THE BLOG
01/28/2014 02:18 pm ET Updated Mar 29, 2014

FORUM: Growth, Inequality and Your Disappearing Job

" From Pope Francis' epistle to the global elite at Davos last week to President Obama's State of the Union speech, the issue of social inequality has at last arrived on everyone's agenda."

From Pope Francis' epistle to the global elite at Davos last week to President Obama's State of the Union speech, the issue of social inequality has at last arrived on everyone's agenda.

THEWORLDPOST has already addressed this issue in several contributions, notably Canadian Parliamentarian Chrystia Freeland on "the revolt against the global super-rich now underway" and Branko Milanovic, the lead economist of the World Bank .

He says that while global equality has actually increased over the past two decades, mostly due to the rise of the Chinese middle class, the fortunes of the American middle class have diminished significantly. And the rich have gotten richer.

Earlier this year on Huffington Post, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who implemented the reforms that have made Germany so prosperous, argued that a manufacturing base has been key to sustaining that country's middle class.

And recently, the New York Times ran an excellent article noting that you have a better chance of upward mobility in Denmark than in the United States - long vaunted as the most socially mobile society in the world.

THEWORLDPOST now broadens the conversation with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who argues that growth and sharing the wealth is a more important way to frame the issue than focusing on inequality. New York Times columnist and author Tom Friedman argues that in a "401k society" in which everyone is on their own, the creative-destructive churn of an innovative economy must be complemented by a stronger welfare state.

Eric Brynjolfsson , James Manyika and Andrew McAfee worry that "the second machine age" of the digital revolution will put more people out of work than create new jobs unless skills are bolstered through strong education policies. Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity, outlines how massive on-line learning can help meet this challenge.