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America will continue to bleed jobs
Posted on 02/01/2003 11:27:51 PM PST by FightingForFreedom
Wages will not equalize between U.S. and foreign countries for a very long time, if ever. The problem is supply differences. The 100 million or so American workers are vastly outnumbered by the potential number of Chinese, Indian, and other developing nation's manufacturing and knowledge workers. The standard of living differential is also too great. The balancing act for U.S. and multi-national businesses that are outsourcing our jobs is to make sure they don't kill the golden goose (the American consumer) before they've generated an even bigger goose to take to slaughter in China, India, and other targeted markets. Remember, producing cheaply means nothing if there's nobody to buy the products. And no one has been as well-trained as the American consumer to buy, buy, buy, no matter how much in debt one becomes! As a software engineer, I've seen this problem coming for at least 5 years now, but it was well masked by the artificial high-tech bubble through March 2000. I'm not sure that there is an answer at this point -- the genie is out of the bag, so to speak. Once one company in an industry has convinced the govt to open a market in one undesirable country or other, all other companies with which it competes are forced to do the same. Bottling up the genie is notoriously difficult.
TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government
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The screed is close to incoherent, and has almost no nexus to anything to do with economic reality or theory. It has echoes of a dead German philosopher who wrote books in England of massive malignant influence that have since been totally discredited.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:34:22 PM PST
What is it with these anti-trade people? I just don't get it. It's as if they learned economics by reading bumper stickers printed by the teamsters union. Yikes!
To: FightingForFreedom; Willie Green
The 100 million or so American workers are vastly outnumbered by the potential number of Chinese, Indian, and other developing nation's manufacturing and knowledge workers. The standard of living differential is also too great.
That's the problem. And we keep spending our American dollars at Wal-Mart and similar outlets using third world country employees because they're cheaper and American factories paying American cost-of-living wages can't compete. And in the mean time, even many lower paying jobs are being taken over by illegals, because our borders are a joke.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:42:01 PM PST
To: Torie; Admin Moderator
Let's hear it for the power of Zot!
posted on 02/01/2003 11:43:23 PM PST
This is a topic I have been giving much thought to lately.
Even the other day, I read of a factory closing in Mexico, because the company wanted to move the facility to China where they could pay even less wages and therefore make more profit. I've noticed in the past few years that wages in our country have gone steadily down. I remember about 8 years ago, people who had computer degrees and programming skills could get out of college and make fabulous salaries. Now, many of those same people have been laid off, and people working in that idustry are not making nearly as much as they used to. This all seems to have happened so quickly.
So as you've pointed out, what is going to happen when the average American can no longer afford trips to the mall, and they really have to start watching their pennies? It seems to me that greed has gotten out of hand with the big multi-national companies, and America will never again see the standard of living it once had. Pat Buchanan was so right on that issue. We're all going to be a little poorer from now on. Even those of us with stocks are seeing them rapidly devalue.
It reminds me of the greedy monkey who wanted all the cookies in the cookie jar, so he stuck his whole hand in there to try to take out all the cookies, but as a result his hand got stuck in the jar and he couldn't get it out and so couldn't get any cookies. These companies need to wake up or perhaps I should say wise up.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:46:16 PM PST
Are you saying this is not happening? Or is it forbidden for conservatives to have such ideas? It shouldn't be a republican or democrat issue, as it affects all of us. It's a matter of being sensible.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:49:51 PM PST
With all due respect, I don't think the author is talking about Marxist ideology, nor does the single paragraph reek overtly of anti-trade bias, nor is it incoherent as far as it goes;
I just think his is a "population demographics" argument, which, unfortunately, has some merit, some grain of truth.
If the intent of the author is anti-free trade, then I join your critique, but I still don't see any Marxist theme here whatsoever.
So what's the solution? Government intervention to protect code monkeys? I'm guessing that a large percentage of programming will move offshore in the next 10 years or so.
Companies are already solving the cultural and QA problems, and as a result programming costs are going to go down.
There will still be room for people who can add value, perhaps in the architecture or integration space, but the days of spike-haired college dropouts making $100k+ to write Java craplets for websites are gone.
It's all about the value you deliver.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:53:54 PM PST
To: Bella_Bru; Admin Moderator
Give me a break. I can't believe all these people who want to run and scream to Moderator because they do not agree with what someone has posted.
