Technology


Technological development will be one of the key catalysts that will help with the middle- class comeback by introducing competition and efficiency to some of the age-old operational models in education, healthcare, housing, and taxing. It will squeeze excess capacity in transportation, lodging, logistics, buildings, and other sectors alike and turn them into productive, revenue generating ventures. It will eventually lead to less waste, increased capacity, and shorter delivery time of products and services. This chapter is focused on four key areas that will have a larger positive influence on the middle-class pocketbook due to technology: transportation, energy, environment, and communication.


Technology is another area where women are gaining parity, even though there is still a long way to go. However, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Meg Whitman of HP Enterprise and former CEO of eBay, Neerja Sethi of Syntel, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, Ursula Burns of Xerox, Virginia Rometty of IBM, and many others all represent hope and change in the technology field and serve as role models for other aspiring women leaders.


Technology is reshaping American culture and the economy like never before. America is moving away from a centralized economy to a distributed and sharing economy. The United States is generating electricity through solar panels as part of a distributed energy platform; information sharing and data processing have been decentralized through tablets and smartphones; Uber and Lyft are allowing car sharing through technology; Airbnb and HomeAway.com allow people to share physical space; businesses and individuals are sharing, storing, and processing data through cloud-based services. All of this re-envisioning will continue to reduce costs and make us more productive, which will result in increased purchasing power for average Americans.


Over the last two decades some of the gains in standards of living can be attributed in part to increased productivity through distributed platforms. A Distributed Ecosystem can be used as a metaphor for the distribution, collaboration, and sharing of knowledge, production and services. The Internet is the critical medium for this evolving ecosystem and will continue to transform American society and culture. These platforms will continue to evolve and make industries more efficient and improve Americans' quality of life as long as the benefits are shared by everybody, not the top one-percenters.


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Munir Moon *** The Beltway Beast