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We can't let robots steal all our jobs

Esther J. Cepeda on

For their joint study, Bloomberg and New America convened a commission of more than 100 leaders in business, technology policy and academia. The resulting report, "Shift," underscored these points about American labor:

-- The central role of employers in society has eroded, and we don't know what will replace them -- but we need "networks of small businesses, modern guilds, worker associations, and entrepreneurship training, while at the same time facilitating new ways to administer worker benefits."

-- "The future of work fails to align neatly with traditional political coalitions," and "for the first time, automated systems could affect prospects for people in every demographic and skill level."

-- We worry about millennials' ability to forge careers, but "the fastest-growing segment of the workforce ... continues to be -- and will be for the foreseeable future -- older workers."

-- The richest cities aren't reflective of the rest of the country: "Commission members from noncoastal areas and smaller towns pointed to discrepancies in education, technology, access to capital and networking opportunities. Long-distance moves are on the decline."

While it's fantastic that a group of thoughtful experts came together to establish ideas for ensuring that the remainder of this century offers meaningful, decently paid work, it's long past time that tomorrow's jobs become a national priority.

 

One thing is for sure: We can't let Silicon Valley and multinational corporations determine the future of our work for us.

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Esther Cepeda's email address is estherjcepeda@washpost.com.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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