An important headline from the Market Watch: "Amazon is going to kill more American jobs than China did." The story then goes on to explain that, though Amazon—a corporation that has transformed our city—kills jobs in related and non-related sectors of the economy, these jobs are not going to China. They are going to robots. The people who believe Trump will bring back factory jobs from China and elsewhere are probably employed in the service economy that replaced the industrial economy in the 1970s and '80s. While they are waiting for those blue-collar jobs to materialize in America again (which, of course, will not happen without a major shock to the system—surplus cash in surplus nations like China returns to the US in the form of debt purchases that enable the US to operate with a current account deficit), the jobs they actually have in the service economy are being eliminated by robotization (or Amazonation).

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reminded of this human-robot in Aliens.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is reminded of this Sigourney Weaver-driven robot in Aliens. 20th Century Fox

The US is leaving the service economy behind. But what comes next? The most rational answer is this: a post-work economy—meaning, an economy that has more and much cheaper free time. But the US is not, at this moment, engaging in any rational/realistic thinking. We are still going on and on about job growth, job security, and overtime pay. There isn't even any serious talk about reducing the work week, which provides many social benefits. Trump is promising more jobs because he would never promise cheaper free time, which could only be achieved by making wealth more costly. When wealth is cheaper, free time is more expensive.

In the 1930s, the greatest economist of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes, thought that the main problem in the future—which has arrived, which is on us today—wouldn't need economists to fix it, but something like life coaches, people who can show us what to do with the abundance of cheap free time.

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