Gongol.com Archives: December 2008
Brian Gongol

December 1, 2008

Business and Finance Dear America: Stop blaming "outsourcing" for everything
Yet another half-baked article on "outsourcing" shows up on the Internet, this time in a pitch for an online-degree clearinghouse. The truth of the matter is that manufacturing jobs in the US have declined since the 1950s, and nobody really talked about "outsourcing" as the cause until NAFTA. Technology is responsible for most manufacturing job losses (Japanese robots spent decades putting American auto workers out of work, not Japanese assembly-line employees) and "outsourcing" has almost nothing to do with the shift in labor patterns. Worse, the habit (as exhibited in this recent example) many have come to display is to build an impossibly dire scenario of the future and to blame it all upon the loss of manufacturing jobs in America (and, in turn, to blame the loss of those jobs on "foreign workers" and "trade"). In reality, the simple fact is that we need to do a vastly better job of educating people to become high-skill workers -- whether in manufacturing, the service sector, or elsewhere -- instead of pretending as though the natural progress of technology and skill (faster, cheaper, better) can be stopped just because we think it's too hard to keep up.

Humor and Good News The accidental Public Service Announcement
Hilarious spoof DTV transition video from "Talk Show" on Fox

Business and Finance Conspiracy theorists now think the Washington Mutual failure was a hatchet job by the government
There's really not a lot of evidence to support their hypothesis. Among other things, a bank failure looks pretty embarrassing to those in charge of regulating the banks.

The American Way "The best answer to the terrorists is to dream bigger, make even more money, and visit Mumbai more than ever"

Threats and Hazards How oil helps dictators remain in power
Having lots of petroleum makes it easier for an autocrat to stay in power than trying to behave as a dictator without black gold. On average, oil appears to give the average dictator an extra 10 years of time in office.

Water News Scottish Water workers may go on strike

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