The Impact of Technology and Globalization on Employment and Equity: An Organizing Framework for Action

Bernard Arogyaswamy, John Hunter

Abstract


The United States has experienced a decline in the number of well-paid manufacturing jobs requiring no more than a high school diploma, as well as of middle-income knowledge economy jobs. Globalization is, indeed, as many suggest, partly responsible for this problem. Other factors have, however, played an equally, if not more, significant role. Technological advancements, the decline of labor’s bargaining power, and the sharply increased financialization of the economy are among the factors which have contributed to the loss of manufacturing and service sector jobs, the creation of new types of tasks for which there are not enough qualified applicants, and a widening of income inequality. With the help of the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) system, we discuss each of these four factors taken individually and collectively (i.e. the Pressure), which result in the outcomes or States. The Responses discuss actions taken to address the negative effects of the P-S. We also propose responses which might be considered, and contend that training/retraining programs need to be redesigned, corporations need to play a more active role in dealing with societal disruptions, and that governments have a crucial role to play in ensuring economic and social stability. It needs to be emphasized that, particularly in regard to technology and the mutually reinforcing relationship between technology and globalization, which has transformed the nature of work, future impacts on employment and inequality) may well be even more powerful than in in the past.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijgs.v3i1.14127

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