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Self-Driving Cars Will Boost the Job Market, Says Marc Andreessen

A future with self-driving cars has induced a lot of anxiety about a resulting loss of jobs, but in fact, they’ll create tons more jobs, Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen (Wikipedia) said at Recode’s annual conference on Tuesday evening. “The jobs crisis we have in the U.S. is that we don’t have enough workers,” he said. From a report: “It’s a fallacy,” Andreessen said (specifically citing the lump of labor fallacy and the luddite fallacy). “It’s a recurring panic. This happens every 25 or 50 years, people get all amped up about ‘machines are going to take all the jobs’ and it never happens.” Andreessen used the example of the rise of the automobile industry a century ago, which many thought would cost the livelihood of everyone whose jobs were to take care of horses. But “the car then created not only a lot of jobs creating cars” but everything else that happened because of the car: Paved streets, restaurants, motels, movie theaters, apartment complexes, office complexes, the entire buildout of suburban America, etc. “The jobs that were created by the automobile on the second, third, and fourth order effects were 100X, 1000X the number of jobs that blacksmiths had,” he said.

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