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Comment Re:engineers salaries (Score 2) 336

According to Glassdoor:



So Cook gets ~37X what a seasoned engineer gets. That's relatively low compared to most large companies. In fact, ~9M/year is damn low. Marissa did little for Yahoo other than spend other people's money to buy failed ideas and she still got roughly 20M/year.

Comment Re:Good for China (Score 1) 117

Renewables aren't quite (but will very soon be) more profitable than coal/oil in terms of cost/MW. China has been dumping money into solar/wind/nuclear for almost a decade now, long before it was even remotely economical. They play the long game because their population is tired of being able to only see 2 feet in front of them and their leadership knows climate change has human causes and severe negative consequences.

Renewables just happens to be reaching economically advantageous levels nowadays thanks, in large part, to their efforts at expanding the economy-of-scale over the last decade.

Comment Re:What do you mean, "WHY"? (Score 3, Interesting) 225

I've studied the TPP. That anyone who is in favor of American exceptionalism would be against it is mind-blowing. The U.S. and Japan basically bullied a bunch of smaller but up-and-coming countries to play by Westernized rules with a lot of exceptions that American and Japanese industries don't have to follow those same rules as swiftly (think agriculture, which is exempt from a lot of the TPP tariff reductions).

It basically extends U.S. corporate hegemony to China's doorstep. And before you go all "but but corporations are greedy!" you want American corporations to do well more than you want a Chinese state-sponsored company to do well.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 324

I agree that the question isn't borders. If you are in Texas, northern Mexico is more "local" than NYC. But in either case, China is not local.

But you're arguing for placing pre-emptive barriers on what you think are "the right level of local". I'm saying, if you have open trade borders and price in the cost of externalities (like a carbon tax), then the market will work itself out in terms of where the "right level of local source" is.

The part that's never zero is called "structural unemployment", and was mentioned in the part that you cut. People between jobs, people who are moving, etc.
But unemployment-because-you-cant-find-a-job is not god-given, and in fact in various countries around the world there have been periods when this unemploymend was zero.

"the upcoming onslaught of automation" - the 60s called. They want their argument back.

I don't know if I buy that. Employment participation rates vary from decade to decade. They vary because people give up on finding a job, not because they don't want one. You may be right that those *with no choice but to have a job* (breadwinner for the family) parts of the population who are systemically unemployed can reach 0, but that's not full employment. Moreover, it's not consistent. You're always going to have periods lasting as long as a decade where some giant shift (such as globalization, or automation) will wipe out entire job sectors. So even if your argument is "those jobs will eventually be replaced", you need *some* solution to the decade-long vacuum those things created. And I don't think impeding progress Luddite-style is the answer. Nor do I think impeding progress "anti-trade" style is the answer either. It's more economically efficient during those times to do something like UBI.

How we are all caught in the Silicon Valley mantra and the Venture Capitalist religion. Most of the really large and powerful companies in the world are not called Google and Facebook. They are energy companies, food companies, and a dozen others. Trade and technology matter, but you buy an iPhone every year while you buy food every day.

This isn't a Silicon Valley idea. Notice I didn't just say tech, I said tech and trade. This is well established amongst economist. All those energy, food, etc. companies are the "trade" part; they find ways to distribute resources more efficiently. Do this simple mental experiment: what if every city was to produce their own crops of every type instead of importing/exporting from other areas? Would that be more or less efficient? Expand that idea to a global scale and you have your answer to why shipping from China or Brazil for certain things can be better.

Comment Re: Americans? (Score 1) 324

Everything you describe is a natural result of a growing population (and thus, more competition for finite resources like land, which naturally causes people to work more to obtain money to buy land). The results would be way worse without people in China making stuff, as in addition to higher land costs, you'd also have higher cost of those gadgets as well.

Just take a look at the numbers. Wages haven't gone down; they've gone up (though for the average man, not by much). In comparison, cost of most daily goods have gone down or stayed flat even though more people are demanding them. Clothes are 1/3 cheaper. Electricity price has barely moved. Food has barely moved.

The only things that are causing people to feel poorer than they were before are housing, medical care and gas. Those are, unfortunately, things globalization and technology have *not* been able to improve for a variety of reasons.

Thinking that somehow, low-cost jobs not moving to China would mean someone in the U.S. would have it is logically incorrect. Without expansion in overall consumption, the population would just grow without any new jobs and every new person born will be out of work until someone dies.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 324

So in the end, you will make everything abroad, only companies earn money, and everyone lives from the taxes?

I don't think I advocated for *everything* abroad. Simply things that *can* be done abroad more efficiently (generally equates to lower cost). You can think of it as a nationless scenario, where things are produced in the places they're most efficient and best at being produced. Just like within the U.S. you want your almonds to be grown in CA, your silicon design in various hubs and your auto manufacturing in SC and (more so again) Detroit, you'd want to take that model globally. The equivalent of "stop outsourcing" would be like Wyoming blocking imports of almonds from CA just because it wants its own local almond farmers to have business.

What you want is a balance between a strong local economy and beneficial trade.

I'm arguing that free trade finds that balance. The U.S. will invariably be able to do certain things better than anywhere else in the world. The world will naturally import that from the U.S. China will invariably do other things better, so the rest of the world buys that from China. Same with Germany. The point is, let free trade and supply/demand make the decisions of which nation produces what, not tariffs or governments.

But you want to grow your food locally because shipping it halway around the world doesn't improve its quality

If there's truly no loss of quality or cost of growing overseas vs locally then the local farmer will always win. The truth is that for many foods, other nations *can* do produce it more efficiently. Economically, it's better to let them do it and ship it. If your concerns are environmental (and I share those concerns) then impose carbon (and other pollutant) taxes such that the price of externalities like environmental damage are included in the calculation of cost. Once you setup the right framework, you let the market decide. Instead of a web of trade rules that don't get updated often setting "who should produce what".

You do not want people permanently on unemployment benefits.

People *are* permanently unemployed. Not a large percentage of the population but unemployment has never been 0. Ever. I'd say what well-intentioned tariffs we've passed to try to keep unemployment down aren't working very well. And with the upcoming onslaught of automation...I don't see how you *can* keep people from being unemployed for long periods of time.

Rather than cling onto the idea that everyone needs to be employed (when reality obviously isn't letting that happen), perhaps it's time to revisit how we make sure every citizen is taken care of in a post-industrial society and this idea that "everyone needs to work".

There is more to the system then just who makes profits.

Of course there is. I'm talking about wealth, not corporate profit. Not money -- that's only supposed to loosely represent wealth. Trade and technology are the 2 pillars that create wealth: it invents new things (that either generates new resources for people to consume or stretches current resources to further utility) and efficiently allocates resources to where they have the most impact.

Globalization generates wealth. It doesn't address how that's distributed. That's where government *should* step in, the part about distribution. But you don't wanna kill the golden goose in order to divide the eggs up more evenly....

Comment Re:So. 50,000 more H1-B visas need to be issued (Score 1) 324

You should look to Germany to see how a whole population (with an average of 100 IQ) can still be incredibly skilled workers that's irreplaceable by cheap labor. They have wide-open trade policies that allow outsourcing.

When people talk about education it isn't always some 4-year university degree that results in them being a scientist. Better skilled workforce can just mean people who have better vocational training through apprenticeships and/or trade schools. We don't even have that today.

It can also mean a more mobile workforce so that if you setup a factory somewhere and know you can get 100k workers in a very short amount of time without having to pay their relocation packages.

China does this to a level you can't imagine.

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