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February 11, 2004

I wrote this article a while back defending free trade. I also just wrote another little piece on the state of jobs in the US.Nicholas Kristof over at the NY Times helped me bring these two topics together more articulately than I could. His column defends free trade in respect to the whole job situation. I quite liked the article, though that might be because I got his question at the beginning right. But he has a point. We can't become an isolationist country because we're too lazy to better ourselves. And it follows my first write-up listed above. It's part of growing -- the evolution of an economy. The answer isn't to decry Bush for not magically creating jobs or sending them overseas. It is to better educate ourselves and innovate our job security. This is a slow and sometimes painful process, but it's the road to progress. Complaining isn't.

Posted by charr at 11:16 PM
Reader Comments

Well, I have a habit of forgetting my Calculus not too long after I take it. I would have got it right within a year or so of any of my calculus classes, though, of which I've taken many now. I agree with him that education here is suffering and needs to be countered before we can expect to keep our high-tech preeminence intact for long. We really do a lousy job at teaching math and science to kids; I was lucky enough to have parents that got me interested in it and supplemented my education at home.

Posted by Levi at February 12, 2004 9:22 AM

Cameron, the situation with companies hiring lower wage workers elsewhere has happened before in US history. I heard about it on Boortz this morning. It happened in the north not so long ago (about 150 years or so ago). Northern mill workers were fired when thier employers closed thier northern mills and reopened in the south because of the cheap labor here. At first it hurt the northern economy, but when northerners began to aquire better, more high tech skills (well, high tech for the time - in a factory making machine parts) to find jobs, their economy out distanced the southern one. And they had higher paying jobs because thier skills were more high tech than the mill workers. So, you're right; when all the high tech workers who lost thier jobs learn newer, more high tech job skills, they'll be better off. And so will the economy. Eventually, if left alone, the market will correct itself just as it did for northerners when the southerners replaced them in the mills. Well, it will if people get off thier bottoms and learn newer, more high tech job skills.

Posted by Jan at February 18, 2004 1:27 PM

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