Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Prepare for a Tougher Job Market

"Jobs News Even Worse Than We Thought" by Paul Craig Roberts resonates with what I'm seeing. Our politicians, as they support and actively enable the exporting of thousands of jobs overseas while allowing millions of people to take lower-paying jobs, keep talking about all the great high-end jobs that are being created, thanks to hefty government spending. The reality is that jobs across the spectrum are being lost or salaries are driven down. Is anybody watching out for America, and for the future of your children?

The Church's advice to prepare for the future, be frugal, stay out of debt, and get all the education you can makes more sense than ever.

Of course, you all know that there's really no problem - all these jobs being given to others are jobs that US citizens just don't want and won't take, as President Bush has helpfully explained. Hey, all you engineers, what's your problem? Why don't you want a real engineering job for $7 an hour? And you construction workers, if you all weren't so lazy those $12-a-day jobs could be yours!

13 comments:

Bookslinger said...

Jeff,
Was the car you currently drive made in a domestic auto plant that is owned by an American company?

Mine may have been made in a domestic auto plant, but not one owned by Americans.

Roy W. Wright said...

Oh the insolence, Bookslinger! Well, I for one take the argument to its logical conclusion and only buy products made in Davis, California (where I live), by companies owned locally. After all, I care for this town and wouldn't want it to lose jobs in the name of some silly principles.

Roy W. Wright said...

(The "silly principles" being, of course, such things as economic freedom. You know, all that "liberty" rubbish.)

Doug Forbes said...

I agree that the immigration bill just passed by the senate is bad. In fact I think it is a nightmare; far worse than doing nothing at all. However, I have my doubts about the statements concerning high-tech jobs. I'm a software engineer myself and I get at least a dozen calls and/or emails a month from people looking to hire. They frequently ask me if I know someone who is looking when I turn them down.

I also checked the Statistical Abstract of the United States 2006 and 1995. In the 2006 issue, table 789 “Civilian Employment of Scientists, Engineers & Technicians” for year 2002 gave a total of 6,703,100. In the 1995 issue, table 994 “Civilian Employment of Scientists, Engineers & Technicians” for year 1992 gave a total of 2,673,700. Some categories did not do well and they had changed a little so comparisons were not always straightforward, but “Computer Specialists” that included, programmer, analysts, software engineers, etc. had grown 150%.

Schuyler said...

According the U.S. Dept of Labor, there were 1.44 million engineers employed in the U.S. in 2004. Here's the link: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm I was quite surprised at this statistic. I had expected it to be higher.

Many high tech companies do outsource production or even some engineering, but it is limited at this point for fear that their intellectual property may be stolen. It is development of intellectual property that turns commmodities into valuable products. Anything that increases the cost to develop intellectual property the U.S. will force entrepreneurs to have it developed off-shore. These factors include increasing the FICA cap, taxing investment capital, and unnecessary federal regulations. Instead, the government should be providing incentives to individuals and companies who conduct research and bring new technologies to the market-place. New energy delivery devices including infrasture, use of nano-technology, new display technology and development of ultra low power semiconductor technology come to mind. Development of such will require prudent risk-taking businessmen, brilliant engineers and government support (or at least government getting out of the way.)

Schuyler said...

According the U.S. Dept of Labor, there were 1.44 million engineers employed in the U.S. in 2004. Here's the link: http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm I was quite surprised at this statistic. I had expected it to be higher.

Many high tech companies do outsource production or even some engineering, but it is limited at this point for fear that their intellectual property may be stolen. It is development of intellectual property that turns commmodities into valuable products. Anything that increases the cost to develop intellectual property the U.S. will force entrepreneurs to have it developed off-shore. These factors include increasing the FICA cap, taxing investment capital, and unnecessary federal regulations. Instead, the government should be providing incentives to individuals and companies who conduct research and bring new technologies to the market-place. New energy delivery devices including infrasture, use of nano-technology, new display technology and development of ultra low power semiconductor technology come to mind. Development of such will require prudent risk-taking businessmen, brilliant engineers and government support (or at least government getting out of the way.)

Jeff said...

Hey Jeff. I'm a big fan of your blog. But you've run a bit off the road with this post. Let me explain.

I'm am uncomfortable with a world view that appears to value the economic well-being of US citizens above that of our brothers and sisters from other regions of the world.

