During the Industrial Age and the rise of unions, productivity and wages rose in tandem but, about 50 years ago, productivity continued to rise but wages didn’t and many declined. Studies have shown that most of this was due to the rise of computers, automation, robotics and AI, but cheap labor (immigrants and Asians) was blamed for it all and provided a focus for anger and frustration.
While our inventions and machines make quality goods at cheap prices, the wealth that is created has flowed almost entirely in one direction with little thought given to the discarded workers, families and communities.
In the Industrial Age, efficiencies of the assembly line allowed workers to demand and receive things like a 40-hour week for a living wage, paid vacations, child labor laws, etc. As we continue into the Post-Industrial Age, where our machines do the labor, a new formula is needed.
Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution bans a titled nobility. I suspect the founders had a great fear of the stratification of wealth and power it embodies and the force needed to maintain it.
I wonder whether attempted emulation of the U.S. capitalism after World War II leads to the rise of dictators around the world today.
Robert Grimm, Columbus