Can we navigate creative destruction?

The large factory, employing thousands in a company town is gone forever. The semi-skilled, unionized factory worker living a middle class standard of living is vanishing.

Today, one out of every 2 people is looking at a life of desperation and deprivation. A bleak horizon of time, hoping not to get sick, or some other unforeseen difficulty.

I agree with my socialist friends that as a society we must insure everyone a decent standard of living because we all share a common humanity. But that is a redistribution question. The real question as we look to the future of our interdependent planet is: What will generate the wealth that will allow everyone the chance to live a decent and dignified life?

Capitalism must grow or die. As Thomas Friedman stated in his editorial in the New York TimesΒ on January 4, 2012, we are looking at the intersection of globalization and IT. Every development now is planetary in scope. Does job creation, therefore, have to be a race to the bottom?

The answer, in the same editorial, rings true: “the future middle class [will be] generated not by factories, but by hubs.” Friedman refers to places like Austin, Silicon Valley, and Raleigh-Durham as networked urban areas that combine universities, high-tech manufacturers, software/service providers and highly nimble startups that collaborate and compete to invent things that make people’s lives more entertained, productive, healthy, educated and comfortable.” By the way, the people who work in these jobs Friedman calls “knowledge workers.”

As to the creative destruction title? Joseph Schumpeter spent his life trying to figure out the creative and destructive aspects of capitalism, and unsure which aspect would “win.”




One thought on “Can we navigate creative destruction?

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