All else equal, why is Joe in Peoria more entitled to a particular job than Kumar in New Delhi? If Kumar can lift himself from poverty by doing a job previously performed by Joe for 1/4 the salary, should he not take it since it's "Joe's job"?

When we ask our government to use its considerable power to conspire against our brothers and sisters in other countries government in "protecting American jobs", do you think God is pleased? I seem to recall that conspiring together to "get gain" was a Gadianton tactic...

Just to be clear, I am not a bleeding heart socialist. I am a socially conservative fiscal conservative who heartily supports capitalist free market economics. And I do my best to be a faithful Latter-day Saint.

Jeff Whatcott

rameumptom said...

The problem with the way the current system is running, is it doesn't help others in other nations, either. Our "free market" system has allowed for companies to go shopping for cheap labor, rather than seek to establish long term quality jobs in all areas. So, there are companies that were off-shoring to India, that are now looking to Russia and China for cheaper labor. Suddenly, we have people out of work in the USA AND India.
And free trade in NAFTA has not helped the poor in Mexico at all. It has only increased the number of slave factories over the border, while making it impossible for small Mexican farmers to sell their crops locally, because we can mass produce crops cheaper here and sell it enmasse down there.

Generic said...

NAFTA-style free trade only really benefits whomever was at the top to begin with. It only serves to flood the economically less developed nations (Mexico, and to some extent Canada) with cheap, mass-produced goods from the economic giant (America), thus destroying the jobs of local craftsmen, farmers, etc. Free trade itself is the reason there are so many illegal immigrants.

I think free trade would work better if all involved nations had the same environmental, labour, and business regulations. Canada had regulations similar to those of the States going into NAFTA, and thankfully hasn't been as adversly effected to the extent Mexico, who has basically no regulations, has.

Given that our world is so dishonest, there really is little place for full-blown free trade. Its much the same as reinstuting serfdom.

Doug Forbes said...

OK when any person seeks entry into the US he seeks to enter a social contract with the citizens of the United States. No contract is moral unless it is both freely entered into by all parties and mutually beneficial. If it lacks either it is exploitation. In case you're wondering charity is neither contractual nor permanent. US citizens have a right to say No when they view a proposed contract as not being in their interest. This is the case for controlling immigration. The case for controlling trade (and outsourcing) is different but analogous.

Mormanity said...

It's one thing to let free markets decide who gets jobs, and quite another thing when one's own government is actively encouraging companies to outsource jobs and even providing tax credits and other funding to do so.

Further, the outsourcing of many jobs is often associated with outright theft. The loss of American jobs associated with electronics, computer technology, and manufacturing is, in many cases, associated with the theft of intellectual property and blatant infringing of US patents, too often ignored by our own government in order to not offend other nations. The foreign DVD players that are marketed for $50 here should actually cost over $100 if the foreign powers that produce them properly licensed the intellectual property that has been used (stolen).

America has been incredibly generous in assisting the rest of the world - but to ask that it lose its base manufacturing industry, weaken its intellectual assets, and lower its standard of living to build up other nations that may even consider themselves as our enemies is going far beyond the standards of the Gospel.

Stacey Pokorney, the "Party Crasher" said...

As someone who has worked in health insurance for 12 years, I am surprised that no one is mentioning the humongous cost of providing health insurance to employees as one reason employers are racing out of country with their jobs.

Like Jeff, I am conservative. I don't like to see other countries benefiting from our nation's job losses. However, companies can not continue shouldering the burden of providing all kinds of care for our nation's citizens.

Having said that, I was so unhappy with the service my phone company provided during our evening hours - when their help desk was covered by staff members in India - that I changed carriers and made sure they knew the reason I was leaving. For what it's worth, the manager I spoke with sighed and said, "Yes, we know, no one is happy with our India staff right now."

Ya get what ya pay for, right? Well, sort of. Our country demands everything cheaper, easier, quicker, NOW. Did I mention cheaper? All hail Wal-Mart! No wonder all the higher priced mom-n-pop stores are going under.

Mormanity said...

Stacey, you raise an excellent point. The disastrous impact of socialized medicine on medical costs and insurance is a terrible burden for industry. (Cosmetic surgery, an area less damaged by socialilstic Federal "help" such as Medicare/Medicade, has not suffered the same outrageous increases in costs.)