"One objection to this argument is ethical. As Matt Yglesias points out,
Say we changed things around and more Americans made more money, more Indians made less money, and all people everywhere had to pay somewhat more for their software. How is that really better? Because it's better for Americans?...
Come to think of it, American software consumers have interests that count as well. So do the shareholders in US software companies. Why is protecting the salary levels of American geeks so overwhelmingly important?"
"Eight of the 10 fastest-growing occupations between now and 2010 will be computer-related, according to new projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The sharpest increase is expected to occur among workers who design software programs or develop computer databases. This occupational group had 380,000 employees in 2000, a figure that is expected to double to 760,000 by 2010. That's an annual increase of 7.2 percent."
"Just because the industry is growing by leaps and bounds doesn't mean that no one will get fired and that no jobs will be outsourced. In fact, firings and outsourcing are critical to the growth process.
To be sure, being fired or outsourced or downsized isn't a pleasant experience. But if there is tremendous demand for programmers, then $150,000-a-year programmers shouldn't have a hard time finding a new job.
In contrast, if a factory worker loses his or her job, that's probably it. Economies the world over (including China) are losing manufacturing jobs because of techonological advances.
Thus, the basic message of free-trade advocates is still right on target: acquire high-tech skills and you can expect to have a good job. Can you expect $150,000 per year? I don't know.
One thing you certainly shouldn't expect is security. Critics like Schumer and Herbert seem to be mired in an old-economy model of lifetime employment. (Which still seems to apply to senators and NYT columnists.) But in the information, skills are what matter. "
Words, words and more words pieced from various blogs.
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]