Technology is political

Technology is political

I’ve just read a fascinating interview with Daron Acemoglu. Who is Daron and why should you care?


Daron is an economist. In 2012 he co-wrote “Why Nations Fail”.  This book argues that successful nations are inclusive, have universal property rights and democratic forms of government. Nations fail not because of culture, history, and geography, but simply because their leaders would rather plunder the national wealth and because national institutions don’t have the strength to pull the country through bad leadership. Ring any bells? Ring them bells.

I often find the background to the thesis more interesting than the thesis; it’s no surprise that Daron grew up under military dictatorship in Turkey.

Why should I care? 

Daron has turned his analysis to the future of work, and that means thinking about robots, AI, machine learning > technology.

Economists have traditionally seen technology as a provider of wages and jobs. This is not guaranteed anymore.

Daron argues that in Europe and the USA (add Australia in there too), technology is attacking the very institutions that make successful nations.

What should we do? 

  • Reform education so that we teach our kids the technical skills needed today and in the future
  • Expand the social safety net > universal basic income is an interesting idea.
  • Tax capital more effectively



Any thoughts? Please email me or share on Facebook.

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