing workers of all, or almost all, kinds. For example, one of the reasons some high-technology manufacturing has lately been moving back to the United States is that these days the most valuable piece of a computer, the motherboard, is basically made by robots, so cheap Asian labor is no longer a reason to produce them abroad.

In a recent book, “Race Against the Machine,” M.I.T.’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argue that similar stories are playing out in many fields, including services like translation and legal research. What’s striking about their examples is that many of the jobs being displaced are high-skill and high-wage; the downside of technology isn’t limited to menial workers.

Still, can innovation and progress really hurt large numbers of workers, maybe even workers in general? I often encounter assertions that this can’t happen. But the truth is that it can…

We agree completely. As we wrote,

computers are now doing many things that used to be the domain of people only. The pace and scale of this encroachment into human skills is relatively recent and has profound economic implications. Perhaps the most important of these is that while digital progress grows the overall economic pie, it can do so while leaving some people, or even a lot of them, worse off.

Krugman writes that “I think it’s fair to say that the shift of income from labor to capital has not yet made it into our national discourse… but it’s time to get started, before the robots and the robber barons turn our society into something unrecognizable.”

The national discourse needs to acknowledge the Great Decoupling, and also acknowledge that it’s not going to be reversed by a couple quick policy fixes or even, I believe, by deeper changes to our educational and entrepreneurial systems. I believe it’s a simple fact of the technological era we’ve been creating.

I want us to continue this work of creation — as I’ve said before, unplugging the computers would be about as bad an idea as ripping up all the roads and closing all the schools — but as we do so we need to rise to the grand challenge of dealing effectively with the Great Decoupling.

How would you go about addressing this challenge? Leave a comment, please, and let us know.

Newton1PA December 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

True, but even the BLS report you provide confirms the trend is real.

Newton1PA December 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Please, enlighten us, what kind of jobs do you for see?

Newton1PA December 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Having just skimmed through all the comments I’m not surprised that no one has really addressed the main question McAfee raises: How do we address this challenge? I see a lot of ideological back and forth, fighting over old ideas, e.g. Marxism vs. Capitalism, that have largely been settled by the reality we face today. The fact is, we have never faced the challenge that is before us: as technology improves, the number of people needed to run things keeps getting smaller. Yes we may have a service economy for a while, robots don’t make hotel beds or cut lawns, at least not yet. But are these the kind of jobs we want our children to look forward to?

I teach high school Physics to Juniors and face my students everyday with this thought in the back of my mind: 5 years from now you will be graduating college, maybe, with over $100,000 in student loans and maybe a chance at starting a career making $50,000/year only to see this career vanish in 10 years due to technological innovations, yet you will still owe over half of what you borrowed to get your degree. How can I best prepare them to survive this scenario?

My goal is to teach my students as best I can to be critical thinkers and problem solvers and to hope they will be able to handle a world where the pace of change is growing exponentially. Will all of them be able to succeed in such a world, probably not, after all, half of them are below average, and many would have trouble succeeding in many of today’s service industry jobs.

What we need to do is stop being so idealistic about the future and recognize that the days of a growing middle class may well be behind us and the idea of doing better than your parents may be the exception rather than the rule. We need to expose students to the reality of this new economy and prepare them for some hard work ahead with a lower probability of success. Not everyone is going to be a Bill Gates or Larry Page. Not that I want to raise a generation of ‘depressed’ adolescence but, as it stands now, they have no idea of the challenges ahead of them.

Newton1PA December 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Having just skimmed through all the comments I’m not surprised that no one has really addressed the main question McAfee raises: How do we address this challenge? I see a lot of ideological back and forth, fighting over old ideas, e.g. Marxism vs. Capitalism, that have largely been settled by the reality we face today. The fact is, we have never faced the challenge that is before us: as technology improves, the number of people needed to run things keeps getting smaller. Yes we may have a service economy for a while, robots don’t make hotel beds or cut lawns, at least not yet. But are these the kind of jobs we want our children to look forward to?

I teach high school Physics to Juniors and face my students everyday with this thought in the back of my mind: 5 years from now you will be graduating college, maybe, with over $100,000 in student loans and maybe a chance at starting a career making $50,000/year only to see this career vanish in 10 years due to technological innovations, yet you will still owe over half of what you borrowed to get your degree. How can I best prepare them to survive this scenario?

