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How Technology Effects Modern America

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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U.S. Wage Trends

The microeconomic picture of the U.S. has changed immensely since 1973, and the trends

are proving to be consistently downward for the nation’s high school graduates and high

school drop-outs.   “Of all the reasons given for the wage squeeze – international

competition, technology, deregulation, the decline of unions and defense cuts – technology

is probably the most critical.   It has favored the educated and the skilled,” says M. B.

Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report (7/31/95).   Since 1973, wages

adjusted for inflation have declined by about a quarter for high school dropouts, by a sixth

for high school graduates, and by about 7% for those with some college education.   Only

the wages of college graduates are up.

Of the fastest growing technical jobs, software engineering tops the list. Carnegie Mellon

University reports, “recruitment of it’s software engineering students is up this year by over

20%.”   All engineering jobs are paying well, proving that highly skilled labor is what

employers want!   “There is clear evidence that the supply of workers in the [unskilled labor]

categories already exceeds the demand for their services,” says L. Mishel, Research Director

of Welfare Reform Network.

In view of these facts, I wonder if these trends are good or bad for society.   “The danger of

the information age is that while in the short run it may be cheaper to replace workers with

technology, in the long run it is potentially self-destructive because there will not be enough

purchasing power to grow the economy,” M. B. Zuckerman.   My feeling is that the trend

from unskilled labor to highly technical, skilled labor is a good one!   But, political action

must be taken to ensure that...


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