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Creative destruction works in long run

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POSTED February 6, 2014 1:14 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin

Change — we asked for it.

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Deals — we all want them. We demand lower prices. Service — we expect it. We are willing to sacrifice the price of our “deals” for an improvement in the service. Competition — it’s what gives us the best deal in balance with service.

Creative destruction is the messy way the free market delivers progress. It occurs when something kills something older such as tractors replacing horses on the farm, personal computers replacing mainframes, guns replacing swords. Over time, societies that allow creative destruction to operate grow more productive and richer. Their citizens see the benefits of new and better products and services. Here lies the paradox of progress. A society cannot reap the rewards of creative destruction without accepting that some individuals might be worse off, not just in the short term, but perhaps forever.

If the change does not bring an improvement, it will not survive. That is how we get progress.

With progress comes opportunity and upward mobility. It requires educating people about new products and services to take advantage of them to survive. If people choose to go to a cafe, order from a tablet and it improves their experience that is progress. If not that cafe will go out of business as it is. It’s survival of the fittest in the economical jungle. I would say it is time for those who were replaced by technology and its success to educate themselves and look for opportunities for improvement in their skill set.

It’s not easy and no one said it would be. If we don’t take the initiative to change ourselves and change with progress we will be worse off. Seeking opportunity through the changes brought on by creative destruction can bring upward mobility. Isn’t progress the helping hand of the American dream that we should all embrace rather than a hand out? Opportunity is everywhere even when jobs are destroyed by new technology and services. We should be looking for it and embracing it.


Paul A. Schmitt
Feb. 3, 2014

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