My goal is to teach my students as best I can to be critical thinkers and problem solvers and to hope they will be able to handle a world where the pace of change is growing exponentially. Will all of them be able to succeed in such a world, probably not, after all, half of them are below average, and many would have trouble succeeding in many of today’s service industry jobs.

What we need to do is stop being so idealistic about the future and recognize that the days of a growing middle class may well be behind us and the idea of doing better than your parents may be the exception rather than the rule. We need to expose students to the reality of this new economy and prepare them for some hard work ahead with a lower probability of success. Not everyone is going to be a Bill Gates or Larry Page. Not that I want to raise a generation of ‘depressed’ adolescence but, as it stands now, they have no idea of the challenges ahead of them.

Anonymous December 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Well, of course it’s male-centric, that’s simply the way the world was at one time. As such, it’s probably the only real data we have about people’s decisions when they weren’t in the salaried workforce, and their financial needs were taken care of by a third party.

Certainly, even when one doesn’t have a salaried job, there are things to do (humans have to attend to bodily functions in the restroom, for example, or basic hygiene), including caring for ones’ loved ones. But you bring up an interesting point – what if the only thing left for humans, after otherwise complete automation of the workforce, is “caring”? I’d posit that so long as the wages for such jobs could pay for the ultra-low priced items produced by our robot workforce, we’d be doing a decent job as a society.

earwulf December 15, 2012 at 12:17 am

The solution is simple: we need to bring median income back into equilibrium with productivity growth. If we do thus, demand will meet supply and GDP will continue on its long run trajectory (modulo climate and energy shocks). As the Fed has often reminded us of late, we live in a country with a fiat currency, where the government can create and distribute as much currency as it thinks wise. So why wouldn’t we choose to have the government make up the difference between median wages and ideal private income levels by paying out a universal basic income? The idea of a UBI was championed many decades ago by Martin Luther King; back then, inflationary pressures might have suggested that a UBI would not be prudent, but we have to recognize that we are now in a new economic regime. We have the potential to usher in a new era of shared prosperity and freedom, we should seize it.

If you haven’t read this post by Steve Randy Waldman, you should. It’s relevant:
We need better mechanisms to keep the price level stable. Giving money to holders of financial assets isn’t going to work forever.

pfudd December 15, 2012 at 3:48 am

My favorite way to explain it to others is this:

Pretend you have two identical companies, A and B, that make widgets. Then company A buys a robot and fires one person. Even if the robot costs a year’s salary, company A is going to have more money than company B after the first year. Repeat until there are no more employees.

In 1870, 70-80% of the population worked at agriculture. In 2010, 0.6% did. Where did the workers go? They trained for and found other types of jobs, in new industries that were created by technology. They certainly couldn’t fill all of the jobs in old industries, as those jobs were already taken by other workers. Now, all the new technologies are computer and robot powered; anyone who is displaced now will have to fight for the dwindling pool of jobs. Already Watson can beat any human at Jeopardy, he’s being trained in medicine and law next. Deep Blue can beat any human at chess. Google is building self-driving cars, and California is about to or already has legalized them for driving in public. McDonalds has automatic burger-making machines. Some factories are operated ‘lights-out’, which means that unless something breaks, the lights (and air conditioning) stay off 24 hours a day in order to save money, since there are no people in the building.

Here’s a quote from 1955: CIO President Walter Reuther was being shown through the Ford Motor plant in Cleveland recently. A company official proudly pointed to some new automatically controlled machines and asked Reuther: “How are you going to collect
union dues from these guys?” Reuther replied: “How are you going to get them to buy Fords?”

“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not
yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in
the years to come-namely, technological unemployment. This means
unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of
labor outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor.” –
John Maynard Keynes, 1930

Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 7:00 am

How about co-ops? Companies need not be owned by a small group of people? They could just as well be owned by the employees themselves, pension funds, or other such entities that would ensure profit sharing. This would “solve” the decoupling of labour wages and GDP/profits discussed in the article.

Kirk House December 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

You can’t funnel welfare through businesses, it simply doesn’t work. You need to first look at replacing regressive taxation (think sales tax). The more interesting question is how to tax capital with out creating a new archipelago of tax havens.

As technology is an international phenomenon, it would be interesting to see this chart with data from other countries and figure out which tax approach best mitigates the consequences of this trend.

