Simplistic View of Globalization and the Economy

01 December 2003

I listen to NPR news most of the time I'm commuting to and from work. In particular, I listen to Market Place. I'm a white-collar worker and not directly affected by manufacturing jobs moving out of our country.

Basically, people who find their jobs being eliminated and moved to Mexico or China are caught in a vicious cycle. Their employment is being cut back or eliminated, so they have less money and shop for cheaper goods imported from China or Mexico (ala Walmart, etc). Our own bargain hunting eliminates the demand for our American factory workers.

I say let the jobs go to these developing nations! We've had our time building our nation's economy on these raw manufacturing jobs, now let someone else do it. Those other nations produce goods cheaper, so we can buy it cheaper. We can then get by with the less money. People working hard in American manufacturing jobs can take the paycut, buy cheaper, and enjoy their free time, or move onto more advanced white-collar jobs that require the more advanced skills of an American who learned and trained in this more advanced society. It's evolution of the society! We can increase our leisure time, while funding those developing nations who need our money.

Now, I admit this is an incredibly simplistic view and easily said by programmer with a rather secure job. While I enjoy coding, I like to think that if my job was moved to India, I'd move up the chain and become one of the more advanced Americans who design and architect the system that the more needy offshore programmers code. I'd have more free time, since my architect job would only require me to work 30 hours, my employer could still pay me, because they're saving money on the contracted programmers, and I'd continue to buy chinese goods to maintain my standard of living on whatever my reduced labor is worth.

My opinion would probably be different if I was scrounging for the programmer job I have now, and I couldn't get the higher position for whatever reason. This is probably the situation for many Americans clinging to their jobs which are being outsourced -- unable to advance for social, educational, personal, whatever reasons. I'm greatly interested in your opinion, so leave some comments.


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