Thursday, October 18, 2012

America's Future: An Artisan Economy?

Examine the liberal propaganda, and you’ll see a grain of truth behind it. Yes, social mobility is slowing in the US, but investigation reveals that it’s not evil plutocrats keeping their cruel boot heels on the necks of the poor, but societal dysfunction of our underclass. If you insist on blaming someone other than the poor, our tolerance of criminal gangs and crappy public schools are both great targets.

Loss of manufacturing jobs is an important part of the narrative
While manufacturing jobs have long since departed for China and India, the U.S. economy continues to grow and even manufacture products that the world wants to buy—we export more in dollar terms than we did a decade ago. But what we’re sending (and how it’s made) is drastically different today. (Slate)
A cry we hear over and over from the Krugman’s and the Reich’s of the world is that more and more money is going into fewer and fewer pockets. They then hint darkly at those greedy republican businessmen.

Well, this is to be expected in an age where automation continues apace. Replace a man with a robot, and the wages no longer go to the man, but all the gains from the robot go to the company owner.

Luddite Barack Obama, who knows nothing of economics or how business works, ignorantly decries the advent of robots, automated checkouts at grocery stores and ATM machines. So what would our economically-ignorant president do? Banish technology from his kingdom? Tax robotic innovation to the point that it is too expensive to implement?

This is the intellectual dead end liberalism brings us to. Fortunately, reality does not conform to their fevered nightmares. There is always a way, and innovation powered by free-market capitalism is the signpost.

Manufacturing is Coming Back
the larger trends show that the tide has turned, and it is China's turn to worry. Many CEOs, including Dow Chemicals' Andrew Liveris, have declared their intentions to bring manufacturing back to the United States. What is going to accelerate the trend isn't, as people believe, the rising cost of Chinese labor or a rising yuan. The real threat to China comes from technology. Technical advances will soon lead to the same hollowing out of China's manufacturing industry that they have to U.S industry over the past two decades.
Manufacturing won’t require the manpower it used to 

But that’s not the end of the story...
Moretti suggests that the prognosis for the average American worker need not be so gloomy if, as he predicts, America continues to thrive as a hub of knowledge generation and innovation. While the idea creators—those who design iPhones and develop new drugs—will continue to be the drivers of prosperity, more than a few crumbs may fall to the workers who support them.
For example, Moretti estimates that Microsoft alone is responsible for adding 120,000 low-skill jobs to the Seattle area, where the company is based. This is because of the support workers required to style the hair, cut the grass, and yes, build the houses, of all those Microsoft engineers and computer scientists.(Foreign Policy)
It's going to require us to learn new skillsets... 
…what today’s worker needs is a set of skills that offers the personal touch and judgment that can’t be provided by a machine or someone 12 time zones away. Katz argues that this will be crucial for those with only high school educations, who will need to learn a “high touch” trade—like personal trainers, kitchen designers, and home health aides—where personal interaction is critical.
He makes a similar argument for the college educated as well: With many clerical and lower-level management jobs made obsolete by advances in information technology or lost to off-shoring, they’ll have to reinvent themselves as, say, IT support professionals or consultants. (Slate)
The author’s bottom line is government-driven jobs training and retraining. I think this is too important to be left to our sclerotic, plonkish federal government, but he is right that we need to be flexible, and education is the key. As certain kinds of jobs go away, new jobs appear, if our economy is nimble and encourages entrepreneurship.

We could start on this road to our new “Artisan Economy” by burning down libraries full of government regulations that chain down our entrepreneurs. Next we can RIF the armies of bureaucrats waging war on jobs creators. Finally, we can stop subsidizing higher education with federal money that flows as easily to the rich as to the poor and equally to worthwhile degree programs and worthless ones. 

Stop preaching the ridiculous message of college for everybody (a plumber or hairdresser trained in a trade school makes more than a Masters of Humanities working at Starbucks), and let the free market reign.


37 comments:

The Views Of A Tea Party Member said...

I'm reading todays newspapers and I can't help from laughing my ass of.