Frank Ray December 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

What you postulate is the only sensible way I see for it to go.

In James P. Hogan’s book Voyage from Yesteryear, Hogan relates a society where automation takes care of all material needs, not just the basic ones. No one has to work. But people have a basic need to exercise their creativity. If you find painting houses to be enjoyable, you can find someone who wouldn’t mind it if you painted their house. You don’t need to pay for supplies because they were provided by the automation. The person who’s house you painted, only needs to pay you a compliment.
Hogan, though, also addresses the belief that we can’t get there from here. The only reason it worked was because a whole new society grew up in the presence of automation providing for all material needs, with no prior exposure to money. When people arrive who grew up in a monetary society, the new arrivals can’t grasp how it works. They keep trying to find the catch and looking for the gotcha. Looking for a way to game the system, even though they cant find the system.

We’re not far from having the technology needed to build Hogans utopian society. What we need is someone who can find a way to get us from here to there. That’s someone deserving of all the respect the world can give. Until then, our capitalist system is the best thing we have going. It just needs to be allowed to evolve instead of people trying to coerce it back to the way it was.

Machin Shinn December 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm

It always shocks me that otherwise intelligent people like this writer forget to mention a KEY economic event that occurred in the early 1970s which clearly set this trend into motion. Look where the green line representing Median Household Income is at 1971, pretty much its peak — its also the last year American workers were paid in a GOLD BACKED CURRENCY.

The Nixon Shock of 1971, and the break up of the last link with gold that we had is the PRIMARY cause for stagnating wages, even in the face of increased productivity. How? Why? Simple, and its even something Keynes agreed with. Workers are unwilling to accept nominal wage cuts (‘sticky wages’) so Keynes argued we should inflate their wages away. This way, they won’t notice they’re getting poorer and will keep working. With an honest (gold) money system, this would have been impossible. There would have been armed, violent rebellions if people saw how much they were being robbed by the government and the politically connected owners of capital.

A Fiat money system hit the working class in another way. The majority of their savings are in cash, which under a gold system gets more and more valuable every year naturally as the overall economy grows. So just by stashing a few dollars in their mattress or savings account, the working class could have secured their retirement. Today, that’s impossible. People have to gamble in the stock market to get the rates of return they nee to retire — the rates of return that come effortlessly in an honest money system.

John Stoner December 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Exactly half the people are below median. Exactly half the people are above median.

There, FTFY. Average != median.

John Stoner December 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Right, but what happens when there is no unskilled labor left to be done?

John Stoner December 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm

These manufacturing and automation technologies have a different omega point than you seem to see. The desktop manufacturing/3D printing revolution is also just beginning, and I see no reason why many of these technologies wouldn’t end up in your home instead of the factory floor. Not to mention that some of them are (crudely) self-replicating, at this writing.

It’s really the death of the industrial model we’re talking about, and the birth of an economy with a more holographic structure, wherein production capacities are distributed across the economy.

It’s already happened in media production. You can produce and distribute a lot of media with just a laptop.

Anonymous December 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I’m not sure if that’s ever the case. It would take quite a bit of automation to replace the unskilled labor of a prostitute – I mean, at that point, you’d be pressing the boundaries of the definition of humanity.

It might be that unskilled labor simply becomes a luxury item, or a status symbol, but there are a surprising number of unskilled things that humans are good at that are difficult to automate.

David Van Couvering December 17, 2012 at 1:46 am

Isn’t there some economic wall that will be hit? If nobody is getting paid wages, then who is going to be purchasing all this shiny stuff being made by the robots? Robots? It seems like the market itself will be forced to solve this problem somehow, or the robots will find themselves with nothing to do…

Neil December 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm

This decoupling isn’t a long term problem, because “jobs” aren’t the point of an economy – satisfying needs is. All things equal, people would prefer to get what they need with the minimum amount of labor. Productivity makes that more possible. During times of rapid change that can mean some people suffer temporary unemployment, so solutions should be aimed at helping those people adapt. (Additionally, purely looking at income ignores the huge increases in health insurance contributions that employers have “paid” their workers over the past 30 years. Rather than raising wages, employers have increased health insurance because those increases are incentivized by the tax structure.)

