"Occupations that use computers grow faster, not slower. This is true even for highly routine and mid-wage occupations. Estimates reject computers as a source of significant net technological unemployment or job polarization. But computerized occupations substitute for other occupations, shifting employment and requiring new skills. Because new skills are costly to learn, computer use is associated with substantially greater within-occupation wage inequality."
At Harvard Business Review: "Today’s great paradox is that we feel the impact of technology everywhere – in our cars, our phones, the supermarket, the doctor’s office – but not in our paychecks. We work differently, communicate with each other differently, create differently, and entertain ourselves differently, all thanks to new technology. Yet since the beginning of the personal computer revolution three decades ago, the median wage has remained stagnant."
The real challenge technology presents isn't that it replaces workers, but rather displaces them. Excerpt from Learning by Doing at TheAtlantic.com. "At a large distribution center located north of Boston, a robot lifts a shelf holding merchandise and navigates it through the warehouse to the workstation of an employee who then picks the item needed for an order and places it in a shipping box. ...In other distribution centers, this is work that warehouse workers do."
James Bessen in Foreign Affairs
Politics is about balancing competing interests. Opposing factions battle one another but ultimately compromise, each getting something it wants. In recent decades, however, start-ups have consistently lost out. Whereas established interests have the money and lobbying power to buy political influence, newer firms offer only the promise of future profits. As Jim Cooper, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee, has framed the problem, “The future has no lobbyists.”
James Bessen in Harvard Business Review Blog:
“Why are skills sometimes hard to measure and to manage? Because new technologies frequently require specific new skills that schools don’t teach and that labor markets don’t supply. Since information technologies have radically changed much work over the last couple of decades, employers have had persistent difficulty finding workers who can make the most of these new technologies.”
Council on Foreign Relations, "Keeping the Edge: US Innovation"
The Atlantic, "Schools for the High Tech Workplace"
The New Yorker, "College Calculus"
Wall Street Journal, review of Learning by Doing
Senator Hatch citing research on patent reform: