May 31, 2017

Marc Andreessen: Self-driving cars will boost the job market

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

FEC commissioner fact-checks Trump's voter fraud claims

Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub during a committee hearing in the Capitol in 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub posted an extensive fact-checking thread to Twitter late Wednesday refuting claims by President Trump and some Republicans that mail-in voting can lead to fraud.

Why it matters: Weintraub weighed in after Trump threatened to take action against Twitter for fact-checking him on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent, and she directly addressed Twitter's fact-checkin of the president in her post.

China approves Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong riot police round up a group of protesters during a demonstration on Wednesday. Photo: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers approved a plan on Thursday for a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that would criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 20 mins ago - World

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

A man died in a Minneapolis shooting during a second night of clashes between police and protesters in the city over the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, per AP.

The latest: Police said officers were responding to reports of a stabbing just before 9:30 p.m. and found a man lying in "grave condition on the sidewalk" with a gunshot wound, CBS Minnesota reports. On man is in custody over the incident.