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Home » Martin Ford: How We’ll Earn Money in a Future Without Jobs (Transcript)

Martin Ford: How We’ll Earn Money in a Future Without Jobs (Transcript)

Martin Ford

Here is the full transcript of Martin Ford’s TED Talk: How We’ll Earn Money in a Future Without Jobs.

Listen to the MP3 audio: How we’ll earn money in a future without jobs by Martin Ford


I’m going to begin with a scary question: Are we heading toward a future without jobs?

The remarkable progress that we’re seeing in technologies like self-driving cars has led to an explosion of interest
in this question. But because it’s something that’s been asked so many times in the past, maybe what we should really be asking is whether this time is really different.

The fear that automation might displace workers and potentially lead to lots of unemployment goes back at a minimum 200 years to the Luddite revolts in England. And since then this concern has come up again and again.

I’m going to guess that most of you have probably never heard of the Triple Revolution report. But this was a very prominent report. It was put together by a brilliant group of people. It actually included two Nobel laureates.

And this report was presented to the President of the United States, and it argued that the U.S. was on the brink of economic and social upheaval because industrial automation was going to put millions of people out of work.

Now that report was delivered to President Lyndon Johnson in March of 1964. So that’s now over 50 years and of course that hasn’t really happened. And that’s been the story again and again. This alarm has been raised repeatedly but it’s always been a false alarm.

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