The story goes that Milton Fiedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren’t there any excavators or any mechanized earth moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman’s response: “Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?”

In today’s WSJ opinion page, Mr. Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, questioned President Obama’s statement linking technology to job losses. President Obama last week stated: “There are some structural issues with our economy…businesses are much more efficient with a lot fewer workers.” The President added, “You see it when you go to the bank you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller.”

Professor Roberts doesn’t think advancement in technology is a “structural issue” He calls it progress. Doing more with less is what economic growth is all about. I thought Roberts nailed it when he stated in the article:

President Obama is wrong to blame innovation. A bigger problem is housing, where hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. The source of that problem isn’t technology but an over-reaching housing policy. The solution is to let the housing market clear….stop subsidizing mortgages, and clear out the foreclosure mess. That would let housing starts return to something like normal.

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