Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pure fallacy...

As I approached the close in Harold Meyerson's column The Coming Job Apocalypse, I was thinking Wow! this guy's going to go the distance on how technology, and trade, has destroyed (and will continue to destroy) millions of American jobs, without the merest reference to how that combination has so miraculously improved the human condition.

I somehow don't believe that Meyerson is entirely ignorant of the phenomenal benefits that the striving for profit has bestowed, and will continue to bestow, upon the world. Perhaps his closing paragraph tells of his motivation for doing such a blatant disservice to his readers:
Eventually, however, as computers pick up more and more skills, we will have to embrace the necessity of redistributing wealth and income from a shrinking number of Americans who have sizable incomes from their investment or their work to the growing number of Americans who want work but can't find it. That may or may not be socialism; certainly, it's survival.

Ah, redistribution. You can't go there if you go below the surface. Let's go where Meyerson won't:

Whether we're talking in-housing technology or offshoring labor, we're talking the gaining of efficiencies. To ignore such gains is to ignore the areas in which freed-up resources are allocated. I mean, entrepreneurs wouldn't innovate or offshore if it didn't mean higher profits. And companies that grow their profits tend to grow their enterprises. And companies that grow their enterprises tend to grow their workforces (at home as well as abroad). And companies that grow their profits through innovation help grow the companies (and the jobs) that create the technology that grows their profits. And companies that grow their profits through offshoring labor help grow business (and jobs) for U.S. exporters that market their wares to the markets where U.S. offshorers invest their U.S. dollars. And, make no mistake, there's little chance that I'd be typing this message on my iPad, and that you'd be receiving it on whatever device you're gazing into at this moment---or that our lives would be so enriched by uncountable other amenities---were it not for trade and innovation.

The suggestion that the jobs lost to technology and trade somehow represent a net loss to society is pure fallacy...

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