By Robert W McChesney, John Nichols
The outcomes of the technological revolution are approximately to hit demanding: unemployment will spike as new applied sciences substitute exertions within the production, provider, sectors of an economic system that's already suffering. the top of labor as we all know it is going to hit on the worst second possible: as capitalism fosters everlasting stagnation, while the exertions marketplace is in decrepit form, with declining wages, increasing poverty, and sizzling inequality. merely the dramatic democratization of our economic system can deal with the existential demanding situations we now face. but, the USA political technique is so ruled by means of billionaires and company targeted pursuits, by way of corruption and monopoly, that it stymies not only democracy yet progress.
The nice problem of those occasions is to make sure that the large merits of technological development are hired to serve the entire of humanity, instead of to complement the rich few. Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols argue that the U.S. wishes a brand new financial system within which innovative applied sciences are utilized to successfully handle environmental and social difficulties and used to rejuvenate and expand democratic associations. in accordance with severe reporting, wealthy old research, and deep figuring out of the technological and social adjustments which are unfolding, they suggest a daring procedure for democratizing our electronic destinybefore it’s too late—and unleashing the true strength of the net, and of humanity.
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Extra info for People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
There will be an “elite” debate on these issues—a debate premised on protecting elite interests—because the very system of capitalism is going to be in the crosshairs of history. “Today, the ability of freemarket democracies to deliver widely shared increases in prosperity is in question as never before,” a 2015 report by a commission co-chaired by former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers announced. ”36 The natives are going to get restless. ”38 The problem of a political system that is defined as a market, where issues can be made “important” or “unimportant” via the influence of campaign donations, lobbying, spin, and media manipulation, is that discussions of those disparities—and of their causes—are taken off the table.
Unless there is a large increase in government spending to compensate for the decline—which is a controversial policy option in a capitalist economy—everything else being equal, slower growth rates and higher levels of unemployment result. Indeed, even more striking is the massive and increasing amount of cash that corporations are holding, as shown in Chart 3. This “unemployed” capital is a sign of a stagnating economy, with profitable investment opportunities growing so scarce that firms would rather sit on their cash than risk it in real investments.
Lynd wrote an introduction to Robert A. Brady’s book on the power of big business, and its relationship with the government in Europe and the United States. Brady presented a dark picture of corporate-government collusion to the detriment of the rest of society. ”88 With the shrinking of the democratic infrastructure, we are uncertain if Lynd’s observation will remain true, especially in a time of deep economic problems. So many people, especially young people, are alienated from the political process and to them the word democracy is more a hollow cliché than a meaningful concept.