Gongol.com Archives: February 2006
Brian Gongol

Business and Finance (2006.02.23)
Bond Market Suggests People Getting Tired of National Enquirer

Humor and Good News (2006.02.23)
Will the Freaky Burger King Bankrupt the Company?

The American Way (2006.02.23)
Fears of Outsourcing and Offshoring Greatly Overrated
Despite increased outsourcing to places like India, wages and job demand in IT are still growing in the United States. The whole issue is a red herring anyway: Ireland, for instance, was a very low-wage country just a decade or two ago. Wages there have risen by so much so fast that they're pricing themselves out of the manufacturing labor market. No real surprise there: What they're losing in manufacturing, they're making up for elsewhere with the world's fastest job growth. The same lesson applies everywhere: Jobs moved from the US to Mexico in pursuit of lower wages, and now they're moving from Mexico to China because wages in Mexico have risen so much. And in turn, jobs have moved from China to the Philippines in search of lower production costs. And eventually wages will rise in the Philippines enough that they'll start outsourcing to Bangladesh. All one has to do is follow the world's per-capita income rankings to figure out where the lowest-skill jobs will go next. As those jobs flow away from high-income places, those rich countries will have to either grow or be overtaken. But economic growth isn't driven by government fiat -- it's driven by ideas and entrepreneurs. The US has accepted a declining growth rate for much too long; it's well past time to stop obsessing with where the "jobs" go -- and time to get vigilant about increasing the country's economic growth rate. This in no way should discount the suffering of those who lose their jobs due to these macro forces -- but it should be clear that the way to help them is not to avoid trade, but rather to do what it takes to encourage rapid economic growth everywhere, so that suffering can be minimized everywhere -- whether for the people suffering absolute poverty in some parts of the world, or those suffering transitional poverty when their way of life is disrupted by macro-scale forces.

Business and Finance (2006.02.23)
Updates to the Money Scale
Just how much is a $365 million lottery jackpot worth? It's all about perspective.

Computers and the Internet (2006.02.23)
7,197 New Phishing Sites Found in December
A substantial increase over November; most hosts were in the US, South Korea, and China. People should know how to recognize phishing.

The United States of America (2006.02.23)
About 30% of US GDP Goes to Taxes
Includes Federal, state, and local taxes. Yet the government still runs a deficit.

News (2006.02.23)
$70 Million Bank Heist
Based on today's exchange rate of about $1.75 to the pound, the 40-million robbery is one of the biggest. They kidnapped the bank manager and his family in two separate locations, then overwhelmed the 15-person bank staff.