Technology Jobs

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
a ticket to the middle income bracket, a nice car in the driveway and a house in
the suburbs. Today all it gets is a clunker parked on the street, and a dingy
apartment in a low rent building,” says Time Magazine (Jan 30, 1995 issue).

However, in 1970, our government provided our children with a free
education, allowing the vast majority of our population to earn a high school
diploma. This means that anyone, regardless of family income, could be educated
to a level that would allow them a comfortable place in the middle class. Even
restrictions upon child labor hours kept children in school, since they are not
allowed to work full time while under the age of 18. This government policy was
conducive to our economic markets, and allowed our country to prosper from 1950
through 1970. Now, our own prosperity has moved us into a highly technical
world, that requires highly skilled labor. The natural answer to this problem,
is that the U.S. Government\'s education policy must keep pace with the demands
of the highly technical job market. If a middle class income of 1970 required a
high school diploma, and the middle class income of 1990 requires a college
diploma, then it should be as easy for the children of the 90\'s to get a college
diploma, as it was for the children of the 70\'s to get a high school diploma.
This brings me to the issue of our country\'s political process, in a
technologically advanced world.

The advance of mass communication is natural in a technologically
advanced society. In our country\'s short history, we have seen the development
of the printing press, the radio, the television, and now the Internet; all of
these, able to reach millions of people. Equally natural, is the poisoning and
corruption of these medias, to benefit a few.

From the 1950\'s until today, television has been the preferred media. Because
it captures the minds of most Americans, it is the preferred method of
persuasion by political figures, multinational corporate advertising, and the
upper 2% of the elite, who have an interest in controlling public opinion.
Newspapers and radio experienced this same history, but are now somewhat
obsolete in the science of changing public opinion. Though I do not suspect
television to become completely obsolete within the next 20 years, I do see the
Internet being used by the same political figures, multinational corporations,
and upper 2% elite, for the same purposes. At this time, in the Internet\'s
young history, it is largely unregulated, and can be accessed and changed by any
person with a computer and a modem; no license required, and no need for
millions of dollars of equipment. But, in reviewing our history, we find that
newspaper, radio and television were once