Sunday, October 05, 2014

The world economy: Wealth without workers, workers without wealth | The Economist

A timely technology and society reality check from The Economist

"None of this means that the digital revolution is bad for humanity. Far from it. This newspaper believes firmly that technology is, by and large, an engine of progress. IT has transformed the lives of billions for the better, often in ways that standard income measures do not capture. Communication, knowledge and entertainment have become all but free. Few workers would want to go back to a world without the internet, the smartphone or Facebook, even for a pay increase. Technology also offers new ways to earn a living. Etsy, an online marketplace for arts and crafts, enables hobbyists to sell their wares around the world. Uber, the company that is disrupting the taxi business, allows tens of thousands of drivers to work as and when they want.

Nonetheless, the growing wedge between a skilled elite and ordinary workers is worrying. Angry voters whose wages are stagnant will seek scapegoats: witness the rise of xenophobia and protectionism in the rich world. In poor countries dashed expectations and armies of underemployed people are a recipe for extremism and unrest. Governments across the globe therefore have a huge interest in helping remove the obstacles that keep workers from wealth."
The world economy: Wealth without workers, workers without wealth | The Economist
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