14 Mar, 17

How to Beat the Robots

Maybe the automation of jobs will eventually create new, better jobs. Maybe it will put us all out of work. But as we argue about this, work is changing.

Today’s jobs — white collar, blue collar or no collar — require more education and interpersonal skills than those in the past. And many of the people whose jobs have already been automated can’t find new ones. Technology leads to economic growth, but the benefits aren’t being parceled out equally. Policy makers have the challenge of helping workers share the gains.

That will take at least some government effort, just as it did when the United States moved from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, with policies like high school for all or workers’ rights.

Whether there’s political will for big changes remains to be seen, but here are some policies that economists and policy experts think could help now.

22 Jan, 17

SoftBank Is Said to Be Selling a 25% Stake in ARM Holdings

When SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications giant, bought the British semiconductor designer ARM Holdings last year for $32 billion, Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, said the deal would bring benefits like jobs and investment to Britain.

Now, just six months later, SoftBank is in final-stage talks to sell a 25 percent stake in ARM, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The roughly $8 billion sale will be to a new $100 billion investment fund that Mr. Son has created with Saudi Arabia and other investors, raising questions about how politicians in Britain, the United States and elsewhere will respond to such investments in their national technology industries. Chips made by ARM power iPhones and millions of other mobile devices worldwide.

Mr. Son met with President Trump before his inauguration in January about using the $100 billion fund to buy stakes in American tech companies, with the aim of creating thousands of new jobs.

While British lawmakers remain sanguine about the proposed sale of ARM to Mr. Son’s investment vehicle, known as Vision Fund, it remains unclear whether American politicians will be as willing for the fund to scoop up stakes in American tech companies.

Representatives for ARM and SoftBank declined to comment. The proposed sale of the ARM stake, which has yet to be completed, was reported earlier by The Financial Times.