But now the good folks at the University of Chicago's IGM Forum have polled a wide array of economists on the question. The bottom line: Today's leading economists believe that, by a wide margin, advancing technology has not reduced employment in the United States.
There's less agreement about whether technology is holding down wages or fueling inequality. A plurality of economists think it is, but there is considerable uncertainty.
What's the best case that technology is fueling inequality? Polarization. We're not referring to increasingly divided political opinion, but to an increasingly divided labor force. Technology has replaced many of the middle-skill jobs that America used to create in great numbers: factory and clerical jobs and the like. Now, jobs increasingly fall in two buckets -- either well-paid positions that require a quality education or jobs that pay meager wages and require less school, as this chart from a report by the Center for American Progress and Brookings Institution shows.