Gregory Magarshak March 4, 2013 at 8:11 am

It’s very simple to describe, but rather challenging for us to solve. The situation is that local comparative advantage has been eroded by outsourcing, and the demand for human labor (both local and remote) has been eroded by automation. Now, this has been happening for hundreds of years, and the luddites are rightly laughed at today for trying to stop the progress by breaking the machines. But they do have a point — if the net effect on the labor markets is that the workers will be in a race to the bottom, then who really wins?

Of course, we can tax the capital just enough to subsidize the consumption activities of the population, making a permanent welfare state for everyone. This will release people from the effects of market discipline which may otherwise very well ruin the lives of many people and towns who are out of work in the new economy — as happened in the Great Depression. But is this really the solution? Research has shown that crime goes up in disenfranchised neighborhoods where people hardly help each other. On the other hand, crime goes down when everyone is locked away at home on their computer and independent of everyone else. The situation we will have is somewhere in between, being out with smartphones and google glasses, iWatches and other things, interacting with each other, but mostly contributing as consumers and not producers. It’s a scary world where most people will be the equivalent of poets or other liberal arts majors — trying to find a meaning for their existence, ever more plugged into the collective hive, which provides for them.

Humanity is doing this to itself. I wonder if we will ever become the Borg 😛

Michael Russell April 1, 2013 at 6:39 am

In a world of Abundance, the only sane response is happiness. Simply cut the legal work week by 10% each time unemployment = 10%, spreading the work and the profits. Until, at last, work is optional, and we all have the freedom to self-actualize.

Michael Russell April 1, 2013 at 6:54 am

I don’t believe you understand economics. If you work for a for-profit corporation, then reducing your work week will never lower your wages, you’re still just as valuable, and I doubt you workers will accept a pay cut. Thus, the company must hire more people at 30 hrs per week to fill all their orders. How will they get the money? They are already getting the money, they just keep it as profits. This will raise the cost of labor, eating into profit margins, effectively spreading the wealth.

Same goes for non-profit and government jobs, as work week hours decrease, it will take ever more people to provide the same basic services, homeland security, police, fire-rescue, garbage pickup, etc. You must either raise more revenue, or cut services, and I doubt people will accept a cut in services. Where will the money come from? Taxes, spreading the profit from all this new productivity and increased GDP, until it’s cheaper to pay someone NOT to work, an have them go to college so that they can do something really creative and useful.

In a world of abundance, each person has an equal right to their share of the planet’s resources for survival. Then true merit becomes the measure of your power, when you can create value, you will be rewarded with responsibility. Else, you will fall to the minimum income level, and be taken care of like children. Only those who live off UNEARNED INCOME, like Mitt Rmoney, need worry. Those who earn their living by their work, creating value, will always be climbing.

John April 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

How are all these stats calculated? I see a source, but what are they really measuring? Are they adjusted for inflation, and by what metric?

The notion that somehow the cost of labor is not directly tied to that labors’ productivity (outside of some interference on the market though gov’t coercion) is against all good economic theory. The decoupling does not exist, the productivity of teh average american is actually in decline for several decades.

Alvis Brigis April 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

McAfee and Brynjolfsson are right – nations and peoples need to become more cognizant about the cannibalistic nature of accelerating change. The situation is only getting worse, so it’s time to contemplate solution scenarios, one of which might be an explosion in paid info-gathering jobs:

Wu Hang June 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Shouldn’t we also include the curve for inflation. Though it may be obvious for someone, it would be more obvious for me to know the inflation throughout the year

Thierry Dagaeff June 18, 2013 at 6:54 am

The real issue is: what is it worth to increase productivity if people can no more buy the produced goods? At some points, there will be a major breakdown. Either you only produce luxury goods for the capital owners and some basic/survival cheap goods for the workers and unemployed, or you have to re-balance these curves at some point. Let’s consider the 2nd option (for reasons I hope are obvious). Now, how is the income/wage computed? What is the unit? Money! Consequently, you cancel the gap by indexing the value of Money on the Productivity. In other words, you just take this gap as the basic metrics of your economics system. By doing so, you make sure the produced goods can be consumed. It is still possible top be richer than your neighbor, since you can work harder, have a better position or better capabilities, or be the son of a richer father. There are still luxury goods that cost more money, so people still have motivations to enrich themselves, if this is how they feel (fill). To me, this is a simple way to synthesize what are in some other posts (like the UBI or etc.).