Headline.
"Obama hints at handgun restrictions"

Isn't this like closing the barn door after the cows escaped? Or is it because of the debates aren't going his way? Tell me, is this the same president I've heard of skipping National Security briefings, esposing a thumb on the pulse of the thugs of Chicago? I suppose everyone except the residents of illinois can sleep better at night knowing he is keeping a close eye on what's going on in the home town there- as, I'd think it a well known fact around, illinois still does not allow its citizens to exercise their second amendment rights here. We have no concealed carry here. Should we feel a need to be protected further than that? The govt can't keep track of the guns it ships to Mexico but they are dammed sure on top of what they want to deprive the citizens here of.

Or did anyone forget what he told the Russians when he was speaking into a open microphone..
"I'll be a lot more "flexible" after this election." Meaning, of course, he'll do whatever he wants to do because he'll be a lame Duck president.

The Views Of A Tea Party Member said...

America has a short attention span.
The Liberal press will lie and cover up for anything bad about Obama. The last debate was a good example. As we saw Candy Crowley keeping Romney from following up Obama's lies. . Making snide remarks about Romney and letting Obama's lying remarks about the Libya attack stand. In all it's butt kissing lies.

Once Mitt Romney becomes President the media will suddenly change their tune.

Mark Adams said...

Of course liberals tote the flag of higher education... OK.
But higher education did bring us robots, automated checkouts at grocery stores and ATM machines.

-FJ said...

The Third Wave economy is here in every way BUT government regulation and taxation. The government is the impediment.

Teresa said...

President Obama and his cronies remind me of the movie (or book) Atlas Shrugs and why the country is in so much trouble. The big government fascists bring "solutions" which cause the economic mess and then then they portend that they can fix the mess that they created in the first place. The strangling regulations of the governmentcrats is killing this country's economy. They would rather keep us in the Stone Age instead of see real progress and innovation occur.

My Observations said...

President Obama’s second debate was really full of slogans, synonyms, deceitfulness, deception, dishonesty, falsity, hypocrisy, lies, and platitudes and NO substance what so ever
Compared to last Wednesday's first presidential debate where we were able to see the REAL Obama and we shouldn't be surprised that he' was a failure at the debate because he has been a complete failure all along but we just weren't able to see it behind the use of the Teleprompter and the cuddling of the media. OK, yes, I’ll give you the fact that in comparison to his demeanor in the first debate, he was 100 percent better. But that rally isn’t saying much at all. A Gold Fish would have done better than he did in that first debate, but lets face it in the first debatem, he didn’t have Candy Crowley there to help him. . All this time Obama has been an excellent Snake Oil Salesman only because of the lack of Vetting, and the media’s going along with all of his lies and covering up his failed policies. Remember when he called Rev. Wright his "spiritual mentor" and “his adviser”? Well why wasn’t he stopped right there and then? He is a user and a liar. He used Jeremiah Wright for political connections, knowing full well what he preached was RACIST, He then threw him, under the bus when the hear got too hot. Barack Obama has an NO explanation for his poor performance at Wednesday night's debate, that was the real Obama The other guy that we have been seeing and hearing was an impostor. And yet and the people on the left, and you know exactly who I mean are stupid enough to say that Obama won the second debate on points! What points...lying? Do we now give “points” for lying?
This country is so messed up to buy this mans bull-crap that it’s sickening.
Talk about chickens coming home to roost, Obama’s Goose is Cooked.

conservativesonfire said...

Automation is a part of the problem, of course. Also, for the last two decades our ecomonic pie is not growing fast enough to keep up with a growing population's needs. Although i don't think Romney's palsn is bold ebough, it will deffinitely help American companies to be more competetive in world markets. My experience in working in third wourld countries is that it is a pain in the kiester. It generally takes three to four employess to produce what one American worker can produce.

Innovation flourished where free market pricniples are at work. Our growth is being smoothered by government bureauxracy at all levels of government. Until we change that, the kiddle class is going to have a tough time getting ahead.

Rational Nation USA said...

Steve bringing liberal bias just to keep it fair and balanced.

Silverfiddle said...

RN: I'll politely but firmly ask you again, Do not feed the troll!

I've admitted I have a doggy doo problem here, and I clean it up when I can. Please be patient with me and ignore it.

Silverfiddle said...

*** Please Excuse Our Mess ***

Folks, we have a doggy doo problem here at WH, so I beg your indulgence.

I can only clean it up so fast, so I ask that you please step over it and ignore it if I can't get it cleaned up in time

Thank You The Management

Constitutional Insurgent said...

