Why are local small businesses so important?

Those of you who can remember the tech boom of the late 1990's might recall how economists heralded the dawn of the information economy. We were entering an era, they said, in which the once-strong manufacturing economies of the developed world were being replaced by digital economies. In these economies, manipulating information would become more essential for workers than the ability to produce physical labor.

That was 20 years ago, however, and things have changed. Now, we're entering what some are calling the “fourth industrial revolution.” The first two revolutions involved the development of steam power and electricity. This technology brought about seismic changes in developed economies. The third revolution was that shift, 20 years ago, from a manufacturing economy to an information economy.

This new revolution is so different and so dramatic that it's not even certain that our economies will be able to survive it. Technology has evolved so dramatically and so rapidly that, in many cases, the machines no longer even require human workers to contribute information. Artificial intelligence, robotic manufacturing, self-driving cars, drone-delivered merchandise—is there room anywhere for humans in the future of business?

Click the following link to continue reading: The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Preventing Economic Collapse by Fostering Independent Businesses