Thursday, June 17, 2010

Solar Panel Jobs Go to China -- New Jobless Claims Increase -- Surprised?

According to MSNBC, new jobless claims are up and it's a "surprise".  (A surprise to whom, I do not know.)

In other news, last night ABC News reported that a solar panel innovator was unable to obtain funding from the U.S. government to develop allegedly innovative, improved, less-expensive solar panels in the United States.  He said that he had wanted to set up shop in the U.S.  However, the Chinese government welcomed him with open arms and offered him funding and other assistance.  So, now he is setting up his business in China!

Given that, I don't see any reason why an increase in new jobless claims and persistent high unemployment should come as a surprise to anyone.

This story is also notable because it helps refute the mythological notion that innovation will save the U.S. economy.  Many economists, politicians, and pundits have argued that the U.S. doesn't need to worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs because we will innovate our way back to prosperity.  Domestic innovation, they say, is the key to the future and innovation will create new jobs for Americans tomorrow.  Surprise surprise!  Those highly-anticipated new jobs that will be created by innovation can be performed in China by Chinese labor and probably for far less monetary expense than it would take to perform those jobs in the U.S.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Holy Roman Empire was the most powerful civilization known in the history of man--most historians agree that it was more powerful than the US is. In terms of innovation, I'm sure Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt were certainly far ahead of the other civilizations in terms of culture and the humanities. Much of science originated in Greece, and students are still taught from those civilizations.

So what happened? How do all these empires fall? How did the UK fall? How does an extremely powerful civilization with seemingly every advantage in money, technology and science falter?

It's probably the same reason we are falling now. Greed. The greed of the upper classes goes unchecked until it tears apart the entire nation and destroys any advantage that was enjoyed.

Now those nations still exist in some form, although Greece is going bankrupt of course. So the US itself will not completely disappear. But, things will change. The US will soon just be another country, like the rest are.

I for one am just looking to see the educational system scam implode first. Wall Street is already pretty much gone for good. All that is left is higher education and a giant government that is about to shrink.

Anonymous said...

And, you know, the thing about that is that they will always point to the invention of the PC. But, the fact of the matter is that it was a much different time in the U.S. (and in the world) when the computer was being invented and then began mass production. The 1980's and 1990's before free trade really got going were just different times competitively for Americans. The competitive forces were much, much different, and I don't know how anyone concludes that we're going to innovate in garages and somehow out-perform probably the most welcoming and helpful country in the world when it comes to innovation: China. We should really be ashamed of what we're able to do as a country to encourage socially-useful work and creation. More and more, we're like the U.K. We don't make a damn thing, but we just go get paid. I mean, really, with all the really intelligent people out of work, we don't have the possibility of just going to our local factory to get a job on the line making anything that people buy. We used to be known by what we made. We made cars. We were the greatest production force the world had ever seen. Now, well, we're still the world's greatest economic force, but that is as much a vestige of our past as it is something to be proud of. If you had to point to one thing that Americans are known for making and exporting worldwide, what would it be? For me, it's something entirely unsustaining: It's knowledge. We have great ideas. We research and develop better than anyone else. But, when it comes time for our society to profit from what it has created (as opposed to the individual creators' profiting), we just let that go, don't we. We created the PC. The most powerful machine man has ever known. It has empowered so many people. But, we, despite having created it, where was yours actually assembled? Conservatives (You may be one. I don't know.) like to impugn liberals for wanting to spread the wealth around, but their underlying assumption is that the way the liberals want to do it - with a progressive tax code - is akin to communism and it will stifle innovation. Well, I have to ask: What would you have us do? Are we all on the same ship (that be sinking) or not? If pure, unharnessed capitalism is what's going to make us all - as a society - better off, then why does it lead to the result we have now? Clearly, when creators look after their own self-interests, as pure capitalism would have them do, that work either. It doesn't spread the wealth around, now does it. We're clearly the most creative nation in the history of the world. But we're far from being the smartest. Back in the day, when 50% was the standard tax rate for the top wage-earners, "the American dream", I believe, meant something completely different. Back then, I believe it meant that we look after each other first, and just like "It's a Wonderful Life", when you succeeded, your money went into someone else's home, and someone else's. The American dream meant that when people succeeded, they knew they didn't do it entirely on their own because they had the benefit of the American market; and so, they had to pay back into the commercial system that fostered their success. They had to pay for the privilege of doing business in the wealthiest consumer market in the world. They had to pay for access. And they paid with taxes. Taxes were a good thing. They were seen as part of the bargain. It was part of the agreement you made implicitly by starting a business here. Today, they're seen as an encumbrance. Businesses don't make their money because they do something better than their competitors.

Anonymous said...

They compete purely for dollars. And a dollar saved by lobbying to avoid regulatory cost is profit just the same as a dollar earned because of merit/quality is. Businesses add less to quality of life today than they ever have, and goddamn me if that's patriotic. Taxes are patriotic. They help other people succeed. They help other Americans succeed. Enough with this moral argument about businesses having to keep jobs at home out of a sense of duty. Yes, they should. But, they should do a lot of things they don't. The fact is that they only do what we let them do. Our politics are to blame. We're far from being intelligent as a country. We don't do a damn thing that is in our collective interest, all because of some corrupt ideology that says that, however low taxes are, lower taxes are always a good thing. Now, you tell me, how can you make the same argument at the beginning of Reagan's term (when the top tax rate was 70%) and at the end of the W. Bush term (when the top tax rate was something like 35%)? The conservative argument should be that LOW taxes are a good thing, not that LOWER taxes are a good thing. Because on the latter argument, you never will have low taxes. Whatever they are, they're just not "low", now are they. Clearly, something is rotten in Denmark. It's Denmark. No, we're far from smart.

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ZenSolar said...

Thanks for sharing...the Chinese government welcomed him with open arms and offered him funding and other assistance.

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