At first glance, I thought the post title was Austrian economy.

Ducky's here said...


Luddite Barack Obama, who knows nothing of economics or how business works, ignorantly decries the advent of robots, automated checkouts at grocery stores and ATM machines.

-----
Bullshit.

Bunkerville said...

The real problem is perhaps our extended life span. If we cut it in half we would have twice the jobs. Has anyone suggested this to Obama? :)

Radical Redneck said...


Latest Gallup Poll
Romney opens up 7-point lead among likely voters.

Put that in your Progressive pipe and smoke it!

Silverfiddle said...

Yes Ducky, and you're full of it:

From ABC News:

The president said that “the other thing that happened, though, and this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.

FreeThinke said...

Unfortunately, the electoral college graphs and statistics don't look all that good. Owambam is far ahead of Romney -- DAMMIT.

That's the trouble with dumbocracy -- the imbeciles ad the brainwashed far outnumber the thoughtful and intelligent.

~ FT

FreeThinke said...

Since the vast majority are morons, automation has been a BAD thing. There is NOTHING for these people to do anymore, except be a drag and a drain on society.

The Smart People have outsmarted themselves. They killed off the Servant Class AND The Privileged Class with Progressive Legislation, and left nothing in its wake but goddam THE WELFARE STATE.

You call that "PROGRESS?"

I call it TRAGEDY.

"The Devil finds work for Idle Hands."

Better to be a gravedigger than a welfare bum.

Silverfiddle said...

Quote of the day from IMAO:

"Had she survived Ted Kennedy's war on women, Mary Jo Kopechne might just have ended up in Romney's binder full of women."

Ducky's here said...

... by burning down libraries full of government regulations that chain down our entrepreneurs
-------
Have you been following the meningitis outbreak caused by one of our unregulated entrepreneurs.

This type of drug lab faces no more regulation than an Alaskan meth lab and look what happens. Would regulation have helped? We can't say for sure.
I know Ted Kennedy was trying to implement some regulation and inspection.

But no problem. In the Libertarian world after you contract an extremely damaging meningitis you just pick another source for your medication, correct?

Ducky's here said...

@FT --- From ABC News:

The president said that “the other thing that happened, though, and this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.

-----
Correct me if I am incorrect. If Obama were a Luddite as you say, he would advocate destroying the machines.
Simply noting that mechanization has an effect on employment only constitutes an issue when you have a pathological need to criticize Obama.

He's screwed up enough that you don't have to make such a ridiculous stretch.

Thersites said...

You mean the liberals in Massachusetts weren't capable of regulating their own business? We're they incompetent, duckman?

Silverfiddle said...

How many food and safety laws do we have? We have whole agencies to enforce them don't we?

Now, how many foodborne illness outbreaks do we have every year?

Simply make the company financially liable for any damage they cause. What a concept.

Same would work for Wall Street Banksters, btw...

Right Wing Theocrat said...

If they really wanted manufacturing to come back, they'd lower the minimum wage.

You're right in that they'll want to tax the robots and technology out of America. Tax and hinder, it's all they know how to do. liberals don't have the brain power to find better solutions.

Instead of America sitting around waiting for liberals to learn, vote for Romney and leave the idiots behind to whine and wail.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Recently someone told me that automation had cost so many jobs.
I was recently reminded of Vonnegut's book (I get his titles, except Slaughterhouse 5 and Cat's Cradle confused) about the horrible effects of automation on the labor pool.
Automation, in reality, led to a surge in productivity and increases in manufacturing and labor opportunity.
It's sure kept me busy and allowed places I and others work for to remain open with a lot of manual labor.
Vonnegut was wrong. Gasp.

Silverfiddle said...

Ed: Perhaps you're thinking of Player Piano. An excellent book.

Ducky's here said...

@Silverfiddle -- How many food and safety laws do we have? We have whole agencies to enforce them don't we?

-----
If this is an unregulated industry why do other regulations matter?

Jersey McJones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jersey McJones said...

Silver,

When you look at the "societal dysfunction of our underclass," and just ignore the tremendous influence of the societal malefactor that is the upper-class, then you can't possibly understand why it is or how to deal with it.

And sure enough, it shows on you guys all the time. When you guys talk about de-funding public broadcasting, or bash even the most academic, hypothetical, relative abstraction of foreign cultures... it shows all the time.

