I found this artcle: "Tech’s toxic political culture: The stealth libertarianism of Silicon Valley bigwigs" about Marc Andreessen's recent Tweet-storm of a utopian future - when he himself ReTweeted it. I really don't think the ::gotcha:: that the author sees in Marc's tweets is valid - but instead a false dichotomy from a traditionalist position with blinders on.
Essentially, the argument is that techno-libertarians want their liberating technologies that (as Marc claims & I tend to agree with as well) improve the lot of the poor, but these same Tech-Libs don't want to pay for the safety nets that would help the poor.
To me - it seems like there's a definite short-term tension that needs to be addressed, but that we will be able to:
- 1.) Retrain most of the displaced
- 2.) Increase our purchasing power to provide a standard of living for those in poverty a la basic income - as tech enables living at a cheaper and cheaper cost to the whole of society.
1.) The big reference the author gives for a gloomy future due to tech is actually totally the opposite of reality:
"The Industrial Revolution created job opportunities for the unskilled, but the current revolution in automation is having the opposite effect"
That really isn't true. The Industrial Revolution actually led to the development of the public school / university / trade-school systems for broader training of white/blue collar workers alike. It also wiped out agricultural work - for the better: it sucked. This is totally glossed over.
I'd contend that these past events will rhyme with the future events that will lead to humanity's further training and empowerment - beyond the current schools system's love of industrialized education.
2.) We've already seen that the Industrial Revolution allowed us to use new tech and organizational methods to better take care of the poor - not worse. Is that deniable? The surplus of food, clothing, shelter, etc. was caused by these new systems. The poor were worse off, less mobile, and a higher percent of society that they are today by any reasonable measure I can think of.
While I see a short-term tension in paying for the poor and having the technology to help them - I don't think it's necessarily a trade-off in the long-term, but that is just short-term / old framing.
I'd love to hear what you guys think.