If you have 45 minutes and you’d like to know what’s happening in the worldwide technological revolution, I recommend “Sleeping Through A Revolution,” a lecture by Jon Taplin of the Annenberg Innovation Lab. Watch and listen to the lecture here.
The Internet economy is destroying jobs. Taplin cites the ruins of the music, newspaper, book, film, and television industries. The Internet economy has transferred a wealth of income from the “creative class” (the makers of content) to monopolistic Internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook, Taplin says. And Amazon.
But wait! Musicians, editors, printers, authors and workers in the TV and film industries are not the only losers in this Brave New World of technology monopoly. Taplin predicts:
“The technological revolution is about to come for everybody else’s job too.”
Do you doubt it? The number of robots in the world is doubling every 30 months, Taplin reports. The lecture covers a lot of ground. Past, present, future. I’m not going to report the whole lecture. I urge you to watch it for yourself. I plan to listen to the lecture at least one more time.
Two stories of our times may have passed nearly unnoticed in the Christmas Eve edition of The Washington Post. If you find yourself with a few quiet moments for reading, today or maybe tomorrow, I recommend the following from the 12-24-13 Post.
“Edward Snowden: I Already Won,” on Page One. It’s a long read, but it pulls the whole Snowden- NSA story together with some clarity.
And “How robots are stealing our jobs,” the chilling story in Economy & Business, page A13. Continue reading →
From our perspective here in the early 21st century, the world is full of contradictory trends, projections and predictions. You can’t help but be confounded by the tidal wave of information. At least I can’t.
Here’s a counterintuitive situation: We have graying populations in major countries, and at the same time, widespread unemployment among young workers? How can that be? Continue reading →
Economic and political difficulties — especially issues of justice — are on my mind, as always. Guess I’ve been reading too many scary books about economics and the jobs outlook.
What is the outlook? In developing countries, manufacturing that’s always on the move, stalking the cheapest labor. In Western countries, an abundance of jobs for machines, robots and computers; for human beings, not so much. Continue reading →
We used to have the upper class, middle class, lower class, working class. Most of us in America pretended that class wasn’t an issue.
Retired folks living on Social Security and pensions were in a separate category. As elders and retired, they were deemed “entitled” (gasp) to the Social Security and pensions they received. They had, after all, worked long and hard to earn those Social Security and pension checks. Continue reading →
Mitt Romney is to be commended for finally bringing into focus the economic divide emerging in America.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the Winner’s Camp are people who own and control the wealth. It starts with the very richest, a tiny sliver at the top, less than one percent. This camp also includes the affluent classes, the bankers, accountants, lawyers, executives, innovators and politicians who preside over the modern economy. They provide the brainpower to monitor, preserve, and increase the wealth.
You also find in the Winner’s Camp a large number of people who are crucial for the operation of the economy.
Question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Answer: YES, Mr. ROMNEY, AS A MATTER OF FACT, WE ARE BETTER OFF THAN WE WERE FOUR YEARS AGO!
Four years ago, we were looking into the abyss. Four years ago, Wall Street and the banks were trembling. Four years ago, the American automobile industry was on the eve of destruction. Every job associated with the auto industry was about to go away. Forever. Four years ago, we were fighting two wars. No end in sight. Or was it three wars? It’s hard to remember. Four years seems like a long time. Hard to remember what it was like. It’s like a nightmare that we woke up from. A catastrophic plane crash that we walked away from. YES, the truth is, we are better off.