I'm getting alarmed by the stockpiles of cash Microsoft, Apple, and Google are hoarding.
Just these three companies alone hold a combined $200B in cash. That's the equivalent of the US's median annual household income x 4 million.
We have roughly 600K people filing for unemployment each month. That $200B is enough to cover those 600K for nearly 7 YEARS--not just for the unemployment claim but for a full $50K/year salary.
The public's fascination with gadgets and technology, while great for those who make a living in the sector, is looking like a huge detriment to our economy.
It's nice to think that the free market can solve this inherent problem of winners winning and winning by such a large a margin, but the problem is that the people's wants and desires aren't varied enough to support more than a handful of winners.
The bandwagon effect is a vital part of the mechanism whereby the free market picks and chooses its winners, but it's self-defeating. Today's free market has a huge gravitational force toward forming oligopolies, and that means an unfettered free market is not sustainable. It has built-in mechanisms to cause its own destruction.
So what do we do about this? We want to continue nurturing the free market because it's the only politically correct thing to do, but it's becoming clearer and clearer to me that our 8.2% unemployment rate is only going to get worse as technology moves forward.