Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cheap vs. Good?

     NBC Nightly News is reporting that President Obama will not be visiting the city of Bangalore during his current trip to India. To learn why, a little background information is required.
     Joe Pitts (R), our district representative to Congress, submits a weekly column to our local newspaper. A few weeks ago Rep. Pitts was complaining about the uncertain playing field the Obama administration has created for businesses. This uncertainty is a major contributor to the lack of available jobs. According to Representative Pitts, if businesses would know what to expect in the way of taxes, healthcare, environmental costs, etc., they would immediately set about creating jobs galore. In addition, they would invest in more efficient software, equipment, new products and all sorts of wonderful things.
      What has not made the news lately is that businesses are already investing heavily in software, automation and efficiency. They are also investing heavily in new jobs – in Bangalore among other places.
     According to the news report, in just this one city there are 4,000,000 workers handling outsourced work from other countries; 60% of their work comes from the United States! According to my calculation, that's 2,400,000 jobs that have been outsourced by American businesses!
     Add to that the huge number of Chinese people employed in making those many “quality” products, (widespread recalls of Chinese products: toys, clothes, milk and toothpastes occurred in 2008) and it becomes obvious that if all those jobs had been kept at home, unemployment would be minimal. (Also the dangers of preferring low cost over acceptable quality would have been minimized.)
     In 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot heard the “great sucking sound” of jobs being drawn to Mexico as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Perhaps visiting Bangalore would have been a good side trip for President Obama. He would have heard a “woosh” that makes Perot's “sucking sound” akin to that of sipping soda through a straw.
     Oh yes, a note to Rep. Pitts – Businesses can easily handle the current playing field; what they need is customers. But perhaps you will find that out during the next two years.
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     I do not mean to give the impression that each advance is brought about by the conscious creative efforts of individuals. The Spirit is blind and non-directional; it is not about improvement; it is about the act of creation. New constructs are born from the constructs available at a given time, and along the way it is likely that there are as many creative failures as successes. But as constructs become available for further use, the failures tend to disappear, while the successes lead to further successes.
     A Comprehensive Example – The Spirit Runs Through It.

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