For several years I have attempted to explain and prognosticate the future of labor in the developed world (e.g. see ‘The Great American Labor Squeeze’). I will try to simplify the cause of the growing systemic un/der/employment, that is ignored throughout our political spectrum, by introducing what we shall call the John Henry Law –
The company that pits its labor against another’s use of technology loses.
The workings of the John Henry Law are made clear by the lead graphic in ‘New People, New Jobs’. The law simplifies understanding of the vicious circle that all competing enterprises must join. If you don’t maintain your place in that commercial whirlwind, another will take it, and you will see the impact in your profit/loss accounting. The individual's corollary to the law is - The worker who pits his labor against technology loses. Labor is a cost, technology reduces costs.
Next case please.