Monday, October 27, 2008

Who's fault is it?

In a thought provoking article entitled, "Change" or more of the same?, Mike Cuneo points out the deficiencies in the proposals made by both candidates. For instance, every smart politician has mentioned the evils of sending American jobs overseas. But is this really a bad thing? Must a corporation keep jobs in the USA no matter what? Consider Cuneo's thoughts about the subject.
Unemployment is a topic that many Americans have misconceptions about. In most people’s minds, jobs going overseas is a horrible tragedy. Never mind the fact that most economists agree that jobs don’t belong to the employee but rather to the employer, who by cutting his costs will save his company, and ultimately society as a whole, valuable resources. There are always new jobs and opportunities.

In the 1800s, most Americans were employed simply to bring food to the tables of the country. With improved farming technology, that number is down to something close to 3/100 people. What did the other 60/100 people do when faced with a job loss? They now work maintaining websites, trading stocks, researching medicine, designing new fashions, testing video games, and on and on. So there is both a cost (lost job here in America) and a benefit (frees up valuable resources and saves money) to this situation. But both candidates only want to focus on the cost side, which is troubling.
Nobody wants to lose his job to someone else. But if companies are going to prosper, they will have to make tough choices—especially in this tough economy. And if each of us wants to keep bread on the table, it will require some tough choices as well. Perhaps some will have to enter a different field of work, work a few more hours, take a pay cut, etc. Who's fault is that?

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