The Price of Tomorrow (w/ Jeff Booth)
JEFF BOOTH: The book you mentioned, it is called the Price of Tomorrow, why technology is key to an abundant future. It's about what's happening in the world today, through the lens of you see the divide in political spectrums, you see the divide of the social contract in our world breaking down and it can be pulled back to technology is deflationary. That's not a guess that's a fact and it rides an exponential wave of deflation. What that means is we should be seeing lower and lower cost and higher and higher gains abundance everywhere in our world. Why we're not is because central governments and monetary stimulus around the world that's trying to prevent that. Because we've grown up in a world where inflation rate wins, and we can't see that deflation could be a good thing. MAX WIETHE: I do think you make an interesting case for that in your book. Before we go a little bit deeper into exactly how you lay out your thesis, why don't we go back a little bit to understand your background, and how you came to these ideas. JEFF BOOTH: My background is as a technology entrepreneur, and I've started on numerous companies, one of which grew to over $500 billion market cap. I'm on boards of numerous other technology companies. In an interesting analog to what I'm seeing is, engineers, there's something called the engineer's ring, and it's a ring that symbolizes our work has meaning, our work has consequences. The story behind it comes from a bridge collapse in Montreal in the 1920s. Now, when you're an engineer, you have to take an oath, our work has consequences. In technology, our work has consequences. The consequences actually could be profoundly great. Every single technology company I'm involved in or helping entrepreneurs are intent on making the world better through technology. If you look at what's going to happen out of the jobs, because of technology, artificial intelligence and what's happening, it's hard to square that peg. It's really hard because our job as technology entrepreneurs is to make things more efficient and the technology that we're able to use today to deploy to make that happen come at the cost of jobs. I know today, there's some people that say, oh, no, don't worry, there's going to be more jobs in the future, more net new jobs in the future. I do not believe that's true, and we could go into that. If the technology can create a more efficient future, and we don't change our social structures or the way that our economies are built, then we're going to drive polarization into our economies, and ultimately, that's going to end in a really bad spot for society. MAX WIETHE: Is it this societal change that you think we need to make? That was the reason that you wrote the book? Why did you decide to put pen to paper? JEFF BOOTH: For my children. For the impact, my children won't grow up in the world that I grew up in, unless their societal change on this. How you get elected in a cycle like this of division is you create internal division in a country and then that internal division isn't big enough to stay elected, and you need to blame another country. If you just look through the lens of what's happening in the polarization of the world today, Hitler's a good example in the '30s. Pray on, because people don't want to face the first principles, the facts, it's easy to drive blame and division into that. We have a structural change that's hitting society. We're not talking about the first principles, we're talking about everything that's in the news is two orders of magnitude away from the first principles. That's why I wrote the book.