Squeezy: Getting on OK with the robot, Prolius?
Prolius: Totally. I’ve doubled my hamburger output for no extra work, and even a bit less hot-fat splashing.
Squeezy: Great. It looks like it should pay for itself in three months.
Prolius: The thing is though, Mr. Squeezy, as I see it, I’m due a substantial pay rise.
Squeezy: Sorry, help me out here a minute Prolius, why is that exactly?
Prolius: Isn’t it obvious? My productivity has doubled.
Squeezy: Your productivity?
Prolius: No doubt about that Mr. Squeezy. I looked it up. Labor productivity equals economic output over employment.
Squeezy: But I thought you’d just said the extra output is down to the robot?
Prolius: The robot doesn’t count, because it doesn’t have a labor contract.
Squeezy: There’s a bank loan.
Prolius: We’re in the Aeon of ZIRP. Debt is free forever now. So that’s irrelevant.
Squeezy: But what motive do I have to pay you more?
Prolius: Please, Mr. Squeezy, don’t be simplistic. I’m not just a worker with rapidly accelerating productivity. Far more importantly, I’m a consumer. If you paid me more, I could make a greater contribution to aggregate demand.
Squeezy: You’re saying, if I gave you more money, I could get some of it back by also selling you more hamburgers?
Prolius: You’ve got it. That’s how the economy works.