Saturday, May 3, 2008

NYT and IQ

Well, I guess some convoluted definitions have been created to use instead of IQ, and Brooks has written a column about it here


Globalization is real and important. It’s just not the central force driving economic change. Some Americans have seen their jobs shipped overseas, but global competition has accounted for a small share of job creation and destruction over the past few decades. Capital does indeed flow around the world. But as Pankaj Ghemawat of the Harvard Business School has observed, 90 percent of fixed investment around the world is domestic. Companies open plants overseas, but that’s mainly so their production facilities can be close to local markets.


I'm still pretty pro free trade. If you look at the records of countries declining, it usually happens after they close themselves off from the world.


The globalization paradigm emphasizes the fact that information can now travel 15,000 miles in an instant. But the most important part of information’s journey is the last few inches — the space between a person’s eyes or ears and the various regions of the brain. Does the individual have the capacity to understand the information? Does he or she have the training to exploit it? Are there cultural assumptions that distort the way it is perceived?


This basically means that we should have an immigration policy in tune with the new age. People who can mow lawns or pick crops aren't exactly going to supercharge the American economy.

5 comments:

Sleep said...

This basically means that we should have an immigration policy in tune with the new age. People who can mow lawns or pick crops aren't exactly going to supercharge the American economy.

And this is where a lot of people who call themselves conservatives come in and say "Yes! Let's promote the American economy by letting in millions of Asians!" and wonder why their party base hates them so much. Hint: today's white conservatives want tomorrow's high-paying computer jobs going to their children, not the children of people with names like Nguyen and Ramanujan.

Personally, I'd rather have a million Mexicans at my door armed with garden shears and assorted construction equipment than a million Chinese armed with Ph.D.'s in EE and computer programming.

Johnson said...


Hint: today's white conservatives want tomorrow's high-paying computer jobs going to their children, not the children of people with names like Nguyen and Ramanujan.


I guess. My family is part of the wave of Asian immigrants that came to the US. Now I'm a loyal and patriotic American, paying much more taxes than I take in public services. We subsidize the yokels in the South who want to keep us out and gain much more in federal aid than they pay in taxes.

Again, you don't let these intelligent people in, then they build world class companies abroad and buy up American companies. Or, you can let them in, have them become Americans, and retain American dominance through its possession of the best minds in the world. Just take a look at the entrepreneurs in the 90's who drove the silicon valley tech boom and now the US still owns the internet.

This is why the conservatives scare me. They have this view that the US is only for white people. If that's the case, then I'd rather side with the liberals who advocate open borders than border security conservatives who regret letting my family into the US.

Sleep said...

I dont want this to drag on since we'll never reach a conclusion so I'll try to end this with summary statesments:

1) I dont think you can create jobs simply by importing high-skilled people. There is a limit on the number of jobs in each particular field that the economy can support. Therefore each new immigrant takes away a job from a native person. And even Asians should be against Asian immigration for this reason; it's your job, too, that they're taking away.

2) Building wealthy companies in America instead of China or India doesnt do any great deal of good to any American who isnt employed at one of those companies. Microsoft doesnt exist to serve the interests of America; it exists to serve the interests of its employees and stockholders. If Microsoft suddenly hopped across the border to Victoria, Canada, and the employees were willing to move, essentially nobody in America would be affected in any way, even though statistics would show that Washington had suddenly become much poorer and British Columbia much richer. Microsoft doesnt feed into the economy the way companies that produce tangible things like food do. As far as I can see anyway. Economics isnt my thing. If you think Im being dumb, please, I wont take it personally if you set me straight.

Johnson said...


There is a limit on the number of jobs in each particular field that the economy can support.


Simply not true. In fact, in the US, there is a SHORTAGE of technical skilled workers, forcing American companies to move to Bangalore instead of stay home. So, would you rather have the IIT engineer designing weapons and spacecraft for the US, or for India?

Sleep said...

What industry do you mean by 'technical skilled'? I was under the impression that all computer-related fields had way too many degree holders for the number of jobs available, and that 50% of Computer Science majors were not working in their field.