Friday, April 8, 2016

Innovation Sharpens the Edge to Undercut the Competition...

...What happens after innovation, however, is simply a matter of cost control; where control must happen at any social cost so as to avoid hits to the monetary bottom line.

This is but another reason why, after decades of ever increasing competition, so little attention is paid to maintenance, which, as the linked Aeon article makes clear, is just one more delayed cost we can lay at the feet of an economic operating system long past its use by date.

Sure, innovation initially is quite the job creator, but that's only because your new way of doing something allows you to sell a great deal more of it, which certainly means more people involved in making it; which describes a virtuous circle of economic growth... that is until technology comes along and creates a particular innovation that just happens to make human skill not so necessary anymore (at least up front in the manufacturing). As a consequence one of the things that begins to not be maintained are all of the infrastructure a society requires to not only keep health, education and ordinary sustenance viable, but basic equity and justice a practical expectation for all its citizens. This is so, if for no other reason, because there are so few left with employment at a living wage, and those few who do reap the major benefits simply refuse to be taxed enough to compensate.

Please take the time to read the Aeon article. It is quite instructive on how we've come to be where we are now.

Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more

by Lee Vinsel & Andrew Russell