Watching this after solving some supply chain issues (It seems I no longer own working headphones).
@DrDaronAcemoglu isn't worried about automation destroying jobs, but is worried about the U.S. capacity to create good jobs for people without a college degree.… Image
@KEBroady notes that Black and Hispanic workers are overrepresented in the fields most at risk for automation:… Image
@shawndubravac emphasizes that automation can lead to increased demand for complementary skills.… Image
@ZoeBairdMarkle notes that how we react to automation is a policy choice and investing infrastructure can change the future path. Image
@orrell_b notes the importance of non-cognitive skills in the future economy: Image
Asked about the policy changes that we need, @shawndubravac notes that we need to understand better what behavioral factors are stopping people from taking workforce development programs.

This is the subject of my final research paper with @ideas42… Image
@ZoeBairdMarkle talks about how we can encourage more on-the-job training programs with employers.
@DrDaronAcemoglu emphasizes again that technological development is a function of government policy and talks about how different taxes and investment can encourage more development of human *complementing* technologies.
@orrell_b notes that we don't know the skills that will be in demand in the future, and so we need to ensure that people are adaptable.
@RepBryanSteil suggests that labor shortages right now are driven by enhanced UI (which empirical studies by @p_ganong and @arindube and other have shown is largely false).
The overall assumption that there IS a labor market shortage also just doesn't add up, as I've discussed at @NiskanenCenter
@orrell_b notes that government policy (including UI or minimum wage) can affect take up of automation related tech.

I'd push more on this - that we should look for way to *encourage* firms to invest in labor augmenting tech! It's not something we should push them away from.
@WarrenDavidson notes that change is hard, but that it is inevitable. Things like CAD models have meant that we need less mathematicians in engineering firms.
@ZoeBairdMarkle "The Bachelor degree has become a surrogate for all sorts of other things - like experience."
@RepGwenMoore points out the complexity of the workforce development programs in the U.S., and how difficult it is for workers to navigate this.
@RepArrington brings up the classic Milton Friedman "If this is a jobs program, why don't you give the workers spoons instead of shovels?" question.
@RepArrington "Freer markets and fairer trade are the most effective forces to accommodate those making that transition [to automation] - we want more jobs, we want higher wages."
@RepJayapal to @DrDaronAcemoglu "Workers feel the rate of automation is overwhelming...we need to pay attention to who it benefits and why."
@RepJayapal "Which changes to the tax code since 1980 have encouraged businesses to automate?"

@DrDaronAcemoglu "The very generous depreciation allowances that allow companies to write off their investments, as well as changes in the corporate tax rate."
@DrDaronAcemoglu recommends a larger base for corporate taxes, reducing payrolls taxes, and support @SecYellen's proposal for a global minimum tax rate.
@stephaniebice "We have been so focused on college that we've lost track of the existing high wage jobs that do not require a college degree."
@orrell_b "The $15 minimum wage has become a moot point - wages are going up past that benchmark".
@orrell_b "Increasing labor costs increases the pressure to automate - and that's a good thing!"

That's right!
@orrell_b calls for decentralizing the workforce system:

"We need to put resources into the hands of workers so they can make the best decisions for themselves and their families."
@RepAngieCraig points out the importance of telehealth in pandemic responses.
@shawndubravac notes that telehealth for rural areas is dependent on rural broadband - as will many other technological improvements.
@RepAngieCraig asks about apprentices. @ZoeBairdMarkle notes that the federal government can do more to support apprenticeships, but also how important it is to recognize the skills people have now.
@orrell_b "One of the things we need to emphasize is that automation can alleviate not just economic challenges, but also social challenges by moving away from work that is physically challenging [and can lead to overruse of pain reducing drugs]".
@orrell_b "We imposed work requirements in TANF and I think it was a success...but at this moment in time I don't think that's the problem we're facing. It's not UI or stimulus payments, it's Covid."
@orrell_b "The solution to the labor shortage is ending the pandemic."
@orrell_b "Child care is what workers say is the most important thing keeping them out of the workforce."
@DrDaronAcemoglu "If companies use data to monitor workers , that's not an effective way of using data. We need ways for workers to control their own skills and their own environments"
I believe @KEBroady just mentioned the importance of learning SPSS and Stata in college!
@AOC fails to connect to ask remote questions - again, suggests the need for better broadband infrastructure.
@AOC is back!

"It's important that we diagnose economic problems correctly. If we talk about the 'skills gap' that suggests that the main problem is workers getting skills, not boosting worker power."
@AOC - do unionized workers have more job stability in automatizable work?

@KEBroady Yes
@AOC - "Germany has 5x the robots as the US, how we respond to automation is a function of labor market institutions".
@AOC Do workers know all the way they are surveiled at work?

@DrDaronAcemoglu No.
@AOC - Do you think workplace surveillance will exacerbate economic disparities?

@DrDaronAcemoglu - Absolutely.
@DrDaronAcemoglu One way of balancing how we use data is how much power workers have.
@jahimes: "My favorite part of this hearing was that @orrell_b, a Republican witness, suggested that UI wasn't holding back the economy and @DrDaronAcemoglu, the Democratic witness, talked about how the minimum wage can increase pressures to automate."

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More from @besttrousers

14 Oct
Yeah - I think this is the most important point.
We're used to thinking about unemployment primarily with respect to business cycle/involuntary employment.
But this is point at something that is pretty different. Basically that there are some people at the margin where a small change in their incentives will drive them into or out of the labor force.
Read 8 tweets
12 Oct
Feels like we are all discussing what pieces of the Reconciliation Bill can be cut. But, especially after last Friday's job report, Congress should be looking for ways to put UI back in. Me at @NiskanenCenter:…
With the enhanced UI ending last month, a lot of people were hoping that we'd see a big jump in September's employment numbers. We didn't.
Between this and the evidence that accumulated over the summer, it's getting hard to argue that the enhanced UI benefits were the main problem holding the job market back.
Read 21 tweets
8 Oct
Quick pause in the jobs day discourse! Yesterday, a paper from the Becker Friedman Institute came out, with new estimated effects of the CTC on employment (🔼) and poverty (🔽). I've got a response at @niskanencenter here:…
First - this isn't a methodological critique. See for that, and I'm sure other folks are looking at the paper now.

But how should we interpret the findings as given?
1.) The paper reinforces one important claim we've made before - that very few people will stop working because of the money they get from the CTC (what economists' call the "income effect".)
Read 15 tweets
4 Oct
@EconHembre Yeah - I think the majority of critiques can also be applied the EITC.
@EconHembre A plausible defense of the EITC is something like:

1.) Because EITC is implemented through the tax code, the additional administrative burdens are smaller. 2.) EITC is possibly a bit more legible to recipients.
@EconHembre You could also point to the existence of VITA. Not sure if that ways for (there's lots of support to file for EITC) or against (we need a whole program to help people receive EITC!).
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep
Echoes many of the points @PeteTheCitizen has raised about work requirements:…
Basically, a lot of ideas sound good at a surface level, but the actually administrative infrastructure to deliver them might completely change how they are actually delivered.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
"Remember the Return-to-Work bonuses that states announced to great fanfare last spring?

In most states, very few people have actually managed to get the bonus.…
I've been curious about this for a while- thanks to @ArthurDelaneyHP and @taragolshan for tracking the data down!
In 5/6 of the states, the number of people who got bonuses over the summer is about 1/20 the number of people who left unemployment insurance.

4,269 people received the bonus, while UI continuing claims dropped by 79,055.
Read 8 tweets

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