Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is your job going to China?

According to a new paper hosted at the Economic Policy Institute's website, 2.4 million American jobs migrated to China between the years of 2001 and 2008.  So, that number does not include the hundreds of thousands if not millions of other jobs that must have been lost to China before 2001, nor does it include all of the jobs lost to other nations such as India and Mexico.  Presumably, other jobs were lost as secondary consequences of foreign outsourcing.

One of the themes of this blog is that our vast assortment of economic problems (resulting from awful economic policies) sometimes compound one another.  When American (manufacturing) jobs leave the United States (or when they are filled by foreigners on H-1B and L-1 visas) through a process of global labor arbitrage, people in affected fields are motivated to retrain and reeducate, which means that those people will go to college to compete for jobs that require a college education even though the supply of college-education-requiring jobs will not magically increase to accommodate them.  (However, cries from politicians, media pundits, and disconnected ivory tower intellectuals that more and better higher education is the solution to our nation's economic problems continue to increase.)  Also, more high school graduates will feel compelled to go to college.  Then, unable to find jobs with their bachelors degrees, they will add graduate and professional degrees to their arsenals, engaging in an education arms race, resulting in an oversupply of people with advanced degrees and boatloads of student loan debt, increasing the number of poor souls who are members of the indentured educated class.

Are you ready to join the third world?


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