The digital boom has helped the United States maintain its status — for now — as the world’s political and economic leader. But it has also increasingly created a divide within the U.S. — one of the themes that led to Donald Trump’s election as president.
“This issue of people feeling left behind — it’s not just a feeling,” says Steve Case, the internet pioneer who was AOL’s long-time CEO and now runs investment firm Revolution. “They have been left behind.”
And one problem, Case outlined at Recode’s Code Work event today at SXSW, is that too much attention — from investors, media, etc. — is focused on Silicon Valley and New York, citing a statistic that 78 percent of venture capital investment last year went to three states: California, New York and Massachusetts.
“If you’re funding disruption in a few places like Silicon Valley, some of that, naturally, is going to result in destroying jobs in different sectors, many of which are in the middle of the country,” Case said, interviewed by Recode executive editor Kara Swisher. That creates a situation, Case said, where people there feel like they’re not benefiting, “but are getting hurt by digitization and globalization.”
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