Re: Don't believe the offshore hype? (long)

Subject: Re: Don't believe the offshore hype? (long)
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 16:51:38 -0700

Dick Margulis wrote a bunch of interesting stuff centered around the

> What is the mix of economic activity that we need in order to have a
> sustainable economy? For example, if we export 100% of our manufacturing
> jobs to China (not an inconceivable eventuality), what does that leave
> us by way of primary industries--things that can bring money in or
> create money from resources? It leaves us raw material extraction (you
> can't mine American coal in China); agriculture (you can't export our
> soil, water, and climate per se, but only the produce from them); trade
> (import/export, design and marketing); I'm not sure what else.

Great topic, but any minute now Eric or someone is going to ask, "Since when
is Techwr-L a forum for amateur economic and socio-political discussions?"
Besides, I'm running out of background tasks that permit me to while away
time on this stuff. :-)

But the short, flip answer to your question, Geoff, is "If I knew, I'd
become rich." Fifty years ago, people worried about the consequences of
automation, which began wiping out factory jobs. They worried about
questions similar to those you ask today. What will replace those fine,
high-paying, union jobs? Will we have large numbers of people with nothing
to do? Will people's standard of living decline as they have to settle for
lower-paying work?

No, we all became richer and better off because we could buy more and better
goods for less, and the jobs that went away have been replaced -- and then
some -- by even better jobs that no one could foresee in 1956.

By the way, the loss of manufacturing jobs is not unique to us, and they
aren't going to China. In fact, I recently saw some interesting statistics
on During the past decade (or something like that), China
lost more manufacturing jobs than the US. We (and the Chinese) "lose"
manufacturing jobs by learning to make the same goods more efficiently. That
frees up resources to produce new goods and services.

Like you, many people want to know what those new goods and services will
be, what the replacement jobs will be like, etc. That's an understandable
concern, but the answers aren't really knowable without a crystal ball.

But, like the late Julian Simon, I'm confident that things will keep
"getting better and better." I just don't have time to write 40 or so pages
expounding on why. ;-)

Besides, Simon, Stephen Moore (Club for Growth), and others have already
done so better than I can. Check out Simon's:

_The State of Humanity_
_The Ultimate Resource 2_
_It's Getting Better All the Time_


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant, a division of Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
richardDOTcombs AT voyanttechDOTcom
rgcombs AT freeDASHmarketDOTnet


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