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The unfortunate irony of all this is that the better we get at this sort of stuff, the more unemployed we will have. That student that just graduated with a degree in computer programming and went to work for the city just lost their job to some civilian that can now code an app in half a day.

That is not the unfortunate irony, that is what makes this country great. Creative Destruction. Having something better and more efficient replace something old and inefficient. Are you sad that there are no more elevator operators, where there used to be thousands because elevators were so dangerous? Are you sad type writer factories were destroyed by computers and word processors - which has cause great productivity and many more jobs. Horse-and-buggy makers? Rotary phone factories? VCR makers? Laptops dying in favor of tablets? Wouldn't you rather have a college grad get a future job instead of a "past" job?
At its most basic, "creative destruction" (German: schöpferische Zerstörung) describes the way in which capitalist economic development arises out of the destruction of some prior economic order.

Like when the highly regulated phone monopoly was broken up. There might have been a worry of layoffs, but look what grew from it. There was a time when you did not even own the phone in your house and could not buy the phone of your choice in a store. Nobody wants that.

It won't be too many years into the future before the entire USPS goes out of business (or is outsourced) because so much personal and business communication will be electronic

Just like the pony express! FedEx and UPS have led customer service and technology years ahead of USPS.

What happens to all the publishers of textbooks when all textbooks are electronic? I'm not arguing against this just concerned about the long term consequences of our significantly increased efficiency

Publishers? Same as Kodak, it seems sad, buy if you can't adapt someone will eat you. Ironically, Kodak invented key technologies of digital photography, but did not want to cannibalize themselves. What if Intel did not make a better processor then their last one? What if Microsoft did not create a better OS than their last one? Someone else would. You have to put yourself out of your last business before someone else puts you out of business completely. This is what keeps our economy great in the long run.

This is what must be taught in economics, not sadness for someone who loses their job in favor of a better technology. If you are a cactus, you do fine in the desert, but if the climate changes you are dead. Adapt!

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