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And we get?

Let's annotate Economist's View:

The [economists'] idea is that the labor [workers] that is [who are] freed up [DISemployed] from the increased productivity will be used [indeed] to produce new goods and services thereby increasing the quantity and variety [although not necessarily the happiness] of the nation [whose nation?]'s output. In a dynamic, growing economy, even though there's a delay before the new jobs appear (and hence a need to help workers through the transition), the new jobs are supposed to be even [even?] better than the old ones. But as workers [although not economists, at least those with tenure] look forward, the fear [whose fear?] is that that won't be the case. [That's not a bug. It's a feature.] Workers [although not economists] who have lost jobs face an uncertain future where, if they can get new jobs at all, they are unlikely to pay as well or have the same level of benefits as the jobs they lost [note lack of agency; "were taken" might be preferable]. New workers do not appear to have the same opportunities that their parents had, particularly workers without a college degree.

If workers could be assured that rising productivity would translate into better jobs and higher pay, the outlook would be different. But the last several decades of stagnant wages [the neo-liberal era] have undermined that promise. The growth that has occurred was not widely shared -- it did not trickle down as promised [by whom?] -- and the frustrations and uncertainties [who's uncertain? I'm not uncertain. Are you uncertain?] households have are understandable. It's a mistake to think that just because the economy starts growing again, all will be well [for whom?]. If the growth that occurs post-recession simply picks up where pre-recession growth left off, i.e. with income gains flowing mainly to the upper classes, and with even more income inequality than we [what you mean, "we"?] have now, the frustrations and tensions [whose?] will continue to build and our ["we"?] troubles will not have ended.

Thoma, like Krugman and DeLong, is one of the "good professors." And yet how inadequate, indeed crippling, the analytical tools of their chosen profession are! Note especially the silent shift from "labor," the purchased abstraction, to "workers" -- real people experiencing loss, pain, and death. It's expedient that some die for the good of the banksters; cf. John 18:14.

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