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
- Philip S. Wenz: Will we have a positive environmental tipping point?on January 12, 2020 at 5:15 am
The global environmental crisis is upon us, and already has engendered social upheaval, including mass migrations ... are mistaken when they say we need to invest in green innovation to address ...
- Ray Dalio says that everybody is missing the key metric for saving America's economy from inequality — productivityon January 12, 2020 at 3:03 am
He wants policies that will allocate resources to improving our workforce and stimulating innovation, for the purpose of raising the quality ... and polarity fueled by populism will lead to an ...
- Five ways music changed in the 2010son January 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm
The preceding 10 years were hardly a walk in the park, either - and musically-speaking, it was a time of innovation, upheaval and disruption ... it's about the mediation through social media. It's all ...
- Blazing trails and dreaming big: StartupSmart’s 12 startups to watch in 2020on December 17, 2019 at 5:02 pm
In 12 months we’ve seen a boom in medtech, construction tech, food innovation and, as ever, fintech, all amid an age of unprecedented activism, confusing legislation and political upheaval ... meet a ...
- Frontiers of Social Innovation 2020on November 17, 2019 at 8:30 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 ...
- 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.
- This is change management — without all the risk and upheavalon July 13, 2019 at 8:10 pm
Many leaders who sit at the top of large departments and organisations are hungry for innovation. But they are often uncertain ... “But it can be a social norm not to use it.” What Mr Burrows did not ...
- Drivers of International Healthcare Entrepreneurshipon December 11, 2018 at 4:00 am
Culture: The culture of medicine is changing and encouraging creativity and innovation Politics: Access to quality care at an affordable price is in high demand as middle classes grow in developing ...
- A wolf in sheep’s clothing: Disruption is overrated in terms of innovationon November 25, 2018 at 9:41 am
Eleftherios Soleas receives funding from Queen's University and the Social ... upheaval might induce unity within like minded-groups and force a pragmatic solution to a particularly important ...
- Social Innovation Or Revolution: What Would FDR Do?on September 7, 2016 at 5:18 am
These policies, aimed at providing basic financial hope for so many who had hit rock bottom, were what preempted social upheaval. The Social Security Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Federal ...
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