Razib Khan on the declining middle class
A reader directed me to Razib Khan’s blog post from last week where he predicts that the next phase of globalization will harm the college educated. That at least is true with respect to engineers, because there’s the perception that engineers don’t need good English language skills or an understanding of American culture.
Globally it means great gains in median wealth. In the United States though it may mean the shift away from the ideal and reality of a broad middle class society. Because of economic productivity driven by technology the bottom 75-90% of the American population will feel minimal material want. There will be food on the table and consumer gadgets galore. But they will lack the markers of relative affluence. For example, I see no prospect that air travel will become cheaper in the near future. So fewer and fewer Americans may have the means or inclination to travel abroad. In some ways this is a back to the past scenario, where the few controlled the levers of society, and the many were powerless.