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Abstract

Scholars have observed for years that we are moving toward an information- based society. Less attention has been focused on the social consequences of this change. In a classic "industrial" society, wealth consists of material goods and the machines and skills which produce them. In an information-based society wealth will consist of the machines and skills which produce and manipulate knowledge. To avoid inequities in the information age, we must provide for wider distribution of these machines and skills. Without such wide distribution, many people will be unable to realize their potential. This loss of talent and enterprise betrays the American goal of equal and universal education. It is also a loss that this nation can ill afford in the face of an increasingly competitive international economy.

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