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Yvette Carnell: On How Computers are Creating a Second Economy Without Workers

by Yvette Carnell

In The Atlantic, Bill Davidow discusses what black people would be discussing were it not for our obsession with Obama’s dog, Bo’, or how snazzy the President and First Lady looked in their Easter outfits. McCain was right. The jobs aren’t coming back, and here’s why:

The Second Economy — a term the economist Brian Arthur uses to describe the computer-intensive portion of the economy — is, quite simply, the virtual economy. One of its main byproducts is the replacement of low-productivity workers with computers. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, brimming with optimistic entrepreneurs, and spawning a new generation of billionaires. In fact, the booming Second Economy will probably drive much of the economic growth in the coming decades.

Unfortunately, the Second Economy will not create many jobs.

Let me say that again; the Second Economy will not create any jobs. While most of  black media, from The Root to The Grio, are busy reporting the latest numbers from the most recent jobs report, the economy is shifting beneath your feet. They’re playing musical chairs, and by the time the music stops, your chair will be gone.

Either we jump on the virtual bandwagon – the Second Economy – or get left behind to sharecrop for those who saw all of this coming. We’re entering an economic phase where you don’t just get a job, you make a job. A phase which places less emphasis on the traditional resume’, and more emphasis on how one can creatively harness the power of the virtual infrastructure to earn income.

Maybe the answer for you is to start small and begin building something online after your 9-5 day is done. For some, the answer lies in collaboration with others who have similar online business ambitions. There are no rules here except for one: Lead or get left behind. There is no place in this Second Economy for followers, so if you’re looking for someone to tell you exactly what to do, or how to do it,  you’ve already lost.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld.


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