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Capitalism and the future of the world

Last night I watched an interesting presentation by Fred Wilson (New York VC) where he talks (at LeWeb in Paris) about the big 3 technology trends shaping our world. In his view, they are 1) non-hierarchical networks (think Twitter vs. newspapers); 2) unbundling; and 3) smartphones (the most obvious of the 3). It’s a great talk even if you’re not interested in technology per se, because these trends are impacting virtually every industry, from banking to education.

This morning Fred wrote a post on his blog called “The Limits of Capitalism.” And I think it’s an excellent follow-up to his talk on the future. I would also classify myself as a capitalist, but I also think that unfettered capitalism will eventually break down. And in the context of the changes outlined in his presentation, I think we need to think long and hard about how we’re going to—not stop them from happening, because they’re inevitable—but best cope with them.

Because already we’re seeing rising income inequality and a complete “bifurcation of the labor market into high-skill and low-skill jobs.” And that in turn is impacting our cities. In fact, that bifurcation is what largely got Rob Ford elected here in Toronto.

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