Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prospects Creatively Destroyed

There's no cure for stupid, but that's not to say there's no rationale for broad-based discontent. What the chart doesn't explain is more than adequately covered by Ezra Klein and Richard Trumka. Klein:
[C]onsider the way elites have treated the decline of journalism jobs and the decline of manufacturing jobs. Both sectors are fundamentally suffering from the same thing: A technological revolution that has made the large, well-paid workforces of yesteryear into a competitive disadvantage in the modern economy. But where the decline of manufacturing was greeted with sanguine talk about "retraining," the decline of journalism has been greeted with something akin to grief. ... "[C]reative destruction" isn't easy to explain, and it's not very comforting to the destroyed.
I admit I haven't been sympathetic toward journalism's decline (Cf. here, here, and here) but whatever schadenfreude may be found there -- and I do cop to some of that -- arises from a disgust at the abysmal quality of the product, not from some undying faith in the great good god of "creative destruction."

If a large number of the gutless hacks in big-name media companies have to scale back and settle for imitation ivory back-scratchers, or gawd forbid find a different line of work, my face won't grow wet with tears over it.

But seeing no deus billowing out of any machinas, hearing no approaching hooves of magic ponies, I don't have the slightest idea what line of work to suggest to them -- or to the millions of sacked workers who formerly produced tangible goods and noticeable services in this economy, such as it still deserves to be called.

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