It’s difficult to express how important and worthwhile analysis this is.
Chris Tolles points us to what I have to say is an absolute must read piece by Jim Manzi (who I haven’t always agreed with in the past), exploring the biggest challenge the US faces in going forward. It’s difficult to express how important and worthwhile analysis this is. I don’t agree with everything, but it frames the issues in ways that are incredibly helpful. There’s very little I disagree with in the first half, which highlights the basic struggle that the US faces in really clear terms: innovation is necessary for economic growth, and less government interference is key for the type of innovation we need. However, with such innovation comes social upheaval and disruption that creates a different set of problems that could be just as bad for the US:
First is the inherent conflict between the creative destruction involved in free-market capitalism and the innate human propensity to avoid risk and change. Second is ever-increasing international competition. And third is the growing disparity in behavioral norms and social conditions between the upper and lower income strata of American society.
These realities combine to form a daunting problem. And the task of resolving it turns out not, by and large, to be a matter of foreign policy. Rather, it compels us to consider how we balance economic dynamism and growth against the unity and stability of our society. After all, we must have continuous, rapid technological and business-model innovation to grow our economy fast enough to avoid losing power to those who do not share America’s values — and this innovation requires increasingly deregulated markets and fewer restrictions on behavior. But such deregulation would cause significant displacement and disruption that could seriously undermine America’s social cohesion — which is not only essential to a decent and just society, but also to producing the kind of skilled and responsible citizens that free markets ultimately require. Moreover, preserving the integrity of our social fabric by minimizing the divisions that can rend society often requires government policies — to reduce inequality or ensure access to jobs, education, housing, or health care — that can in turn undercut growth and prosperity. Neither innovation nor cohesion can do without the other, but neither, it seems, can avoid undermining the other.
There’s a lot in the piece that I wanted to quote, but you should just go read the whole thing yourself. Manzi basically points out the difficulty in pulling any of the levers: if you increase the pace of innovation, you also increase social upheaval at the lower end of the pyramid. But if you work to protect social upheaval, you decrease the pace of innovation, and in a global economy, that can actually lead to another set of problems that, in turn, also could result in serious problems for the economy.
It’s a really sobering picture that is inherently non-partisan, and highlights how the views and plans of both major political parties, when implemented by people who don’t understand these countervailing forces, is likely to make the overall situation worse, not better.
The Latest on: Innovation and social upheaval
via Google News
The Latest on: Innovation and social upheaval
- Cloud for back-office: When risk aversion means missed opportunityon November 19, 2019 at 1:54 am
But innovation has its downside ... Amid all this constant upheaval and the emergence of digital challengers and new social conventions, the fear of change is surprisingly commonplace, even as that ...
- Frontiers of Social Innovation 2020on November 17, 2019 at 8:51 am
And dramatic demographic changes within countries are contributing to social upheaval. Power—political ... If that is the case, how do we as social innovation leaders respond? What can we learn from ...
- The 2020s are set to be an economic turning point, says global banking gianton November 12, 2019 at 11:09 pm
The 2020s are set to be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval, reversing many of the trends of the past 40 years ... national industrial policies and boost spending on R&D [research and ...
- Exclusive: Tony Blair on regulating Big Tech, Facebook, Russia, China and Brexiton November 6, 2019 at 10:38 am
As history tells us, the break-up of "Big Oil" and "Big Telco" in the past led to more competition and innovation. What to do in the era of "Big Tech?" Living in 2019, we know more than ever before ...
- Music: The Rebel Art Formon November 6, 2019 at 4:46 am
Music critic and historian Ted Gioia joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the 4,000-year history of music as a global source of power, change, and upheaval—topics explored in his new ...
- Leading Change Is A Ground Game: How To Drive Innovation Toward The End Zoneon November 5, 2019 at 4:17 am
but there's always a behind-the-scenes ground game that accompanies innovation. Leaders must summon grit and ... Be sensitive to the emotional and social upheaval change creates. Acknowledge emotion.
- Ecuador’s fuel protests show the risks of removing fossil fuel subsidies too faston October 31, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Funders include the Social Sciences and Humanities Research ... a Quito resident and bystander to the protests. This recent upheaval in Ecuador has important lessons for Canadian climate change ...
- Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's handling of political ads during speechon October 17, 2019 at 11:43 am
In a speech citing landmark Supreme Court cases and historical figures such as Frederick Douglass, Zuckerberg told an audience at Georgetown University that during times of social upheaval ... the ...
- ‘Our future is being determined in the lab out West’: Revisiting a classic exploring California in the 1960son September 4, 2019 at 3:03 am
1968 was a year of turmoil for the United States, a time of social, cultural and political upheaval. For five weeks ... a place many Americans looked to as a hub of innovation and progression. Now, ...
- Companies must work closely with Government amid uncertainty: Heng Swee Keaton July 23, 2019 at 7:22 am
social and technological upheaval. The other two are to strengthen their fundamentals and maintain good corporate governance, as well as pressing on with innovation and transformation. Mr Heng said ...
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