October 13, 2013
So, while developed countries are worrying about the breakdown of the blue social model based on mass manufacturing jobs and lifetime employment, the real story is that developing countries may never get to the blue model. Automation and global competition mean than manufacturing jobs and their wages aren’t going to grow enough to support a middle class in China and other countries as they did in the US, Europe and Japan.
If this is true, the implications are enormous: social stability in countries like China could be much more tenuous than many think, and developing countries may have a much harder time reaching the levels of affluence found in the advanced world. Since we’ve never seen a global industrial revolution before, much less one that is taking place at the same time as a global information revolution, nobody really knows how it will all shake out. But it is trends like this, not budget fights in Washington, that will shape the future of the human race.
True, for the most part.