Does innovation lead to prosperity for all?
The word 'innovation' has become the new mythical silver bullet to fix the world economy.

Shutterstock.com

Article Highlights

  • Without a doubt, exciting new technologies, including in robotics, 3-D printing, and gene therapy, are impressive.

    Tweet This

  • But will these innovative breakthroughs raise real income for average working families?

    Tweet This

  • The world's efforts at innovation are on a quality decline, they say, and so therefore is the world economy.

    Tweet This

Without a doubt, exciting new technologies, including in robotics, 3-D printing, and gene therapy, are impressive. Blood markers and the ability to reengineer genetic DNA have achieved fantastic breakthroughs. Nanotechnology and biotechnology have improved living standards significantly. In the future, machine-to-machine interfacing and the use of ultra-powerful quantum computing will know no bounds.

But will these innovative breakthroughs raise real income for average working families? The 1930s saw an outbreak of impressive technological progress. The Great Depression continued anyway.

The battle lines are drawn. Some theorists believe new technological innovations that lead to productivity increases are actually the economy's growth and job killers. They cite the fears of many families that someday their kids in the workforce could be replaced by a machine.

Others argue that the economy benefits from as many innovative startup jobs as possible. They stress evidence showing that a half million new tech startup jobs produce 2.5 million other new jobs.

Still others argue that there is not enough innovation. The world's efforts at innovation are on a quality decline, they say, and so therefore is the world economy.

Of course, "productivity," as the writer Adam Davidson puts it, "is a remarkable thing. Only through productivity growth can a wage-earner's quality of life improve." But are wage-earning families seeing the full benefits of today's revolution in innovation?

AEI's John Makin, James Pethokoukis, and Stan Veuger weigh in on this debate. Their contributions can be found in the PDF below.

Does innovation lead to prosperity for all? by American Enterprise Institute

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

John H.
Makin

 

James
Pethokoukis

 

Stan
Veuger

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.