Letters to the Editor

Innovation, automation have created many jobs

President Barack Obama told NBC News the reason companies aren't hiring is not because of his policies, but because the economy is so automated.

"There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers," Obama said. "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."

Using this logic, he could also say that bulldozers and excavators have cost many jobs. Just think how many men with shovels could be doing this work.

He didn't mention that robotics have to be designed, manufactured, packaged, shipped, installed and serviced. That requires jobs. He didn't mention that robots and other forms of automation do not go on strike, do not file grievances, do not take vacations or sick days, do not fall under the purview of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, don't have minimum wage requirements, have no health care costs, will work 24/7 and don't talk back.

The automobile cost a lot of blacksmith and buggy whip jobs, but consider the jobs it created.

Instead of criticizing businesses for being innovative, efficient and productive (and more competitive), he should focus on ways to make the government more efficient and productive with a lot fewer workers.

Roger Mitchell