All of what you say is true but there are several reasons for concern. One is that those IT and high-tech workers who are now under the gun have traditionally formed the bulk of the middle class consumers. If you want a consumer-driven economy (which is what ours is) then it is an absolute necessity to have a viable consumer class. Also, the middle class has historically provided the economic, social, and political stability to our society. If we destroy the middle class, the social model you are left with is more along the lines of a South American oligarchy.
Another aspect of this is that the high-tech worker is the one who has the best capability for developing new areas of economic activity, things based on knowledge and discovery and innovation. Who else is going to do that? An unemployed textile mill worker isn't likely to make the new discoveries in medicine and biotechnology. An unemployed steel mill worker isn't going to discover the replacement for the microchip. Those low-tech workers are valuable in their own way and should not be discarded like they have been, but the high-tech employee brings to the table other things of value that make it less desirable to throw him away as well.
Finally, what trumps all of this are the issues of national security. We're in the process of a wholesale dismemberment of the intellectual capital of this country. Some of that is absolutely vital to defense industries, things like aerospace, microelectronics, weapons research, energy development, materials science, etc. Without those, we may find ourselves, come the next high-tech war, in the same position as the Polish Army on Sept. 1, 1939, sending the best and prettiest cavalry in the world out against the Nazi panzers.
posted on 10/15/2003 8:47:43 AM PDT
The blue collar working class does not have the skill level to innovate and do R&D. However a well a paid blue color jobs represent a safety valve for the people who due to lack of academic ability, maturity, financial circumstance and other factors go to college. There are many who are book "dumb" but are very good with their hands. Many as they get older will acknowledge that they should have study harder because they do see the difference between the salaries of college educated and high school educated. That experience forms the basis for many blue collar parents to encourage their children to study hard and not miss the opportunity to go to college when their time comes. That is not going to happen if the government and corporate policies of this country encourages the destruction of their salaries and standard of living.
posted on 10/15/2003 9:29:07 AM PDT
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