People often think that the future will be all about flying cars, robots, and space travel. Maybe it will be like that, who knows, but until this day, the changes haven’t been remarkable. Companies are investing more money in research and development. This indicates that companies and governments are interested in achieving and finding new technological inventions that could change the markets.
Already, one of the most significant computer-related inventions, the Internet, has changed the way information is spread globally. E-commerce companies’ stocks are rising in the stock markets like rockets. This is a great example of how future technology will change the world’s economics as it greatly affects our everyday lives. The Internet is a worldwide network of connected computers that enables communication with the rest of the world in different ways. It has been approximated that the total amount of information globally doubles every 18 months, indicating that the Internet, as an essential part of media nowadays, affects everyone, even if we might not have the possibility to be online.
The approximate number of people who are online daily is more than 18%. There are many companies online, including big ones like Coca-Cola, Disney, Xerox, and IBM. They use the web for branding and product recognition, as well as providing information and entertainment.
There is a completely new industry with lots of net-based companies such as search engines, banner exchanges, hosting services, marketers, and software enterprises. There are also others that have expanded their originally offline business field to the net, such as credit card companies, researchers, marketers, and yellow pages. Small and medium-sized business companies sell to consumers. A great part of them uses the net to expand their offline business, while others try to make a living on it. Some of them see the necessity to transfer from one to the other in the future. Business-to-business companies are also found on the net.
In short, all kinds of enterprises have taken the step into the online world. The internet is not only a way to spend time surfing, but it is also a very good way to make money by transforming products, services, and markets. It is an easy way to reach people when thinking about advertising, and it is an easy way for people to reach the information they want. However, the competition between companies in the virtual reality of the internet is as hard as in the real world. Government space programs also influence and will influence the economics of the future.
The U.S. government’s NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has done a great job exploring space and researching new opportunities on outer space and other planets. The question is how new future technology will change the direction of economics and, by extension, our way of living on Earth or possibly on some other planet. The world population is growing rapidly, and the availability of living space on Earth may become a problem in the future. Additionally, Earth may not be able to sustain the increasing population’s food needs.
This is one of the reasons why we have to explore space for new opportunities. The problem is money. Are taxpayers willing to pay? After the recent failure of sending a $266 million Pathfinder to Mars, taxpayers started to doubt if the space program is worth it. However, mistakes caused by understaffed and overworked space teams are not unique to interplanetary missions like NASA’s Pathfinder mission. A single broken cord can cost $400 million, but who said it is not risky? Is this $450 billion plan going to give taxpayers their money’s worth? No, because the new technology will help their children and grandchildren live their everyday lives in a polluted and overpopulated environment caused by past generations.
In recent years, cost-reduction efforts throughout America’s space industry have had profound effects on the workforce. Older and more experienced workers were the predominant target of cost-conscious layoffs or of contract swapping prior to retirement benefits vesting. But even the younger workers, supposedly their eventual replacement, were victimized by the cuts. This is what taxpayers should understand: their selfish use of money on researching new technology might be a threat to future generations. If we were to bring back a rock in 2005 that clearly shows evidence of ancient life on the planet or if we were to find evidence of life on Mars, that would be great impetus for a human program.
A manned mission must have a compelling scientific or economic rationale.