The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor, and Power in the Age of Automation, 1st Edition

  • Carl Benedikt Frey
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0691191956
  • ISBN-13: 9780691191959
  • DDC: 670.427
  • 480 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

  • Price:  Sign in for price



This title explains how the history of technological revolutions can help us better understand economic and political polarization in the age of automation. From the Industrial Revolution to the age of artificial intelligence, it takes a sweeping look at the history of technological progress and how it has radically shifted the distribution of economic and political power. The Industrial Revolution created unprecedented wealth and prosperity over the long run, but the immediate consequences were devastating for many. Middle-income jobs withered, wages stagnated, the labor share of income fell, profits surged, and economic inequality skyrocketed. These trends broadly mirror those in our current age of automation, which began with the Computer Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was a defining moment in history, but few grasped its enormous consequences at the time. This volume demonstrates that the lessons of the past can help us to more effectively face the present.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
The Great Stagnation.
1: A Brief History of Preindustrial Progress.
2: Preindustrial Prosperity.
3: Why Mechanization Failed.
The Great Divergence.
4: The Factory Arrives.
5: The Industrial Revolution and Its Discontents.
The Great Leveling.
6: From Mass Production to Mass Flourishing.
7: The Return of the Machinery Question.
8: The Triumph of the Middle Class.
The Great Reversal.
9: The Descent of the Middle Class.
10: Forging Ahead, Drifting Apart.
11: The Politics of Polarization.
The Future.
12: Artificial Intelligence.
13: The Road to Riches.