Silicon Valley tells itself one set of stories about failure. It has another story that it tells everyone else. Namely, that the old world has failed. The old world was analog: government bureaucrats, boring businesses, factory jobs, gray flannel suits. The new world is flexible, Technicolor, gymnastic, young. It has no dress code. It is neither white-collar nor blue-collar: it wears no collars at all.
In the new world, everyone will live a better life. This was the promise sold for decades by tech industry leaders and politicians alike: tech would drive American growth, creating widespread prosperity. This sounded good in an era of deindustrialization and spiraling inequality. It sounded even better after the 2008 financial crisis wiped out middle-class savings. As wages continued to flatline, the smartphone-driven gig economy would pick up the slack. [...]
A set of political assumptions followed from these claims. The most important of these was that it was all right for a handful of former failures to accumulate vast amounts of money and power, so long as what was good for Silicon Valley was good for humanity. If tech was the future, why would anyone, or any regulation, want to stand in its way?