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Google's Eric Schmidt proposes three solutions to inequality in democracies

(Credit: Reuters) Google Chairman Eric Schmidt waits for his turn to deliver a speech before a news conference at the main office of Google Korea in Seoul November 8, 2011.
Eric Schmidt
March 8
8:09 AM 2014
by Nicel Jane Avellana

Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of search behemoth Google, suggested three solutions to address the inequality growing in democracies, TechCrunch reported. This is particularly the case in San Francisco where Google and other tech companies have been the subject of activist protests.

Speaking at a SXSW conference in Austin, Schmidt said that Google was very concerned about the matter and proposed the following solutions. First, he recommended that support be given to startups. Schmidt, who is also promoting his book "The New Digital Age" which he wrote with Jared Cohen, said, "When you look at the solutions to the problems that you're describing, which ultimately lead to severe joblessness, they all involve creating fast-growth startups."

The second solution involves providing "more education, more information, more connectivity." Together with President Barack Obama, Schmidt has been advocating for more education in the STEM fields or science, technology, engineering and math so that the growing yet unmet demand for tech jobs can be filled. Schmidt has forecasted that robots will ultimately replace work involving repetitive tasks that don't involve "creativity and caring," the report said.

The third solution lies in providing government assistance. Since there is only a limited number of people who can do sophisticated STEM jobs, there must be a "safety net" for those who will not make the cut. This way, they will at least be able to have a place to live and have healthcare, the report said.

During the conference, Schmidt said that inequality will become a primary issue in democracies. Google's private charter buses have been seen as the symbol of the gentrification occurring in the city because of the presence of the tech industry. While some economists say that their presence have cushioned the middle class from the ill-effects of recession, many residents who have lived in San Francisco for a long time have been evicted from their homes due to the surge in rents, the report said.

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Nicel Jane Avellana

Staff Reporter at VCPOST.

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