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The Social Progress and Information Technology

Economist David Friedman also argues in favor of ensuring a balanced approach toward the use of technology in society. Friedman argues that currently government's land-use, tax and development policies are supporting economic incentives that encourage almost exclusively a postindustrial, "dot-com" society. He argues that alternatives that might better distribute technology and capital among the population and diversify the economy are being lost, and he believes that the government supports such postindustrial technologies at the expense of traditional industries because conventional wisdom states that the old industries are naturally fading away.

Friedman argues, however, that conventional wisdom is wrong. In fact, he believes that the government's misguided policies may be killing traditional industry. He notes the growing distance between the technological elite and those involved in more traditional industries. And he is also disturbed by it because he believes the government is ignoring statistics that demonstrate that broad-based growth that supports a variety of industries will ultimately enhance social progress better than growth policies that rely exclusively on technological companies.

Friedman points out job growth in the United States in the 1990s was the slowest since the 1950s, despite the appearance of untrammeled growth created by the media boom surrounding the growth of the Internet. Specifically, employment grew only 1.8 times faster than the population expanded, compared with more than 2.6 times as fast during the previous three decades. Furthermore, for the first time, retail and service occupations, the lowest paid of all major industry groups, now make up nearly half of employment, up from 37 percent in 1980, indicating a growing rift between the working classes and the investment, technological classes. Given these number, Friedman argues that the "dot-com boom" did not impede America's manufacturing dec...

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The Social Progress and Information Technology. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:53, August 24, 2017, from
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