Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Study Downplays Job Loss with Offshoring, as does Technology

A new study by two UC Berkeley economics professors claims that the public fear that offshoring to lower-cost countries is putting downward pressure on U.S. jobs may be overblown; and says most international sourcing is to high-cost locations such as Canada and Western Europe.

They also say the majority of employers in the United States outsource work to contractors and suppliers within the country, and about a quarter of U.S. companies offshore work to other countries [but also says that] big firms employ more than 20 percent of the country’s full-time workers and tend to offer higher-quality jobs with better wages and benefits.

But just Nike alone has 777 factories in 43 Countries employing 1,009,496 workers. And what about Apple and Foxconn?

One economist wrote: "If I responded to every bullshit paper out there, there would not be enough hours in the day. We should only amplify papers which proves something—there are thousands of bogus economics papers out there."

The study also points out: "We do expect offshoring and domestic outsourcing to expand as the economy continues to grow. The recovery allows companies to restructure and expand through more offshoring and outsourcing, instead of just rehiring and returning to old practices. This could certainly affect U.S. jobs adversely."

Another study already shows that 1/3 of all domestic jobs in the U.S. are still prone to offshoring and outsourcing.

A Jobless Future?

The authors of The Second Machine Age predict that intelligent machines will increasingly displace many workers. But a Washington Post article claims that they also believe that work will eventually shift to new jobs that technology creates.

But still others believe that the problems will get even worse in the coming decades: As information technology allows the automation of more and more middle-class jobs, fewer workers will be able to find work.

But yet the authors of The Second Machine Age say “there’s never been a worse time to be a worker with only ‘ordinary’ skills and abilities to offer, because computers, robots, and other digital technologies are acquiring these skills and abilities at an extraordinary rate.”

As laymen, we can only look back at the last 30 years to predict the next 30.

Moore’s law: Repeal or Renewal?

Moore’s law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years

Moore’s law has swept much of the modern world along with it. Some estimates ascribe up to 40 percent of the global productivity growth achieved during the last two decades to the expansion of information and communication technologies made possible by semiconductor performance and cost improvements.

Robots? Meet the Real Job Killers:

Robots, automation and computers have greatly increased worker productivity, while also displacing many American workers in the process. But not only wasn't this increased productivity not shared with the workers in the form of equally higher wages, the jobs that these displaced workers might have otherwise gravitated to were sent overseas, leaving them with nowhere else to turn—except maybe to lower-paying jobs in the service and retail industries (that is, if enough such jobs were even available).

The economist Jared Bernstein writes, "There’s newer research suggesting that the demand for skilled workers has actually decelerated in recent years ... They look at tasks, jobs, and earnings, and find that the demand for skilled workers underwent a reversal around 2000." (Also see: NBER Working Paper No. 19895, Issued in February 2014)

The Rape of American Resources

CNN reported today that one reason why the price of gas and milk will go up is because of "global" demand.

American energy companies have been extracting oil and gas (America's, aka The People's, natural resources) and selling it overseas for the highest profit on the global market, while the demand in the U.S. goes down as the demand in China goes up, never making America "energy independent".

But still, we're told that more drilling, fracking and the XO pipeline will benefit the American people; but yet, no matter how fuel efficient our cars become, the price of gas always goes higher, canceling out the additional miles-per-gallon we get in our newer, smaller and more fuel-efficient cars—or if we decide to drive less miles to save on gas.

And the dairy industry, with all their government subsidies, is telling us milk will also go up, and one reason is because of global demand. So not only will we never be energy independent, but no matter how much of ANYTHING America produces (milk, gas, etc) we will always see higher prices, because as the global demand rises, so must corporate profits also rise...even if it means selling surplus for profit (rather than saving, conserving or stockpiling), or creating a shortage in the U.S. by exporting what we need.

Does anyone else see anything very wrong with all this?

Job Creators or Gamblers?

Is the economy just a game of "Monopoly" for the top 0.01% (or are they just gambling for entertainment?) Last year George Soros bet $1.3 billion that the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index would fall. (Remember when he shorted the British pound for $10 billion, betting against it?) And how many jobs does this create? How much wealth is created by transferring wealth?

Raise the Minimum Wage and Pass a Maximum Wage Law

A group of faculty and students at St. Mary's college wants to cap the college president's pay based on what the janitors earn. The proposal recommends first raising the lowest yearly salary from $24,500 to $30,000, which is 130 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four. A 1:10 pay ratio would then cap the president's salary at 10 times $30,000, or $300,000 — which is $25,000 less than what the president currently makes. (And St. Mary's isn't the only institution facing a proposal to cap its highest earner's pay....)

1 comment:

  1. New York Fed: The Job-Finding Rate

    "The job-finding rate is still substantially below its pre-recession levels, suggesting that it is still difficult for the unemployed to find work ...both the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio and matching efficiency declined during the Great Recession and have not recovered since ... the most important factor in the low job-finding rate is the persistently low level of vacancies per unemployed."