Looking into this “The great decoupling” interview, the main takes for me were:
McAfee: We’ll continue to see the middle class hollowed out and will see growth at the low and high ends. Really good executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and novelists—they will all reap rewards. Yo-Yo Ma won’t be replaced by a robot anytime soon, but financially, I wouldn’t want to be the world’s 100th-best cellist.
What kind of economic environment would make the best use of the new digital technologies?
McAfee: One that’s conducive to innovation, new business formation, and economic growth. To create it, we need to focus on five things:
The first is education. Primary and secondary education systems should be teaching relevant and valuable skills, which means things computers are not good at. These include creativity, interpersonal skills, and problem solving.
The second is infrastructure. World-class roads, airports, and networks are investments in the future and the foundations of growth.
Third, we need more entrepreneurship. Young businesses, especially fast-growing ones, are a prime source of new jobs. But most industries and regions are seeing fewer new companies than they did three decades ago.
A fourth focus is immigration. Many of the world’s most talented people come to America to build lives and careers, and there’s clear evidence that immigrant-founded companies have been great job-creation engines. The current policies in this area are far too restrictive, and our procedures are nightmarishly bureaucratic.
The fifth thing is basic research. Companies tend to concentrate on applied research, which means that the government has a role to play in supporting original early-stage research. Most of today’s tech marvels, from the internet to the smartphone, have a government program somewhere in their family tree. Funding for basic research in America, though, is on the decline: Both total and nondefense federal R&D spending, as percentages of GDP, have declined by more than a third since 1980. That must change….”
My note: Assisting the low income citizens will not be an option – it will and is a necessity for stability and growth of society as a whole.