Innovation and Disruption
Since disruption causes previously successful businesses to fail, which could mean the loss of jobs and major changes in an economy, some governments have political policies in place that protect current businesses. On the other hand, innovation can help improve efficiencies and expand new markets and opportunities. Thus, other governments have structures that help support and encourage innovation. Others feel that it is possible to support both at the same time.
What do you think is a better position (support current/ support innovation/support all) and how do you think government(s) could do this? (Short essay ~ 200 words)
Innovation creates new opportunities and helps businesses make better use of existing ones. While this could be considered a good thing, it could also put other companies out of business. This could produce untold sorrows to millions of people whose jobs are taken away by technology (Twerenbold, 2017). There has been talk of universal basic income for all citizens but the applicability and results are still debatable as the society has not reached the optimum level for total application of technology. There has been talk of supporting current industry but there are various reasons why this idea is not the best.
Firstly, the market environment is driven by competition. Every business gains its lead through innovation. As a result, companies invest a lot of money in innovation. Continuing to support companies that refuse to innovate will deny those that innovate a return on their investment. This will hurt innovation in the long run since companies will be reluctant to invest in innovation when they can’t undercut their competitors. Secondly, supporting companies will be an additional burden to the government. This will force the government to divert money supposed to be used for other services, such as healthcare, to support companies. This will create an unfair business environment.
In response to the fears that many people be rendered jobless, the government should tax heavily companies that employ disruptive technology. This money can be reinvested in creating a conducive environment for innovation so that other companies come on board. It can also be used to provide a welfare system for people who are made redundant by the innovation, while they are encouraged to acquire relevant skills.
Twerenbold, Roman. The Good, the Bad and the Innovative: Understanding the Darker Side of Innovation for Development. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). 2017.