Sebastian Moffett of the Wall Street Journal has an article headlined, “Technology Widens Gap Between Rich and Poor.” (Non-paywall version at Morningstar.) The Jester shouts “Hurrah!!!”… not, of course, because the rich-poor gap is widening, but because the Jester, like any joker overly ego-invested in his intellect, loves to say “I told you so.”
Quoth the Jester, “technology amplifies human intent and capacity,” and that leads to the unfortunate conclusion that even an equal distribution of technology magnifies inequalities. (For more, see the Boston Review article by the Jester’s doppelganger.)
Moffett’s article summarizes the findings of an OECD report released this week. The WSJ headline is actually slightly misleading. Technology is only one of the things that the report cites as a cause of greater inequality in OECD nations. The primary one is simply that high-skilled workers have seen greater growth in pay than low-skilled workers. Under Jester Theory, this means that giving both equal access to technology will only further increase the disparity.
Also according to Jester Theory, the best way to deal with this disparity is not to level the technology playing field, but to provide good training to the players. The OECD report concludes, “Policies that promote the up-skilling of the workforce are therefore key factors to reverse the trend to further growing inequality.”
I told you so.
(Well, the Jester has little more to say about this. The original OECD report is brief and worth reading. One provocatively titled section was strangely skipped by the WSJ: “Does it matter for inequality whether rich men marry rich women?”)
Jester hat tip to @BostonReview for link to WSJ article.
Tags: Sebastian Moffett