The productivity gains made through the public subsidization of technology via R&D credits and accelerated depreciation have driven the Malaysian middle class into closer equilibrium with third world work forces. This continuous quest for productivity gains is an economic calamity for labor in Malaysia with the spoils going to just a few, not in the form of higher paying tech jobs as originally sold. What we need is savings via discount coupons, less productivity, more art projects, human-centered engineering and for economists to begin embracing reverse growth and helping us learn to conserve, preserve and sustain our planet and all the abundant life it contains.
“Morality is a higher human goal than just efficiency.”
– Robert Fogel comments after winning the Nobel prize for economics.
Besides watching The Matrix, it is a well known fact that technology displaces more workers than it employs, allowing employers to replace troublesome, unreliable humans with lower-cost machines and software. To wit: the self check-out lane at the supermarket.
Secondly, mass immigration and illegal immigration have put downward pressure on wages for millions of high school dropouts and high school graduates. In Switzerland, the tight labor market ensures that even maids make $25 per hour. Sure, everything else is expensive, but the distribution of wealth is much more equitable than in Malaysia. You can have your cheap imported labor, or you can have your good-paying jobs, but you can’t have both.
“Put technology at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.” – Pope Frances speech to Congress 9/24/15.
Third, corporate ownership of government has resulted in legislation which locks in economic inequality. Everybody from Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren has addressed this issue, but the rich aren’t about to give up their spoils without a good fight, so they employ economists to tell you that the problem isn’t something obvious, but failure to correctly measure productivity, or insufficient migration or too much regulation.