If We Could Turn Back Time

Dear Editor,

In your September 26 paper, you published a letter to the editor from Marylin Egede.

She, as an unemployed former supervisor who conducted many in person interviews, is dismayed by technological improvements that improve efficiency, save time and save money. Namely, she expressed skepticism about internet job applications, and an automated phone interview that recorded answers to her questions as an interviewee.

Her conclusion was: “Let’s bring back humans, and then we could help lower the unemployment rate.”

We could lower the unemployment rate, too, if we “brought back humans” by banning things like EZ Pass, Caterpillar tractors, E-Readers, and the internet. But we wouldn’t be better off.

While I wish Ms. Egede luck in her job search, such proposals appeal to the Luddite mentality that plagues Ohio (and one of its two Senators) to its detriment.

French economist Frédéric Bastiat, through a bit of satire in the 1840s, identified a similar mentality. He satirized candlemakers, supposing they would appeal to the government to protect them from unfair competition — the sun.

Famed philosopher Cheryl Sarkisian once theorized what would be possible “If we could turn back time.” That doesn’t mean it’s prudent economic policy to do so.

Jim Swift
Alexandria, VA by way of Shaker Heights.

UPDATE: Parents inform the letter was published this morning (10/3). Click the image for the P-D’s website.

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