Monday, February 01, 2016

On the Tech Sector, Wages, and "Capitalism"

In my second-straight post cribbing a link previously pointed out by John Gruber... this is a really interesting analysis:  Maximum Wage - Steven Johnson

From the sweatshops and rubber factories to the Nike store, your sneakers are pretty much market economics from the first stitch, all the way down the chain. But your iPhone isn’t just made up of startup brainstorming and Foxconn labor; it also has in its makeup open source networks, and academic research, and military funding, and government-subsidized science labs, and whatever strange hybrid of socialism and monopoly capitalism Bell Labs was. Some of those systems increased inequality by making their founders rich; some of them decreased inequality by making a valuable resource free. Indeed you could make a strong case that the most important innovations that drove the triumph of Silicon Valley did not emerge inside traditional private corporations at all.

I'm enough of an occasional-utopian-futurist to really like the idea of Basic Guaranteed Income in a post-scarcity world largely run by our digital and mechanical creations... but some of the conclusions and ideas presented here are much closer to the real-world-of-today.