Detroit Today: How to ensure technological progress is shared in the 21st century

Technological progress has only been collectively shared when people democratically demand it, according to MIT economist Daron Acemoglu.

Does technology improve our lives? That question gets a different answer depending on who you ask. 

Technology is undoubtedly embedded in our daily experiences — but it hasn’t necessarily led to higher wages, stable retirement accounts or a better collective wellbeing. That’s also true historically, according to the new book, “Power and Progress: Our 1000-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity.”

The book’s author, Daron Acemoglu, joined Detroit Today to discuss how we can ensure technological progress is shared in the 21st century.

Listen: How to ensure technological progress is shared in the 21st century


Daron Acemoglu is a professor of economics at MIT, and co-author of the book “Power and Progress: Our 1000-year struggle over technology and prosperity.” He says workers and low-income individuals need to organize to ensure they are not exploited by new technology that is created. 

“We have done very well,” says Acemoglu, “when the market economy was embedded in the right set of regulations and laws and it had a democratic input about what people wanted — especially about how progress should be shared.” 

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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.