Subject: Re: Tech Writing & The Economy

Subject: Subject: Re: Tech Writing & The Economy
From: Ruth Lundquist <RLundquist -at- prosarcorp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 11:34:04 -0600

<I was going to reply off list reply because it's pretty off-topic, but I
tried to bring it back around to technical writing.>

>Sounds more like your prof has his head in
>the sand and is posturing as an ostrich.

My prof doesn't have his head in the sand. Neither do the many other
economists who agree with him (nor, I'm sure, do others who interpret the
data differently--like you. We simply reach different conclusions). As I
said, he bases his opinion on economic data he collects from a wide variety
of sources, although I'm certain he's probably less susceptible to
hyberbole, conjecture, and rumor than are the rest of us.

Yes, the economy is global, and yes natural disasters, disease, and
financial problems in other countries & in the US have an impact on world
economies, just as they always have & will continue to. Economies change and
evolve, that doesn't mean they all fail. Rather, it means they respond to
social, environmental, and economic pressures.

>There are other world renowned macro

Ah yes, those nefarious world renowned macro economists...

>who will save that the US, Canada, etc. who are large landmass
>countries based on a 17th century ideal that believe they will eventually
>disintegrate just as hard as the USSR did as the 21st economy cannot
>sustain the anachronistic underpinnings.

The collapse of the USSR economy had to do primarily with the lack of market
infrastructure & the lack of low transaction costs necessary to support a
capitalist market. At the end of the cold war, there was no such thing as a
supply chain in Russia. There was no such thing as bond markets, equity
financing, coordinated supply & demand processes, etc. You couldn't walk
into a bank & say, "you know I have a great idea for a business, here's my
plan, how about a low interest loan?" They didn't have the legal basis to
provide for business contracts; they didn't have a court system that could
enforce them. They didn't have a reliable central banking system.

They didn't have stability in government that would convince people that the
rules of the game (laws & property rights) were not subject to change. Thus
it was not safe to invest $$$s--the risk factors were just too high save for
those with extremely high risk tolerance, which vastly restricted the amount
of available capital resources and made borrowing extremely expensive & near
impossible. Such infrastructure & transaction mechanisms in the US (and
other western economies) developed over hundreds of years. The USSR flipped
the switch literally overnight. To compare the two economies because they
supposedly share "anachronistic underpinnings" (?) and "a 17th century
ideal" (?) as you have does not take into account the myriad factors that
impact economies, and it completely ignores the fundamental requirements for
an economic system and how economies develop.

>What happens when there is a programming position open and the US person
>bids $125 plus benefits an hour and a person with more qualifications in
>India bids $20 with no benefits. That will change the US economy

This has been going on for years & it has changed the US economy, although
not nearly as much as some people thought it would. It's called
specialization, which is the hallmark of an efficient market. It's not a bad
thing. It just means that what we once did, we now have to do differently or
we have to do something else. During the industrial revolution, Luddites
destroyed machines because they thought machines were going to replace
workers. Instead, the markets have continued to expand. Such rhetoric is not
new, and despite it's inaccuracies, it continues to be a favored scare

Additionally, an international marketplace in which foreign workers can be
hired for domestic development projects opens up all other kinds of
possibilities--for instance, think of the technology required to enable a
project manager and a system architect in San Jose, a couple programmers in
Sri Lanka, and a technical writer in DC to all work on the same project.
Supporting that kind of work environment (through software, translations,
telecommunication, network support, etc.) expands the existing market by
creating jobs where none were before.

>leave out the impact of the millions dying from AIDS. 1/3 of the Egyptian
>male work force has hepatitis C and will be too ill or dead to work within
>10 years. That too will impact the US.

It already does & will continue to do so. Think of how the market expands as
researchers develop new drugs to treat & hopefully someday cure these awful
diseases. There is a Boston-based biotech firm who is currently marketing a
human blood substitute in South Africa, where the supply of clean blood is
virtually non-existent. This company didn't exist 10 years ago, and was an
infant only 5 years ago. If any technical writers are displaced by the
movement of jobs to India, they will find access to new jobs in the biotech
sector, in this instance. Who knows what new markets will develop tomorrow
to respond to the crisises you describe? This all causes market expansion.

Think of all the technical writing jobs that will be created as we figure
out how to colonize the moon after Chicago & Pittsburg become favorite beach

>I prefer to leave the rose coloured glasses to the theorists on too many

And I prefer to have an informed outlook without needless pessimism--I'm
naturally cynical enough.


Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Tech Writing & The Economy
Next by Author: Yikes...tread carefully (was RE: Resume format)
Previous by Thread: Re: He said...She said...He said...etc. (Was Re: What's A TW Got To DO To Get A Job Around Here?!)
Next by Thread: Re: Subject: Re: Tech Writing & The Economy

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads