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Eric Risberg / AP

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 said on Tuesday at Recode's annual conference in Southern California.

"The jobs crisis we have in the U.S. is that we don't have enough workers," said Andreessen.

Why it matters: With the country increasingly discussing the potential impact of automation and technology on the jobs, many are worried that "the robots" will take their jobs and displace millions of workers. Managing this fear and retraining workers are becoming high priority topics for lawmakers.

New jobs: When cars first came along, people were worried they'd result in the mass unemployment of those taking care of horses—like blacksmiths. But instead, cars created millions of new jobs manufacturing and maintaining them. What's more, the automobile gave rise to new activities and industries, such as going to the movies and paving roads, which created a whole set of new jobs. Self-driving cars will have the same effect, says Andreessen.

Not less, but more! Our economy's productivity growth is at its lowest, and there's not enough change and progression, says Andreessen. And this is why people are so depressed—they're not able to imagine a future. So we need more change, he adds.

The transition: With that said, "the transitions can be very painful," said LinkedIn co-founder and investor Reid Hoffman, who was on stage with Andreessen. "Let's try to make it work out in a way that's more humane."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.