Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Obsolescence – The first fruit of Innovation and Progress

In Opinion on July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Professor Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek (link here) criticizes a recent column by David Brooks in which Mr. Brooks laments that “manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises.”  The professor suggests that, unless Mr. Brooks forgoes the benefits of word-processing and other modern technological devices to produce his product, he’s contributing to the harmful outcome he so sincerely wishes would cease.

Of Mr. Brooks, I ask:

Which of your dearest relatives or colleagues would you propose we trap for life in one of those lower middle class manufacturing jobs?  And, who’s money are you going to TAKE to pay that relative to do something for which there is no market and no demand?  OH, and which up-and-coming young niece or nephew will you support while she/he waits another couple of years for the job that the foregone progress would have made necessary and productive?  Which grandson are you going to suggest skip college altogether because he’s going to be over-trained for a manufacturing job?

Progress and innovation produce obsolescence, true? Labor either keeps up or atrophies. That’s called LIFE. Get on board – you’ll enjoy it, . . . or die.  Either way, the world isn’t going to bend to your demand that it stop; unless you have enough guns, that is.  Ask a Cuban or an exile from the USSR. They’ll tell you what no progress feels like.

I want as much obsolescence as we can produce – every day!

What a great company motto that will be – WE PRODUCE OBSOLESCENCE!

  1. “…would you propose we trap for life in one of those lower middle class manufacturing jobs?”

    In case you haven’t noticed, the jobs that have replaced them are worse.

    Oh, and the Romans tried to outsource everything too. Didn’t work out well for them.

    • You didn’t answer the question. Who do you want to trap in the sweat shops, who do you want to do the jobs we ‘outsource?’

      Romans? What, for the love of god, are you talking about?

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