Economic Inequality and the American Dream

Is technology widening the wage gap?

This Friday’s presentations on the differing views of conservatives and liberals on economic inequality, really made me think about the question, is technology widening the wage gap?

Dr. Greenlaw brought up a statement about this at the end of the presentations and it really gives a good oversight and answer to the question. As technology rises to become the true superpower of this generation, it also becomes more complicated. This increases the demand for skilled works and decreases the demand for unskilled workers. This eventually results in the wage gap widening because those that are skilled will be making a larger sum of money than those that are unskilled.

While technology is widening the wage gap, is there a way to stop it? We can not stop using technology so how can we lessen this gap? I believe that we should push and help the education of those who may not be able to afford it. We should attempt to get people on the skilled worker list and help those who are unable to get on it by providing them with some type of better employment.

One Comment

  • Steven Greenlaw

    The question is a bit more nuanced than skilled (educated) vs. unskilled (uneducated). As manufacturing processes become more automated, people who used to be able to get a good, middle-class job with just a high school diploma don’t have the skills for entry level jobs anymore. Rather, entry level jobs require *some* higher education, not necessarily a 4 year degree, but a two year technical degree or at least some technical training. People who get those jobs earn more than they would have in the old factory, because with the new technology they are more productive. But those who don’t get the additional education/training face more limited, less well paid options.

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