Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting

Think Technology, Not Jobs!

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | April 24, 2011

No. 607

The Allegheny County Courthouse, built in 1900. Talk about jobs is good politics and bad policy.

As former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, has often observed, farming was once a very labor-intensive occupation. The greater good of society was served by employing fewer people and more technology.  And so it is with all products and services. Increased productivity means reduced cost, which in turn means that the consumer obtains more value for his dollar and retains more of them.  By contrast, government policies that focus on preserving or creating employment as the primary focus do exactly the opposite.

The key, on both fronts, is technology.  Technology creates productivity, in part by reducing employment.  The personal computer eliminated the need for many secretaries and other helpers in law offices. Before faxes, my old office employed a small army of couriers hand delivering packages to other offices around town. Other examples abound.

So, instead of promoting employment as the focus of political discourse, why not promote the development of technology and technology education?  Continuous education, self-education and formal education, makes more productive and more employable workers.  Rather than trying to increase employment opportunities for what we already know, increase knowledge of technology as it emerges.  For example, the Apple Store will give you as many lessons on how to use the computer you bought recently as you want, for a very reasonable annual fee.  And don’t say you know all about it — you only know the functions you are using.  There are many more skills that, once you become acquainted with them, you’ll find you needed them and didn’t know it.  Then there is what will happen next week . . .



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

  • Recent Posts

  • Posts You Might Like

  • Subscribe to our feed