In the Technology as solution/problem article, I was struck with the low percentage of career wages available in high tech occupations.
Looks like the data is a little old ("...created between now and 1995..."), but if our film we watched before spring break is any indicator, not much has changed. The young man who worked at HP is a perfect example. He made next to nothing working for a subcontractor (Manpower), while the former hippie dude in the office made big time 'bling' (sorry about that).
Fifty years ago, in the era of the living wage factory worker, someone on the assembly line, thanks to a political climate more favorable to organized workers, the New Deal and significant investment in capital, research and development, someone like the young Manpower/HP worker could earn enough to buy home (or perhaps a condo in the Bay area) and save enough for his kids to go on to higher education.
Wouldn't HP have more customers for their products if they paid a living wage and if they sent lobbyists to Washington to enforce better labor standards so that the competition couldn't cut costs by paying less for longer hours in less safe conditions?
I know the rapid change of the computer industry doesn't favor long range planning, but anyone can see that this low wage, no benefits work force is not sustainable for long-term competitiveness. What's more, it's immoral.