Think of it this way. Every time people predicted that automation and machinery would destroy jobs overall, they were wrong. Are they really likely to be right this time around?
And there’s more good news. If you disagree with me and are confident about your disagreement, you can make some real money. Another George Mason University economist named Donald Boudreaux recently offered to bet on the issue. Here’s what he wrote to a job pessimist:
I will bet you $10,000, straight up, that in not one of the next 20 years will the annual U.S. labor-force participation rate, as measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, fall below 58.1 percent—which is the lowest rate on record at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (The labor-force participation rate hit this post-WWII low in December 1954. And because the unemployment rate does not count unemployed workers who are so discouraged that they’ve stopped looking for jobs, the labor-force participation rate is more likely than is the unemployment rate to capture any long-term job-destroying effects of technology.)