Creative Destruction: More Creative or Destructive?

Hanna Moon (Aparicio) – Afternoon Summer, Honorbound.

The definition of destruction is simply damaging something to the point where it no longer exists or cannot be repaired, while creative means the ability or power to create. In today’s society creative destruction is not something uncommon, but a person’s focus is usually on the destruction aspect rather than the creative part. With unemployment being a constant issue, people fear what jobs may be terminated due to advancements in technology, but in those aspects the benefits outweigh the costs.

“A market economy inspires hard work and progress not just because it rewards winners, but because it crushes losers.”[1] This sentence reflects how creative destruction works in an economy and how it can have rewards, but also down sides. In the book, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, Weelan uses the example of farmers to demonstrate the pros and cons of creative destruction. For example “At the beginning of the twentieth century, half of all Americans worked in farming or ranching. Now that figure is about one in a hundred and still falling.” [2] Now all those people who were farming can now go onto to do better things like become a lawyer, play basketball, teach biology, etc. In the twenty-first century we are seeing the same thing in the car industry, but probably on a much larger scale.

In contrast to the beginning of the twentieth century, it is much harder to get a job, and if you are one of those unfortunate and unable to afford to go to college, it’s even harder to find a good, well-paying jobs, and that is why the car industry is so valuable. It is easy to go online and get the degrees needed to become a mechanic and cars provide other jobs like working in the oil industry or making engines, but many of these jobs will disappear in the future because of the electric car. There are many brands out there like the Ford Focus Electric, Nissan LEAF, and the one that is probably more widely known, Tesla. These cars, however, not only will greatly help the environment by not releasing gases into the air, but it will help further along technology. However there is the fear that “the shift to electric vehicles will cost jobs …, but … many of those jobs would be offset by new positions related to electro-mobility.”[3] Changing from cars to electric cars will definitely cause many people to lose their jobs, but many other jobs will be created with the advance.

So, even though that the electric cars will result in people losing their jobs, the economy as a whole will become better. It might be harder for people to shift from changing oil to trying to fix the newest bug in the tesla update, but it can be done. Also, the shift from cars that run on gas to electric cars will take time, and in that time people will begin to adjust to their new reality.




[1] Charles Weelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 46.

[2] Ibid. 47

[3] Sheahan, Maria. “Continental CEO says jobs will be lost in shift to electric cars.” Reuters. December 30, 2016. Accessed June 19, 2017.



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