Donald Low points out that people are history
has been a failure of governments to compensate the losers of globalisation and technological disruptions sufficiently. Not only has income inequality increased in most developed countries, but this has been accompanied by wage stagnation for average earners. Technology advances may have created new and better jobs, but they have also caused the disappearance of many jobs that required “middling” skills and earned middle wages—a phenomenon known as job polarisation.
And that there’s nothing in the report about safety nets (rumour has it that recommendations on “stronger safety nets” were taken out because of the PAP’s dislike of “welfarism”):
the state would be called upon to engage in more aggressive fiscal redistribution and to provide stronger safety nets. In fact, such measures are not just a necessary response to higher inequality. They are also an important lubricant of economic restructuring and a complement for measures to promote competitiveness; they make pro-growth policies far more acceptable to workers.
The American experience shows that the middle class is being wiped out by the march of progress, something that will happen here whether or not S’poreans vote for the PAP.
By DAVID SIEGEL
Trade and immigration became the boogeymen in the presidential election, but what’s really displacing workers is the advance of technology.