Besides, I have another comment: If there is no hope the gap decreases without taking drastic measures, the curve shapes will however change at some point. because resources are not infinite, productivity can’t increased indefinitely. Thus “natural” changes will happen anyway. Unless we consider measuring productivity taking into account other values than material goods. Two lessons here: we have to decouple productivity from economic growth, and growth from physical good.

Conclusion: I propose to mix (1) decoupling growth from volume measurement; (2) increasing the importance of non-material goods into the measurement of productivity, in particular cultural goods; (3) indexing the value of money on this new productivity concept. Note that (2) serves (1). For (1), see also topics like: new business models for sustainability, sustainable innovation, or social entrepreneurship. For (2) see also studies on motivation and money (see for the fun!).

Ben June 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Peoples Capitalism: Encourage mass investment, have banks buy stock and loan that stock to the people, get everyone to own capital.

Sven Kahle August 7, 2013 at 7:29 am

An entire paradigm shift is called for. The distribution of goods and services is facilitated through work, and for most, capital must also be acquired through work. An individuals very existence is defined and validated morally and spiritually by their contribution(work) to society. If the logical course of technological progress reduces the distribution effect of work beyond a certain threshold, the entire economic system becomes dangerously unstable. The works of humanity. Childcare, eldercare, education, arts and sciences are currently unvalued or undervalued should be considered as a means for distributing the wealth of an economy. This and other “redristibutive” measures will have to be the bridge to solutions that are too difficult to imagine for current power structures, a world where everything is free, and spirituality and morality and environmentalism govern. Sci-if writers get to work!.

SocraticGadfly November 13, 2013 at 10:42 am

A 35-hour work week. Customer service jobs that actually pay something, with employers who value providing actual customer service. Oh, and pigs flying, since that will happen in the US about as quickly as the other two, given the status of the two current “mainstream” political parties.

Joni Salminen January 18, 2014 at 7:12 pm

35-hour work week exists in France – doesn’t solve this problem at all. Increasing minimum wages shows in increase of prices, i.e. inflation. The problem is lack of skills — very big proportion of the workforce is unable to “control robots”, produce software, etc. The solution, rather than regulation, is EDUCATION. We need to increase flexibility of education and decrease its cost. Or, you in the US need to. We in Finland have it free, and although education cycles need to be shortened, the society works better.

Rita A King March 19, 2014 at 11:04 am

Great comment! As an HR Generalist for a small but growing Operations Research and Decision Analysis Consulting firm, I
partner with some academics in a capstone class working to prepare
graduating seniors for the marketplace. Although practical, at that
point, it is really too little too late. Many professors have an
overarching mindset that the “purity” of traditional education must be
maintained at all cost. This staunch elitist outlook however is very
expensive for all stakeholders involved.

The higher level
critical thinking you mention, along with advanced math, sciences and
people skills (collaboration and communication), provide our business
with a talent pool able to perform well in highly complex and critical

KhanneaSuntzu April 6, 2014 at 4:52 pm

A century ago those at the top would have concluded – “we need to eradicate 25-35% of the adult population, maybe a war or a pandemic”.

Good to know we live in more civilized times now.


Carolo199 April 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

What about a little less automation and a little bit more personalization? Technology, robots and automation are replacing people in the interest of corporate profits but they cannot replace relationship management. People are starting to miss dealing with a human beings and
companies should start to realize this in order to gain competitive advantage.

Jason Kalapothakis August 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Introduce universal basic income along with price regulation for basic goods; at the same time abolish the minimum wage. A host of other policies will be needed as well but I will not state them here in any detail.

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Anonymous September 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

I think what we’re missing is “need”. The years after WWII, there was great need. Need for equipment, need for workers to operate it, need for well everything since there was a great collective burning of the world. It needed to be rebuilt. There was even a great need for men since so many perished during the conflict. Today, the world is consumed with two activities… The movement of monies in a great game of ‘musical chairs'; trying to land in a good, profitable chair every time the music stops.The second is the world is consumed with building little gadgets, most that we really don’t need, just ‘want’. ‘Want’ has carried us a great distance the last couple of decades… but what many people in this hyperproductive economy ‘want’ now is to slow down, to rest. We’ve turned working from a marathon (a career that lasts your life) to a sprint that has us every day pouring our heart and soul into that day, that week, that year… at such a pace that can not be expected to last a lifetime nor at a pace those older among us could manage. We’re too productive for a world that only needs so much. We can’t slow down or we’ll individually lose our income, our wealth, our marriages, etc. We are as an exhausted rock climber, three quarters the way up the sheer cliff… We can not rest where we are, we must push on at all costs to make it to the top or fall to our doom.

robotwatcher October 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Create robots for the benefit of humanity–i.e. robots that equalize the gap between rich and poor.. also replace politicians and bankers with these robots–it’s time for the technological revolution to start working for humans instead of for rich people uninterested in human progress, just interested in their own profit margins.

