Friday, July 29, 2011

Luddism Is Alive And Well

I came across this comment on the investing message board of a certain Silver ETF today. This is standard conservative/liberal fare and is the reason why I can't stand either side.

"Politicians do not have any principles. The problem plain and simple is shipping all the jobs out of the country yo [sic] get cheap Walmart goods and high profits for the rich. The American worker was sold out by the politiians. Stand up for America and stop globalization."

Here's my reply:

"Yeah! I wish we still had those awesome wood console TVs too. I wouldn't mind paying $2000 for them, because it helps the American worker and kicks Wal-mart in the shins! Death to all those who make our goods less expensive!!!

Come on...the consumer shipped jobs overseas, not bureaucrats. Globalization is the natural effect of consumer demand in the market economy. If you can buy a blender for $19 made in China that would cost $80 made here...are you telling me you're going to buy the $80 blender? Give your pretense of patriotism a rest already.

Our future as a nation does not depend on employing millions of widget makers on an assembly line, that is a job for emerging economies. Furthermore, since all men are my brothers, I rejoice no less in improved well-being for a peasant farmer in Laos who gets a leg up than I do for a service rep in Texas who becomes a manager of an Indian call center. America's future is in innovation. We need to spend less time collectively doing tasks that other countries will eventually do cheaper and focus our efforts on 'what's next'. That doesn't mean our sole export should be finance...we all know that's a house of cards. Technology, improved business process development, enhancement of delivery channels, replication & augmentation, media, etc. A society concerned solely with subsistence level survival has no time for idea development. The great benefit of globalization is the amount of leisure time, surplus cash, and resources available to the innovator.

Nevertheless, Primitivist Neo-Luddites still bark loudly the refrains, 'Low tech or no tech!' 'no ware before its time!'. Seriously folks...get on the flying car or get left in the jetwash."

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