Silicon Valley needs to invest in America


Tech leaders aren’t in the business of creating jobs. They’re in business Wholesale Minnesota Vikings Gear And Apparel – Cheap NFL Jerseys to help us do more with less. They like innovation and disruption and software eating the world but people er, not so much.

In his own Chance the gardener way, the President elect might be on to something. His victory was a middle finger salute from those who feeling left out by technology and globalisation. The tech industry’s trend is toward leaving more people out by automating yet more lower level jobs while creating only high skilled jobs. It’s becoming clear that if tech doesn’t change that trajectory, the consequences might look something like the Visigoths attacking Rome in 410.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet’s Larry Page and a bunch of their peers slinked into Trump Tower on 14 December for a meeting with the President elect, who doesn’t use a computer, probably has never used Uber and no doubt thinks team messaging app Slackis what he finds at the tips of his gloves. If you can imagine how top neurosurgeons would react to a lecture on the brain by a TV chef well, that’s how the tech leaders must have felt in this session.

Trump praised the chief executives for the great work they do but once the doors closed, he reportedly told the group they need to create more US jobs and not just for artificial intelligence specialists in Silicon Valley. He apparently emphasised that to make a difference, tech would need to invest in boots on the ground jobs in the middle of the country.

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He’s right, in that tech companies played a have major role in creating the yawning wealth gap between digital America and analogue America. Look at one indicator: revenue per employee across different industries.

Wal Mart, which operates staff intensive retail stores spread across the planet, employs 2.1 million people. Its revenue per employee stays pretty constant at $220,000 (180,000). General Motors, a major manufacturer, does better: its revenue per employee is around 570,000.

Now look at Facebook. Its revenue per employee is $1.4m, double GM’s. Apple bludgeons Facebook’s performance with $2.1m in revenue for each person who works there 10 times that of Wal Mart.

ButApple, the most valuable company in America, directly employs just 66,000 the number of people who go to see a typical NFL game. Meanwhile, Wal Mart’s stock is about the same price it was in 2012. At companies such as Facebook and Apple, far more money is flowing into far fewer hands. And most of those hands are in tech corridors in California’s Bay Area or the north east.

It’s hard to completely blame tech chief executives for this disparity. This is how business is set up in America. getting more from less. But Trump is asking business as Steve Jobs might have put it to think different. Trump is telling tech companies numbers aren’t everything and don’t account for making a huge swath of the nation miserable. For that matter, the numbers won’t mean anything at all if the sense of being left out tears apart the social fabric and ignites a furious backlash. The disrupters might find themselves disrupted.

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IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty told the meeting her company will create 25,000 more jobs in the US. But her promise is a sign of tech’s obtuse thinking about jobs. Writing in USA Today a day before meeting Trump, Rometty said: “This is not about white collar vs. blue collar jobs but about the ‘new collar’ jobs that employers in many industries demand, but which remain largely unfilled.” She pointed out that 500,000 jobs are open in the tech sector because companies can’t find people with the right skills.

But here’s essentially what Rometty and a whole lot of tech CEOs are saying and I’m liberally paraphrasing, here: if only the unemployed and undereducated dumb asses would take some courses in Python coding, they could move to San Francisco, solve our programmer shortage and we’d pay them a hundred grand.

Yet how realistic is that? The US is a highly educated society, and still just one third of Americans are university graduates. A large swath of the country will never find their way into the tech ecosystem. And, by the way, Wholesale Authentic NHL Jerseys a lot of people actually want to live in places that have little traffic and an absence of Asian fusion vegan restaurants.

What can tech CEOs really do about jobs? There was vast wealth in that room with Trump, and there is so much more spread throughout the tech sector. The industry needs to promote the idea that some of its wealth should be deployed to build or keep alive schools, parks, bookstores, newspapers, orchestras, bowling alleys, small manufacturers or whatev

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