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wowo December 6, 2014 at 3:22 am

sebagai orang awam di wajibkan mengetahui apa pengertian dari mesin yang dapat anda baca pengertian mesin selengkapnya yang mana setelah itu anda juga dapat melihat fungsi dari mesin cuci di baca fungsi mesin jahit di sini yang akan membuat anda mengerti apa kegunaannya. kulkas merupakan mesin elektronik yang wajib di miliki di setiap rumah, anda dapat mengetahui manfaat kulkas dengan baca lebih selengkapnya atau anda juga dapat mengetahui lebih lanjut dengan cara klik disini sekarang juga untuk mengetahui jauh lebih dalam mengenai kulkas. mesin elektronik sendiri sangat bermanfaat, bagi anda yang ingin mengetahui lebih banyak apa saja manfaat mesin elektronik bisa baca lebih mendetail mengenai mesin elektronik atau anda dapat baca ulasan mesin fotocopy selengkapnya untuk info lebih detail. selain beberapa referensi di atas, anda dapat membaca referensi kegunaan mesin elektronik dengan cara klik read more mesin absensi agar anda mengetahui selengkapnya tentang mesin cuci dan kegunaannya dalam kehidupan sehari-hari. mencari informasi harga mesin kini dapat anda lakukan dengan cara baca ulasan harga mesin yang mana tersedia banyak sekali ulasan bermanfaat, atau anda juga dapat langsung klik daftar harga mesin sekarang yang telah menyediakan banyak informasi daftar harga mesin. mencari peluang usaha dapat di lihat peluang selengkapnya atau anda juga dapat langsung klik saja info usaha disini untuk info peluang usaha lebih jauh. sebagai calon wirausaha anda harus cari tahu usaha terbaik selengkapnya mengenai peluang usaha, anda pun dapat membaca pada ulasan baca info usaha sampingan selengkapnya untuk mencari tahu apa usaha terbaik bagi anda. untuk anda yang sedang mencari informasi usaha bisa langsung klik wirausaha disini atau juga dapat membaca info wirausaha selengkapnya agar mendapatkan peluang usaha yang sesuai dengan keinginan anda. saat ini di perlukan banyak info terutama bagi seorang pemula dalam bidang wirausaha, maka dari itu anda dapat membaca info usaha lebih detail atau baca usaha lebih lengkap di sini untuk mengetahui seluk beluk usaha. anda juga dapat membaca referensi usaha selengkapnya di read more peluang bisnis atau lebih mudahnya langsung baca artikel bisnis di sini untuk mendapatkan informasi bermanfaat mengenai usaha.

Aye Ehl February 8, 2015 at 1:18 am

I enjoyed reading this article…a lot. It’s an excellent latest example illustrating the inhumanity of those humans having the financial, political and otherwise the wherewithal, ultimately backed by the use of “legal-or illegal” lethal force [we all know this is a key to their success] by way of their tactics to distract, trick, bully and drive those without their power and temerity- to apathy, complacency and cowardice, and even to voting for their own extinction (…all the while, using “taxpayer” dollars to fund much of their myriad means of “manufactured” human suffering, none-the-less!). And one must take note of the insanity of “first-world” inhabitants’ failure to organize, in an overwhelming united front- which is surely what is needed and can be done, helped by whistle-blowers, to stop the “elite” [in their own minds] club of minority wealthy and/or influential sociopaths and psychopaths who have and continue to get away with planetary plunder and murder. It is saddening and such a shame, to see the those outside this clique waste their creative intelligence for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful but morally bankrupt and criminal minded few to the detriment of themselves, their loved ones and the future of all species on earth. Sure, let the robots have it because generally speaking, we humans really don’t appreciate it [LIFE!], now do we?

