How Silicon Valley Is Hollowing Out the Economy (and Stealing From You to Boot)

9 May

I often think about where money is flowing in our economy. This article does a great job of outlining some of the issues surrounding that question.
And as I often conclude, technology allows money to flow to too few people.
Read to the end for a fascinating idea about how to get some of that money back into the hands of more people.

Business & Money

Jaron Lanier’s latest book, Who Owns the Future?, begins by noting an instructive coincidence: the bankruptcy of the photography giant Kodak occurred within months of Facebook’s billion-dollar acquisition of the photo-sharing site Instagram. This would be just one example of the destructive dynamism of American capitalism, a process through which old companies are overtaken by new technology and new firms more in tune with the needs of customers — and that perhaps benefits us all.

Except for one thing, that is: whereas Kodak employed 140,000 workers during its heyday, Instagram employed just 13 people when it was purchased in April 2012.

“Where did all those jobs disappear to?” Lanier asks. “And what happened to the wealth that those middle-class jobs created?” Lanier’s answer is that the new “information economy,” which is now superseding the manufacturing economy, is developing in such a way that the rewards are filtering to an elite few at the expense of everybody else.

Lanier…

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