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Subj: Re: Thought experiment...
Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 at 01:43:32 am EDT (Viewed 623 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Thought experiment...
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 at 01:37:55 pm EDT (Viewed 599 times)

> Well, they [American workers] could technically ask for lower wages (or not ask for higher wages), without the help from businesses or the government. That would increase their value, but not your requirement of increased productivity.

The American worker needs higher (not lower) wages because the worker and the consumer are the same person and the American consumer is faced with escalating prices. The American worker's optimum strategy is one that will result in the highest possible overall wage including health and retirement benefits. My explorations thus far have been an attempt to identify that optimum strategy, and I believe I have done so: choose a career in a labor market that isn't global and seems least likely to become global in the future. Police officer and taxi driver are two good examples, as are doctor and lawyer.

> What you are talking about is separating children based on intelligence, and separating them so that they can specialize. Lots of countries already do something like this. Not all children have access to the same level of education.

Our government and/or business owners could certainly take steps to improve education in this country. I would applaud that.

> I disagree with your thought that manufacturing will always come down to whichever worker can work for the cheapest wage. It will always come down to which country can produce a product the most efficiently. And I'll list some ways that the American worker can increase their efficiency.

> 1) Increase Education. More people need to go to, and finish college. The government can do this through various ways, such as the state providing tuition (like Georgia does), provide tax breaks for tutition, or help in other ways. This will simply allow for more innovation, one of the few things Americans do better than anyone else.

Your suggestions to help with college tuition are good ones and I support them. Even so, not everyone has college aptitude, nor does everyone have college aspirations. We need strategies that will work for all workers. Therefore, if I'm a young person with good spatial reasoning and who likes to work with my hands, a job like auto mechanic might suit me well, and because the auto mechanic labor market is strictly local, this career choice is a smart one in America today. I encourage our government to invest in college tuition assistance, but I also encourage it to invest in trade school tuition assistance. Yet even if the latter doesn't occur, trade school is far briefer than college study and thus it ends up being much the cheaper option, so that even if the government doesn't help, many Americans can afford a trade school, and would serve themselves well by attending one and working hard at learning the skill being taught.

> 2) Specialize Education. I think that every member of society should have a basic level of education. But there should also be specialization in for certain students. In certain schools, students are allowed to joint enroll, having high school classes count as college classes, and vice versa. Do the same thing, but for students looking to get into technical and vocational fields. This will help to lessen the burden on manufacturing jobs alone, since those students will have something else to fall back on.

Good suggestions.

> 3) Reinvestment in American business. Update the factories, technology, and processes at American factories. As I mentioned earlier, the US steel industry is badly outdated. So are oil refineries. Everyone knows they need to be updated, but no one actually wants to spend the billions to do this. Things will have to change to encourage this, like reducing the corporate tax rates and personal income taxes, and even reducing capital gains taxes. Vote McCain! \:\)

I actually support reducing (or even eliminating) corporate taxes and capital gains taxes. But I would raise personal income taxes on individual human beings who make more than $250,000 per year, raise taxes even more on individuals who make more than $500,000 per year, and continue increasing the tax percentages for individual human beings as their annual incomes ascend stratospherically. Somebody has to pay more taxes. Without tax money we can't do the excellent things you've suggested above.

> 4) Reduce wages. Get rid of, or drastically lower the minimum wage. Get rid of the vast power of labor unions. In the same way, get rid of the alot of the dumb rules that labor unions make companies use. Non safety rules of course.

The whole aim and purpose of the game of work is to make the highest wage humanly possible while also obtaining the highest health and retirement benefits. Accepting lower wages is defeat. The American worker needs strategies that lead to victory.

> I could probably keep going.

The one problem with your progressive suggestions such as improving education, is the fact that other countries can copy whatever we do, and even improve on what we do. Anything at all that our government does, or that enlightened business owners in this country decide to do, other governments and other communities of enlightened business owners can mimic and even outbid. Once this happens, and it certainly will happen in China and India, the competition devolves once again into a contest around who can subsist on the lowest wage, and the third world countries will win that contest as they always do and always will until they cease being third world countries and join the first world. Thus even if your very good suggestions are followed, the American worker's best strategy remains an abandonment of global labor markets and an exclusive focus on labor markets that are local, which means, primarily, service jobs.

> The problem is, as EcMan noted, service jobs are also being shipped overseas. We all have experiences with foreign customer service employees, but other jobs are getting shipped as well.

Those service jobs aren't local, this is true, and therefore those service jobs need to be excluded from any sound strategy. There are plenty of jobs that need to be performed in proximity to the customer. Auto mechanic is a good example, as is barber. Jobs of this sort cannot be shipped overseas. The strategist needs to understand the true priority, which is to select job types that require proximity to the customer, as these are the job types that by their nature can only be competed locally.

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