Technology and Modern America

Essay by aabbccdd123High School, 12th gradeA+, February 1995

download word file, 4 pages 3.3

The microeconomic picture of the U.S. has changed immensely since

1973, and the trends are proving to be consistently downward for

the nation's high school graduates and high school drop-outs. "Of all

the reasons given for the wage squeeze - international competition,

technology, deregulation, the decline of unions and defense cuts -

technology is probably the most critical. It has favored the

educated and the skilled," says M. B. Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of

U.S. News & World Report (7/31/95). Since 1973, wages adjusted

for inflation have declined by about a quarter for high school

dropouts, by a sixth for high school graduates, and by about 7% for

those with some college education. Only the wages of college

graduates are up.

Of the fastest growing technical jobs, software engineering

tops the list. Carnegie Mellon University reports, "recruitment of it's

software engineering students is up this year by over 20%." All

engineering jobs are paying well, proving that highly skilled labor is

what employers want! "There is clear evidence that the supply of

workers in the [unskilled labor] categories already exceeds the

demand for their services," says L.

Mishel, Research Director of

Welfare Reform Network. In view of these facts, I wonder if these

trends are good or bad for society. "The danger of the information

age is that while in the short run it may be cheaper to replace

workers with technology, in the long run it is potentially self-

destructive because there will not be enough purchasing power to

grow the economy," M. B. Zuckerman. My feeling is that the trend

from unskilled labor to highly technical, skilled labor is a good one!

But, political action must be taken to ensure that this societal

evolution is beneficial to all of us. "Back in 1970, a high school

diploma could still be...