How Technology Effects Modern America Paper

This essay has a total of 1197 words and 5 pages.

How Technology Effects Modern America

How Technology Effects Modern America

The microeconomics picture of the U.S. has changed immensely since 1973, and the
trends are proving to be consistently downward for the nation's high school
graduates and high school drop-outs. "Of all the reasons given for the wage
squeeze - international competition, technology, deregulation, the decline of
unions and defense cuts - technology is probably the most critical. It has
favored the educated and the skilled," says M. B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of
U.S. News & World Report (7/31/95). Since 1973, wages adjusted for inflation
have declined by about a quarter for high school dropouts, by a sixth for high
school graduates, and by about 7% for those with some college education. Only
the wages of college graduates are up.

Of the fastest growing technical jobs, software engineering tops the list.
Carnegie Mellon University reports, "recruitment of it's software engineering
students is up this year by over 20%." All engineering jobs are paying well,
proving that highly skilled labor is what employers want! "There is clear
evidence that the supply of workers in the [unskilled labor] categories already
exceeds the demand for their services," says L. Mishel, Research Director of
Welfare Reform Network. In view of these facts, I wonder if these trends are
good or bad for society. "The danger of the information age is that while in
the short run it may be cheaper to replace workers with technology, in the long
run it is potentially self-destructive because there will not be enough
purchasing power to grow the economy," M. B. Zuckerman. My feeling is that the
trend from unskilled labor to highly technical, skilled labor is a good one!
But, political action must be taken to ensure that this societal evolution is
beneficial to all of us. "Back in 1970, a high school diploma could still be a
ticket to the middle income bracket, a nice car in the driveway and a house in
the suburbs. Today all it gets is a clunker parked on the street, and a dingy
apartment in a low rent building," says Time Magazine (Jan 30, 1995 issue).
However, in 1970, our government provided our children with a free education,
allowing the vast majority of our population to earn a high school diploma.
This means that anyone, regardless of family income, could be educated to a
level that would allow them a comfortable place in the middle class. Even
restrictions upon child labor hours kept children in school, since they are not
allowed to work full time while under the age of 18. This government policy was
conducive to our economic markets, and allowed our country to prosper from 1950
through 1970. Now, our own prosperity has moved us into a highly technical
world, that requires highly skilled labor. The natural answer to this problem,
is that the U.S. Government's education policy must keep pace with the demands
of the highly technical job market. If a middle class income of 1970 required a
high school diploma, and the middle class income of 1990 requires a college
diploma, then it should be as easy for the children of the 90's to get a college
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