Friday, November 5, 2010

Chinese jobs

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Pollster comparison
Chinese R.R. by The Library of Congress, on Flickr
Politicians lament all the jobs 'going to China.' But they do not talk about the hundreds of millions of Chinese that are becoming middle class citizens of the world. Never mind that they were lamenting the Japanese worker 40 years ago. Remember when they were going to take over the west?

Exactly what is it that people do not like about the fall of the Bamboo curtain? The world is climbing out of poverty, which is cause for celebration. The fundamental trade issue looks suspiciously like a classic case of externalizing our own problems.

Let us review some of the changes in American society in the last 40 years.

The EPA has jumped the shark. The government is no longer just a pollution watchdog, rightfully concerning itself with dangerous chemicals in our water and buried corrosive material. The EPA laws have idled millions of acres of industrial land that have never been exposed to these kinds of dangers. The bar is now so high much of the nation's land never subjected to industrial use could not pass EPA restrictions. Firms find it easier to just leave and write off their capital investments. The USA has legislated away whole industries and tens of millions of jobs.

We have quadrupled (in real dollars) the amount of money we spend on secondary and post-secondary education, and scores have remained flat or declined. Meanwhile other countries continue to improve, meaning we are quickly moving down the ladder to third world status.

At the same time, our students now stay in school until their late twenties or early thirties studying a mishmash of topics that are anything but practical. An increasing percentage have never had a job. We are graduating 25 year old children whose command of English and Mathematics does not equal their parents when they were 18, who have never shouldered any responsibility but who are determined to retire at 50 on a government pension.

Our major government programs are all Ponzi schemes, and they are all bankrupt. Annuities work because they make investments that provide an ROI. But government has not structured itself that way. Like the classic petulant child that refuses to save for tomorrow, it has raided its own cookie jar. And as the country ages those Ponzi schemes necessitate higher and higher tax rates which ultimately negatively impact productivity rates, and discourage work, investment and capital.

The above issues must be conceded by even the most ardent Progressive reader.  These outcomes may be what the country desires. But they do have negative externalities which have repercussions.

This last point will not be universally acceded. But any individual, team or nation, must believe in itself and its ability in order to succeed, sharing a common value system and esprit de corps. For generations that culture was the Protestant work ethic. In the last 40 years we have spit on that ethic, the core of those beliefs, and the marriage customs of a society that nurtures its young. Our nations' poor can be explained almost solely by out-of-wedlock children. The human loss and cost to society is inestimable.

In the last 40 years we have decided to drive many industries out of the country, paid dispensation to our children's education instead of fixing it, and destroyed the Protestant work ethic along with the family.  Legislation has consequences.

Why are we worried about the Chinese, or surprised at our own outcome?

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