Tags: Stephen Hawking | Technology | Income | Inequality

Stephen Hawking: Technology Is Making Income Inequality Worse

Stephen Hawking: Technology Is Making Income Inequality Worse
Stephen Hawking (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 October 2015 08:30 AM

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking reportedly has warned that technology is partly to blame for the rise in income inequality because great advances can leave most people "miserably poor."

"Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution," he said in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) post last week, CNNMoney reported.

"So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality," Hawking said.

However, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon disagrees and contends advanced technology helps offset income inequality.

He contends that life is getting better in the U.S. even with stagnating wages for some workers, thanks to improvements in technology and cars.

“It’s not right to say we’re worse off,” Dimon said at a recent event in Detroit in response to a question about declining median income, Bloomberg reported. “If you go back 20 years ago, cars were worse, health was worse, you didn’t live as long, the air was worse. People didn’t have iPhones.”

While income inequality is a problem, slashing CEO pay wouldn’t help, he added.

“It is true that income inequality has kind of gotten worse,” Dimon said, noting that he wants things to get better for low- and middle-class households. Still, “you can take the compensation of every CEO in America and make it zero and it wouldn’t put a dent into it. What really matters is growth.”

Rising income inequality has become a heated political topic in the U.S. Hedge-fund managers are the target of Democrats and Republicans seeking the 2016 presidential nomination, and some Republicans in Congress have expressed openness to the idea of raising the tax rate on carried interest. Regulators are seeking to make it easier for shareholders to see the gap between what companies pay their leaders and the rest of their workforce.

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Famed physicist Stephen Hawking reportedly has warned that technology is partly to blame for the rise in income inequality because great advances can leave most people "miserably poor."
Stephen Hawking, Technology, Income, Inequality
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2015-30-13
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 08:30 AM
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