Prosperity in the United States seems like an exclusive club. Some including President Obama placed the blame on technology displacing workers.
They are wrong.
Innovative products such as WoundRounds create jobs rather than eliminate them, and according to William Lazonick, the Director of the University of Massachusetts Center for Industrial Competitiveness, technology creates stable high value jobs.
In 2011, Obama uses ATMs as an example of technology killing jobs. Even if banks hire fewer bank tellers, the average bank teller salary of $24,000 provides a barely above poverty level of income. Automation and nanotechnology perform tasks that humans never could. These processes create sophisticated goods and services that are the signs of an advanced economy.
Rather than looking at the changing factory floor as the problem, Lazonik says to look at the board room. Corporations participate in a massive stock buybacks, which boost stock prices and maximize shareholder value. This process might temporarily boost stock prices, but does it help the long term health of the company?
The results seem to suggest otherwise.
Investing in innovation also means investing in employee training. Well trained and well trained employees armed with the right technology create high quality products at a lower cost. Financially secure employees support their community by purchasing homes and setting up roots in a community.
Rather than looking at automation as an enemy to jobs, Americans and policy writers need to examine where corporations invest. Provide incentives for innovation, and the United States economy will build new products and add high value jobs.