Yang’s website says that “the smartest people in the world now predict that a third of all working Americans will lose their job to automation in the next 12 years.” But that’s a little misleading, because, even if these people do lose their jobs to automation, this doesn’t mean they won’t be able to find new jobs.
The sources I’ve read all seem to speculate that about half the people who lose jobs due to automation will be able to easily transition into new jobs, whereas the other half will at minimum have to undergo new training before they are qualified for another job.
Even so, I think the concerns about a significant portion of the job-force being permanently displaced are valid. The amount of available jobs is a zero-sum game. There’s not an infinite number of jobs out there just because there are people willing to work.
It’s rather speculative, however, to suggest we are about to go through a major economic crisis caused by increased automation.
I think there’s plenty of evidence out there to show that we are likely headed for another economic crisis even without the worry of increased automation. The potential problems that automation proves can only exacerbate that issue.