I remember a speech by Paul Zane Pilzer back in 1993. He was speaking about how people misread the economy. He used the example of fishermen.
Let’s say you have an island and the island has 20 fishermen. Now someone invents the net. Now, instead of catching one fish at a time, you can catch dozens at a time. So at this point, the island only needs 2 fishermen instead of 20.
Pessimists see that as 90% unemployment. Optimists see something different. You see, now those other 18 fishermen can develop other skills that the island needs. Carpenters, roofers, farmers, teachers. In the end, the island actually has more prosperity as they have growth in so many areas. Areas that could not grow because everyone was needed to fish.
The fishermen? The 2 that still fish, they pay former fishermen to do carpentry work or to teach their kids – they pay them with the fish they catch. Those that become farmers trade their crops for fish as well.
The economy can be a tricky thing. Someone can spin it as a 90% loss, and on the other hand someone can spin it as a 50% overall gain. I guess that is why it is said, “What the nation needs is a good one-handed economist”.