For example, we let the so-called elites, the so-called “captains-of-industry” pollute our few sources of clean water without commensurate penalty. We allow them to contaminate our food supply with “the promise” of “genetic” modification [so many “secret” labs with “secret” (can you say, “intellectual property rights?”) projects] and then allow them to “force” us to eat it against our will when their bought-and-paid-for politicians and judges write and uphold laws which allow them to proceed, as the making of the almighty dollar now legally trumps our ‘individual rights” of choice and affordable healthy food sources. Poor bees. Poor plankton. Poor coral. Poor migrating bird flock. Islands of garbage in the oceans. Greedy, war mongering, resource grabbing “first-world” corporate-nations. And what’s up with the sudden proliferation of these so-called “Super bugs”? Over these recent past decades, weren’t we led to believe that, with the advent of “”modern medicine” and “modern science”, we would be protected from such onslaught of new and old disease? Not if it gets in the way ofsomeone making a killing (literally and figuratively [eugenicist and capitalist- aka, can you say, Dr. Mary’s Monkey?])! What is really going on in those “secret” labs mentioned earlier, and why have so many of these new biologists “mysteriously” died in recent years? And what rational “leader”, of the “first-world” order and a “nobel prize-winning constitutional scholar” [sic], would allow such havoc to be wreaked and the future of the human and other planetary species to be laid waste-by the monied interests of big pharma, big bank, big oil, big ag, big business and big gov’t, off the hides of and against the will of the masses? Well, one who is bought, paid-for and beholden to them and not the people, of course [can you say, non-verifiable electronic voting {there we go, “intellectual property rights” again.}]. Speeches mean little-if-anything, and actions speak megaphone. Here is another one that gets me…take, for example, books and noise being made by “titans” of the so-called “global warming” movement, and their quietness on the existence and reasons for aircraft laying carpets of “who knows what?” (l sure as hell don’t, do you?) in our skies- all across the globe for over a decade now. Could there be a correlation? Why haven’t the media reps, liberal, conservative, mainstream, alternative or otherwise- held their feet-to-the-fire on this one? Or how about this: are ANY of them even aware of the fact that “ALL THE PLANETS IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM HAVE BEEN WARMING?” ]. Really, the masses can stop this fast approaching train wreck- if they were to ever get off their happy/miserable “arses” and put a wrench into this current decoupling machine-en masse. Like, follow the lead of the people of Greece. It’s no mystery, it’s no secret and it’s no accident. The so-called elites are the architects of this manufactured so-called decoupling, which is simply another tool in their chest of horrors, just the same as manufacturing a cause for stoking the warmongering machine, Question is, for how much longer will we continue to allow the minority of murderous sociopaths/psychopaths in positions of power to get away with it? OK? Look at the faces of so many American homeless- emotionally disturbed, mentally ill and physically abused. They are legion- everywhere you go, all around. What are the “bots” gonna do about any of this? Ultimate question; what are YOU gonna do about ANY of THIS? You are the key to your own sustainability and the future in which you will live and thrive…no the bots! But we have all got to realize that the time for action is now and each of us has been chosen to act today, tonight. Go ahead, take a chance on making a difference, like the progeny of the black slaves and others whom so many wealthy slave owners have and continue to financially benefit from the punishing and deadly repression and suppression of rebellion which they have and do bestow upon the likes of people from, oh, say, “Ferguson Missouri”, and getting your individual or group name smeared, your character assassinated, your pocket book lightened, your head smashed and your liberty arrested, (at a minimum!) for taking peaceably to the streets (…most recently, like the “Black Lives Matter” activists and hacktivists, and the Greeks) for justice, in the faces of those working as the “compliance-forces” for, and, the so-called power elites because really, waiting until tomorrow to save your future may be too late. We DON’T HAVE TO allow the ones CURRENTLY directing our collective planet-wide path to a truly destructive, deadly and HUMAN extinction causing EVENT(s) [for example, can you say, ‘bots?”] future! Lets steer the future of the inhabitants of this great-big spinning sphere to not only a promising future, but a future that rationally rewards us all to a point of personal satisfaction, joy, peace goodwill and happiness for the remainder of each of our natural, individual lives.

Aye Ehl February 8, 2015 at 3:21 am

Read, “A Peoples History of the United States”, and when you’re finished with that one, graduate to and view” UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES”. You will be grateful for your education.

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