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Free the Labor Market

There are three troubling trends affecting how Americans work and earn a living: (1) the rise of the robot economy, (2) the rise of the gig economy and (3) the increasingly arbitrary way in which people get access to what we used to call employee benefits.

The answers to these problems (which are eluding just about everybody who writes about them) are: (1) deregulation, (2) tax fairness and (3) labor market neutrality.

Let’s take a closer look.

Robots. Tyler Cowen predicts that we are entering a world in which there will be two kinds of workers: those who work with computers and those who compete against computers. The world will be kind to the former and unkind to the latter, he says.

How many people are potentially competing against a computer? No one knows for sure, but economists Laurence Kotlikoff, Jeffrey Sachs and their colleagues estimate that one out of every three jobs could potentially be done by a computer. Driverless vehicles are the most salient examples. They threaten 1.7 million truckers in America, and another 1.7 million drivers of taxis, buses and delivery vehicles.

Unwise regulations are accelerating the trend. Robots don’t have to be paid the minimum wage. They don’t get time-and-a-half for over time. They don’t sue managers for sexual harassment or race, gender or age discrimination. They also don’t take vacations or request sick pay.

John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”

New from John C. Goodman!
A BETTER CHOICE: Healthcare Solutions for America
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to “repeal and replace” it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?

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