I lived in Houston for many years, and saw this happen first hand. Immigrants have taken over many occupations there, and as a result the pay scales have gone way down. This country is becoming more third world everyday, and soon we will have a similar standard of living. There is no doubt it is headed in that direction.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:54:00 PM PST
I read about China setting up manufacturing in North Korea because Chinese wages were getting higher.
That $10,000/yr engineer costs ALOT more than that to Microsoft once the service bureau gets its cut. And how long will the engineer stay with $10K? Engineers in the Phillipines or India will have their wage rise to meet the wages eningeers in Italy or the US Midewest.
Check out a place like Madrid, Spain. Its an expensive place for housing. The costs of buying a CD or a computer in Spain is alot like the cost of one in the US. A programmer there is not going to get a wage terribly much lower than in the US.
What I am saying is that it is inevitable that low value added jobs will be exported to the extent exportable. That has been happening for about 50 years now, and real per capita incomes in the US go up about 1.5% anually not despite that, but in part, because of that. I would also point out that the US has become number one again in real per capita income on this planet, and is pulling away from the competition. That is because the things the US does well, it does extremely well (e.g. in the production of ideas, design, entertainment, finance, etc.) If we insisted on doing all those low value added jobs ourselves, our real standard of living would decline. It is the law of comparative economic advantage. And the idea that the US, or any nation except North Korea and Cuba, can be an economic autarky isn't doable in the information age even if a nutter like Pat Buchanan actually assumed power prior to assuming room temperature.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:56:35 PM PST
It hasn't only affected the computer industry. That is only one sector that has suffered among many.
posted on 02/01/2003 11:57:31 PM PST
Most of it was Marxist. Predatory business driving down wages, and then engaging in seeking ever wider markets to make up for the slakened demand, fueling imperialism to take to slaughter in India and China and other targeted markets. The whole thing is BS.
posted on 02/02/2003 12:01:04 AM PST
As a software engineer, I've seen this problem coming for at least 5 years now, but it was well masked by the artificial high-tech bubble through March 2000.
I'm also a software engineer, and I'm not afraid of competition; I welcome it. The free market is not a zero-sum game. The more creative and entrepreneurial people there are everywhere in the world, and the more freedom and trade and production and technological advancements there are everywhere in the world, the better off everyone will be.
Economic illiterates have been singing your song for centuries. Alarmists such as yourself have been predicting gloom and disaster for America decade after decade, raising precisely the same fears as you raise. Yet decade after decade America's wealth and economic advantage over other, more socialistic nations continues to grow, because we have the most open society in the world and we don't try to seal ourselves off from low-wage competitors.
You might just consider the possibility that we are on the right track, and the rest of the world isn't.
posted on 02/02/2003 12:02:18 AM PST
very high tariffs will fix it
To: Dialup Llama
Oh my Lord! So now Chinese companies are moving their businesses to North Korea because it is even cheaper there? Where will it all end? Madagascar? I bet those people would be willing to work for pennies a day as many do in some African countries already. Better yet, why not return to slavery? I'm being sarcastic of course, but it is already close to that in parts of Asia.
posted on 02/02/2003 12:04:13 AM PST
"What is it with these anti-trade people? I just don't get it. It's as if they learned economics by reading bumper stickers printed by the teamsters union. Yikes!"
The typical response by a free-trader. Long on rhetoric and name-calling, and short on any sort of economic analysis.
Or is it forbidden for conservatives to have such ideas?
Protectionism of any kind has never been a conservative position. Historically conservatism has been free market, free trade, pro-business, and anti-union. The confusion seems to be traced back to the "Regan democrats" and the populist influence of the Buchanan faction of the conservative movement. The term "neo-con" is more applicable to this group than to any other. The common thread that binds is mostly on the "cultural" side of the fiscal/cultural conservative equation. Prior to Reagan, most of those holding PJB's views were staunch Democrats but their strongly held social values forced them into the GOP big tent and they brought their fiscal populism with them. It is an uneasy alliance.
"what is going to happen when the average American can no longer afford trips to the mall, and they really have to start watching their pennies?"
The average American (and many who are not so average) already can't afford trips to the mall. That's why they use credit cards. The rise of massive amounts of consumer debt and the two-wage-earner family are the two main trends that have enabled this shell game to go on as long as it has.
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