Internet is Destroying the Middle Class

My dream is to cut all ties with civilization but still be on the InternetWhere have all the jobs gone? Computer scientist, and many people say, visionary, Jaron Lanier (he supposedly coined the term "virtual reality" when he helped pioneer the field), has found the culprit: the Internet.

In his new book Who Owns the Future? Jaron explains why the Internet is destroying the middle class by killing jobs, wealth (except for the lucky few) and even - gasp - democracy itself:

“Here’s a current example of the challenge we face,” he writes in the book’s prelude: “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 14,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?” [...]

So Kodak has 140,000 really good middle-class employees, and Instagram has 13 employees, period. You have this intense concentration of the formal benefits, and that winner-take-all feeling is not just for the people who are on the computers but also from the people who are using them. So there’s this tiny token number of people who will get by from using YouTube or Kickstarter, and everybody else lives on hope. There’s not a middle-class hump. It’s an all-or-nothing society.

Read more in this interview with Scott Timberg of Salon: Link (Image: My Dream is to cut all ties with civilization but still be on the Internet)


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Thank you, I do enjoy the Journal, love that Urban Gardener. You are either a fan as well, and have a subscription, or found the link in at another site and decided to use the WSJ link instead of the one from the site that referenced the article because the link you sent requires an account to access.

By saying they, “avoid paying their share of taxes”, I’m assuming you mean companies and individuals who use legal tax breaks to lower the amount of taxes they pay. Using that definition, every business and nearly every person who pays income taxes in America would be guilty. Regardless, I’ve already stated in this thread that I think that many tax loopholes should be closed. What I wonder is how you can bemoan large corporations not paying what you consider they owe in taxes while only a couple of days ago arguing for that very idea by wishing for, “…a taxation system that penalizes offshoring jobs, and rewards companies that develop real jobs here”.
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I don’t consider the .01% to be the only people in a country who are wealthy. I do consider people who have more savings than 88% of the rest of the citizens of their country to be wealthy; I’m sure the 88% feel the same way.

My comment was a request for you to explain your statements, not to delve into your feelings. You tend to advance a position and immediately retreat to try another tactic when I refute what you say.
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How does 12% having saved $250,000 apply to the -.01% of the population who would actually be wealthy. Sorry, no, having $250,000 to $500,000 is not wealthy. Most people who make in the upper five digits could conceivably have that much to invest depending on where they live and how they spend their money. They are definitely not wealthy.

And the reason I don't bother telling you how I feel is because you obviously have an agenda and you have no intention about listening. You don't dialogue, you monologue.
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If it is so ridiculous a comparison, then why has the percentage of Americans who have given up their citizenship as Igor Sikorsky did increased dramatically since 2008? A vast majority of these people are concerned with taxes and FATCA. Why, if not for uncertainty around Obamacare, are so many businesses cutting back on hours for employees and refusing to go over the 50-employee threshold? It’s funny that you mention the Scandinavian countries; all of them have lower corporate tax rates than the U.S., Norway (28%), Finland (26%), Denmark (25%), Sweden (22%), and Iceland (20%). According to the Heritage Foundation, most of these countries rank higher than the U.S. in business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, fiscal freedom, property freedom and freedom from corruption, making them closer than the U.S. to the laissez-faire economy you demonized earlier. As for the poor not being left behind, much of that is due to having small immigrant populations. Most countries with high levels of immigration also have high levels of poverty. In, Sweden, the one country that has a foreign-born percentage of its population comparable to the U.S., immigrant children accounted for 65% of all the poor. And let’s not forget that Norway is the largest oil producer and exporter in Western Europe, all of that oil money goes a long way toward paying for socialism. Despite being so happy, every Scandinavian country has a higher suicide rate than the U.S.

All taxes seize assets. Socialism is inextricably tied to seizing the assets from some and giving them to others. Socialism’s problem is that they eventually run out of other people’s money.

12% of Americans have saved more than $250,000, I think it’s fairly accurate to state that having saved $500,000 would qualify one as being considered wealthy. With regard to taxes, my argument isn’t that one shouldn’t pay one’s fair share, but that they already do.

In future responses, I ask that you explain why you feel a certain way rather than just making a comment and dismissing my words so that I can better understand what you mean.
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