You cons seem to truly believe the plutocrats are Blessed by the Lord and Good in All they do.

WAKE THE ____ UP!

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

@ Jersey: " the tremendous influence of the societal malefactor that is the upper-class"

Please elaborate.

Finntann said...

@the societal malefactor that is the upper-class

Feeling a little oppressed are we?

Quick, grab the pitchforks and the torches, we're storming the castle.

Here, let me elaborate:

Do you mean social malefactors like John Kerry, Mark Warner, Jay Rockefeller, Richard Blumanthal, Jared Polis, Frank Lautenberg, and Dianne Feinstein?

Seven of the top 10 wealthiest members of congress....all Pluto...er I mean Democrats? Between them a combined net worth of $624.2 Million.

Or perhaps you want to add Chellie Pingree, Nancy Pelosi, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, and Nita Lowey to that list to round out the top 25 wealthiest members of congress. Or Carolyn Maloney, Herb Kohl, Tom Harkin, Shelley Berkley, Lloyd Dogget... to make it the top 40? Should I go on?

Or do you just mean the regular old malefactors like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Christy Walton, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, George Soros, Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen, Jeff Bezos, Anne Chambers - all democrats with a combined net worth of 263 Billion.

60% of the Forbes 20 richest are democrats. 75% of the Forbes 20 richest families are democrat.

So, refresh my memory. Which party is the one of wealth and privilege again?





Finntann said...

@academic, hypothetical, relative abstraction of foreign cultures

Somebody give you an adjective generator for your birthday?

WTF does that even mean?

FreeThinke said...

Good to see The Denigration and Derision Industry is thriving in this beleaguered economy!

The "Little List" written of so charmingly by G&S has grown to epic proportions in the past hundred twenty-five years.

Always On Watch said...

……what today’s worker needs is a set of skills that offers the personal touch and judgment that can’t be provided by a machine or someone 12 time zones away. Katz argues that this will be crucial for those with only high school educations, who will need to learn a “high touch” trade...

That does, in many ways, seem to be the future of employment for many if not for most -- not only for those with only a high school diploma.

Of course, the problem is that many of these trades don't bring in a very high income without Draconian working hours.

Case in point....A friend of mine, who has a bachelor of science degree, decided to pursue home health care, a booming area in Florida, where she lives.

She is toward the top of the pay scale that her employer offers and makes about $12/hour.

The competition is intense! There are so many -- a lot of immigrants, of course -- who underbid that $12/hour all the way down to $5/hour. The home health company bills Medicare of whatever insurance for about $200/hour.

In my friend's case, her employer is the local government. Even so, she is paid on an hourly basis and has no benefits whatsoever. They have her listed as self-employed and make sure that she gets less than 40 hours a week of work.

In fact, this matter of calling one's employees self-employed pervades many trades that might surprise you: cab driving, barbering, cosmetology, etc. I know about those last two trades because I had family members in barbering and cosmetology. The one family member who was a cosmetologist developed shoulder problem and allergies to dyes before she was 35 years old. So, voila! She went to work for Travelers Insurance company as an adjuster for bodily injury and is raking in a huge salary with benefits.

In my view, we are seeing a sea change in our economy along the lines of the transition from the Age of Agriculture to the Industrial Age. A lot of people are already shut out of the employment market and have really nowhere to go to garner the kinds of salaries that they used to garner in telecoms, dot coms, and the like.

Thersites said...

Regulations don't matter. They didn't prevent anything, and the market will now put them OUT of business.

Ducky's here said...

We'll make a Marxist of you yet, AOW.

Joe Conservative said...

...I'd say that we'll make a capitalist out of you, duckman, but we've already succeeded... as your Marxism must beg scraps from the table of capitalism

Silverfiddle said...

A look at any country that tried Marxism tells us that is not the answer.

The person making pennies while the company that has bribed its way to a government contract run by stupid bureaucrat should show you where the problem lies.

Get the government out of it, stop getting extra bennies through employment and we all become private contractors with only so much money in our pockets, so we have to go shopping for services form other private contractors.

Prices come down, the bureaucratic fat that gobbles most of the money is cut out, and wages go up. The market rationalizes without a stupid government being bent over and taken advantage of by crony socialists who spin fantasies that they are capitalists.