Andy Kessler has a provocative column today in the Wall Street Journal. Yes, we're suffering high unemployment because the government has placed so many taxes and regulations on business--ObamaCare, anyone!--that hiring actual human beings is really, really expensive. But the economy is also undergoing some fundamental changes. To wit:
Forget blue-collar and white- collar. There are two types of workers in our economy: creatorsand servers. Creators are the ones driving productivity—writing code, designing chips, creating drugs, running search engines. Servers, on the other hand, service these creators (and other servers) by building homes, providing food, offering legal advice, and working at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Many servers will be replaced by machines, by computers and by changes in how business operates. It's no coincidence that Google announced it plans to hire 6,000 workers in 2011.
Andy continues to break down the service economy still further--he mentions "sloppers," "spunges," and "slimers"--as a guide to the kinds of jobs that will disappear next. Here he is on one more category:
Thieves have a government mandate to make good money and a franchise that could disappear with the stroke of a pen. You know many of them: phone companies, cable operators and cellular companies are the obvious ones. But there are more annoying ones—asbestos testing and removal, plus all the regulatory inspectors who don't add value beyond making sure everyone pays them. Technologies like Skype have picked off phone companies by lowering international rates. And consumers are cutting expensive cable TV services in favor of Web-streamed video.
Thieves. If, like me, you live in California, the public employees unions will likely spring to mind.
Any other examples you'd care to suggest?