Monday, February 2, 2009

The Cheapening: More Economic Optimism

I'm a fan of the $100 dollar laptop project. Right now the price is actually about $188 dollars, but its moving in the right direction and will eventually narrow the technology (and information access gap) tremendously... now India is trying to produce a $20 dollar laptop.

The world is going to get weird. Cloud computing make netbooks feasible. Breakthroughs in one technology interconnect with others. Advances in solar will change the way we look at power supply problems. Advances like the cheaper LED light bulbs reduce our power needs and could, potentially, also be implemented into netbooks or related devices.

What if the war on poverty is won not by significantly increasing wages but rather by making living on a dollar a day nearly feasible? Can we expect other important expenses to lower in a similar fashion? Houses? Cars? I'm not suggesting everyone would want to drive a Tata Nano or live in paper house, but seven thousand dollars is attainable to even a minimum wage worker- and these costs are likely to fall further.

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