Forget ‘The Innovators’: ‘Maintainers’… Advance… Technology – CityLab
Another article hitting the same notes about income inequality and what we are missing about discussions of the value of labor and where the country should head.
We’ve got to stop glamorizing entrepreneurship and innovation. And we’ve got to stop seeing this path as the solution to our problems. This is not to say that higher ed, innovation, startups, small biz, and entrepreneurs aren’t necessary. They’re just not the solution nor should they be the goal for the majority of people. That’s like asking every high schooler to bet on a major league sports career as their future path.
We need to recognize the value of the ‘Maintainers’, the labor force that drives this country. We don’t need to put them on a pedestal, and we don’t need to cry about lost manufacturing jobs, but we need to make sure that this large group in the middle is doing well. Their work keeps the country afloat, not the innovators. We need to make sure they earn their share of the profits. We need to support policies which keep these wages growing not shrinking over time.
nothing against “innovators” such as Jobs and his ilk—it’s just that “maintainers” are doing so much more. “The vast majority of technologies that surround us and underpin our lives are not innovations,” Vinsel says. “And the vast majority of labor in our culture is not focused on introducing or adopting new things, but on keeping things going.”