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December 24, 2012

Comments

Hank Bennett

Our current trend of outsourcing as many jobs as possible to countries with lower wages will ultimately destroy our own middle class. The only way to prevent this is to undertake policies that reward manufacturing here at home and penalize manufacturing overseas. We also must set out to upgrade our entire major infrastructure, while manufacturing as much as possible of the goods needed for this here at home. Continuing on down the road we are on now will complete the destruction of our once great middle class and result in widespread civil unrest!

Gary W. Griffin

All good points. Do take time to read my book "Inert America: Crossroad to the Future." http://www.amazon.com/Inert-America-Gary-Griffin-Ph-D/dp/145159528X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356027903&sr=8-1&keywords=inert+america

Also, I suggest a quick look at the book trailer on Youtube - http://youtu.be/b8jrUltWQ7o.

I do hope we can find innovative and creative ways to address the problems you identified in this post.

Alejandro Godinez

We have crossed several eras economically since man is man. The era of fishing, hunting and gathering, the era of industrialization, mass production, in all there has been displacement and reshaping of labor, this time (the golden age of technological innovation), it should not be the exception. As Keynes said, we must be able to create faster than ever, the jobs that have been lost with automation and digitalization. We need more economic resources to technological learning.
Otherwise, the nature will do its job.

Bud Byrd

We Americans are a diverse people. As individuals, we vary widely in our interests, our education, our physical and mental capacity, our wealth both as individuals and within our extended families. While not impossible, it is highly unlikely that each of us is able to accomplish a level of education and skills building that will bring us success in the new economy. Most of us, in our own way, will pursue betterment of our personal and family circumstances. Some of us will succeed. Many of us will fail in improving our conditions. So how, as a society with these varying levels of accomplishment, will we get along, move forward all the members of our American community?

History teaches us that massive inequality in the distribution of wealth between the 'have nothing or very little' and the 'wealthy' leads to unrest in the community of people. In years past, the United States has overcome this disparity shown in the class distinction of other countries with good paying jobs for the poorly educated, jobs for people with work interests that were more physical in nature, and where required a respectable safety net.

Physical labor was a respected way for many (early on, most) people to earn a living for themselves and their families. To a great extent, that era has passed for America. Physical work that is movable (tradeable in your vernacular) has moved to low wage countries. Though we may initiate programs for the return of manufacturing to America, in all likelihood, manufacturing in this country will retain a high technology content with minimal physical labor required.

Sadly, much of the mental work (e.g., computer programming and other knowledge workers) has begun a move offshore. A rumor that I hear frequently is that our own IBM now has more workers in India than in the US. Whether the IBM rumor is true or not, portable work is fast moving outside the American labor market. Business success requires it to be so.

As an alternative to the lack of jobs, you suggest entrepreneurship. Some will take this path and become highly successful. While I do not question the ingenuity of Americans, I wonder at the areas where our skills are being applied. The unfortunate reality in our current environment is that a majority of entrepreneurs have exercised their skills in dubious (some would say frivolous) markets ...markets that when financial pressure is applied to their customers, the market potential becomes fleeting. Games, entertainment, social contact, etc., while worthwhile, many of the services are not a need but a want of respective customers. Consequently, in slack times the market fluctuates and business fails. Wanted services follow the path of the consultant in hard times for businesses ...they are cut back to actual needs of the customer.

And of course, in a benevolent society, those who fall through the cracks cannot be discarded as refuse. There must be programs available to those who, whatever the cause, find themselves penniless, homeless, with debilitating health issues or other states of hopelessness.

Would that technology could solve all our problems ...raise productivity to the pinnacle and make America the most competitive country in the world, provide the wherewithal of personal and family supporting jobs for everyone who is able to work.

Much like your MIT committee, it seems that no one has the answer to full and adequate employment neither in the United States nor for that matter the world at large.

Enriquetitos

Different skills for a different society, evolution pace is gathering momentum, and while the second revolution companies are still the bulk of the employers, technology, web 2.0, social media, nanotechnology and so on requires different skillset, and I am alarmed of the lack of supply through education models of the skills which now is most required: creativity, ability to imagine, create and innovate at a fast pace never seen before, and this will exacerbate the different income distribution in global population, those who lead and adapt and those who lag behind. We need to all move up and stop the income distribuition widening gap

Kumar

Most of the people here talking about securing the job within the boundary of USA, no one thought about selling product outside boundary. If we think about securing job then the same way we have to think about producing products/technologies required/consumable within UAS. That would be the right balance, for sure it will show up new set of surprise.

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