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The post-employee economy: computers displacing people »

The pursuit of efficiency for economic growth has social consequences. It is not sustainable, yet most persist under the delusion that there is no alternative.

The Second Economy -- a term the economist Brian Arthur uses to describe the computer-intensive portion of the economy -- is, quite simply, the virtual economy. One of its main byproducts is the replacement of low-productivity workers with computers. It's growing by leaps and bounds, brimming with optimistic entrepreneurs, and spawning a new generation of billionaires. In fact, the booming Second Economy will probably drive much of the economic growth in the coming decades. Unfortunately, the Second Economy will not create many jobs. … Here's the challenge: In the past, every million-dollar increase in economic output generated on the order of ten jobs. In the future, in the productive Second Economy, it may generate only one or two.
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