Friday, June 18, 2010

Facelift for JD Scambusting Resources Page

I've just given a facelift to my JD Scambusting Resources Page.  I am hoping to turn it into a central one-stop shopping page for anyone who is thinking about going to law school or who wants more information about the law school scam.  I also added the list of links to articles for further reading, which I hope to continue expanding with worthy links.  The page also includes links to the most active scambusting blogs and the JD Underground forum.

Please check it out and refer prospective law students here:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Chinese Want to Innovate, Too. (Innovation Will Not Save the U.S. Economy.)

If you have ever followed or participated in the debate over Global Labor Arbitrage and foreign outsourcing, then you probably know that one of the common arguments put forth by the free market dogmatists is that we don't need to worry about filthy low-value-added manufacturing jobs because innovation is the future.  They argue that we must become a nation of innovators producing high-value-added goods and services and that innovation will produce tomorrow's jobs.  They will also sometimes argue that Americans almost have a monopoly on innovation and that we are the best at innovating, as though we have some sort of a racial advantage on innovation.

I don't disagree that innovation is good and that it's important.  It is certainly a touchy-feely notion that just about everyone would agree with.  However, I do take issue with their claims that we don't need to worry about global labor arbitrage because innovation will save us.

First off, any manufacturing or production-type jobs created by innovation can be performed less-expensively with fewer environmental and labor regulations in a far less litigious environment overseas.  Secondly, "necessity is the mother of invention", and the people who are directly involved with the act of manufacturing will end up making many of the improvements to the manufacturing process.  Thirdly, the cost of innovation--the cost of R&D--might very well be less expensive in other countries.  (We have been training foreign graduate students for years with our taxpayer supported universities.)

High Tech Research Going to China with Devastating Effects on Our Ability to Compete and on Our Future by Craig Harrington

It was one thing when America lost its textile industry, its toy making, and the production of basic consumer goods. It is another when we begin losing the core research and development that makes our companies operate. There is a growing shift in innovation. We are now outsourcing more than basic goods and simple service jobs. We are outsourcing high-paying work and sparkling facilities that were once Silicon Valley staples.

Multinational corporations have no reason to stay in the United States; they have no incentive to remain in our expensive market. We cannot expect them, and the jobs they support and create, to stick around based on altruism alone. Industries locate, relocate, and grow wherever the economy presents them with the best opportunities. The U.S. was once the focus of those opportunities, but it is no more.
Furthermore, people in other nations want to innovate, too.  For example, in 2004 India produced about 290,000 new engineers.  And guess what?  China wants to innovate too!  Surprise surprise!  According to this NPR report, the Chinese Aim to Build the Next Silicon Valley.

According to the free market dogmatists, we don't need to worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs and we don't need to do anything to protect ourselves from global labor arbitrage because innovation will save us and only Americans are capable of innovation and the Chinese will be content to work the filthy low-value-added manufacturing jobs.  I call bullshit!

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.

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