Posted at The Lighthouse - Volume 13, Issue 19
Last month Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) took to the House floor to protest the Apple iPad for "eliminating thousands of American jobs" related to publishing, paper production, and book retailing. The implication is that the federal government--or even iPad creator Steve Jobs himself--should have prevented the development of this new device or mitigated the enormous impact on the labor market that it has allegedly had. Jackson "manages to roll Luddism, class warfare, make-work bias, and xenophobia into a very tight and passionate two minutes," writes Independent Institute Research Fellow Art Carden in his latest column at Forbes.com.
At root, Jackson is guilty of myopia--of noting (and exaggerating) some obvious first-order effects of technological change, but ignoring its less visible, but very real second- and third-order benefits. In the case of the iPad, these benefits arise, for example, from the increased productivity of companies that make use the device's information-storage and appointment-management capabilities.
"When left alone, the market process opens two, three, five, or ten windows and doors for every door it closes," writes Carden. "We don't know exactly what these doors will be, but this is part of the wonder of the market process: when people are free to cooperate voluntarily, they are able to use their creative minds to come up with new and better ways to do things that we cannot possibly comprehend today--or that limited minds such as mine cannot begin to understand."
read the complete at the link above