Doug Mataconis has few tears to shed for out-of-work salesmen:

I’m not sure whether I’d call it a “tragedy” like Ledbetter does. What we’re seeing here is really nothing more than the continued, ongoing evolution of the economy. In the days before the Internet, it made sense for companies to hire armies of salesmen, like Willy Loman, who spent their time trying to convince business owners to buy their wares. In later years, the sales trip was replaced with the cold call, but it was really the same idea. Now, there’s virtually no need for that and, on the whole, the economy is better off for it. Technology has reduced the transaction costs between customer and seller (or manufacturer) to nearly zero, and it just doesn’t make sense to pay a guy to travel the country with a big suitcase full of stuff.

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