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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-21-2003, 02:50 PM   #21
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

If enough people lose their jobs and standard of living to this cheap labor, there will be a politican that will step to get their vote. Labor Unions could suddenly be back in style as well as FDR 'New Deal' programs.


This is so true. NO American businesman or person who fancied themselves "conservative" or Libertarian or Free-Market oriented seems to know anything about what Adam Smith wrote. They do seem to have freedom capitalism and Feudalism all tied up into a rather ersatz notion of economics

The Gov isnt there to protect business interests. It's there to protect the People, and according to Smith, protect them FROM the nastier inherent tendencies of business interests. The merhcant class's interests are not the same as the public's. Any legislation that's good for the consumer/working man is always good. Legislation that favours the merchant class is not always necessarily good. This is what Adam Smith said on the subject.

The general reaction of business to anything it doesnt like, especially when it comes to workers and the role of government, evokes Groucho's... I mean Karl's statement about them "selling you the rope..."

Given their M.O. what do they expect?


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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 06:06 AM   #22
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

I believe that government policies should establish a legal framework in which people are able to compete according to rules. This, of course, gives certain interest groups the incentive to have the rules made and enforeced in a way that gives them a competitive advantage. Adam Smith recognized and criticized the way that mercantile interests did this -- particularly in their efforts to gain government protection from foreign competition -- including any from the "American colonies." That, in fact, was a major cause of the American revolution.

The U.S. Constitution that eventually resulted, after a period of ineffective confederation, had a couple of important economic provisions. In reserving to Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, it guaranteed free trade among the states. In effect, it was the first NAFTA, and it worked.

Then, the fifth amendment prohibits government from taking private property without just compensation. That permits government to purchase land and materials for public purposes, but prohibits the sort of outright appropriation that is a hallmark of Marxism. Aside from the ethical implications of appropriating private property, the practical reason why Marxism doesn't do a very good job of meeting consumer demands is that it destroys people's incentives to invent and produce more attractive goods at competitive prices.

The U.S. economy not only provides that incentive, but backs it up with the world's most advanced educational/scientific/financial/legal system. Anybody who thinks that the U.S. economy is about to revert to one of people performing manual labor, because some such jobs are "going overseas," doesn't have a very thorough understanding of economics.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 07:11 AM   #23
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Quote:
Anybody who thinks that the U.S. economy is about to revert to one of people performing manual labor, because some such jobs are "going overseas," doesn't have a very thorough understanding of economics.

The jobs sent overseas will only serve to lower the wages of the workers in the U.S. - The workers here may be doing very highly skilled jobs - for $8 an hour!

Also, I do happen to know a lot of folks today that have masters degrees doing construction work to get by. They think it's manual labor, I think it's manual labor - What do you think?
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 09:33 AM   #24
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

I don't know of anybody doing a "highly skilled job" for $8 per hour -- although a lot of small business owners probably are working for that or less after taking a reasonable return on their invested equity.

For example, auto workers earn something in excess of $20 per hour for work that can be learned failrly quickly by anyone who can read and do simple arithmetic.

As far as working in construction, that's one of the most highly paid (arguably, over-paid) jobs around. I had a friend who was one of the best civil engineers that I have known, who for a while quit a responsible civil engineering position to work as a pipefitter, because it paid more without the hassles. At today's wages, he would be making around $38 per hour. And construction jobs, along with jobs in medical services, education, law, government, and on and on, can't be effectively "sent overseas."

To the extent that some people's wages are reduced by foreign competition, all consumers benefit from the lower prices of goods, and people in U.S. industries that are particularly competitive at exporting, such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, media entertainment, and financial services, all benefit. Free trade works internationally the same that it has done between the states for the past 220 years or so, and floating currency exchange rates and international flow of capital will insure that people with high level skills to sell will genrally prosper, as long as those skills don't become obsolete.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 10:42 AM   #25
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Quote:
I don't know of anybody doing a "highly skilled job" for $8 per hour
[img]http://techrepublic.com.com/i/tr/cms/contentPics/r00519990825ray01_04.gif
[/img]



Ted, you are saying the way that it has been in the U.S. - What I am trying to tell you is the way it will be!

I was wrong about $8 an hour it's closer to $2.50 an hour for a starting software engineer in India that is doing an American Job!

If your job can be done over a phone line your wages are at risk. For those of us that are retired, this has huge implications for investing.

Good article for you to read on this subject.

http://www.courier-journal.com/busin...te10-8577.html



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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 10:56 AM   #26
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Sort of puts new meaning(somewhat ominous) on working at home - especially if you planing on doing it over the internet.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 04:41 PM   #27
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Well, here is my take (I always have one).

Unfettered free enterprise will produce the best results
for the most people over the long run (yes, Virginia,
there is a trickle down effect). If you could get the government out of the way and just let everyone
pursue their own dreams you would produce the most good for the most people. This will not happen however. Instead, we will get more and more
laws, overregulation and gradual strangulation of
capitalism. The American dream was a good dream.
It will end with a whimper, but it will end. The march
toward "big brotherism" is not only well documented
but expanding exponentially. You should all reread Orwell's "1984'. It's not here yet, but it is coming. The
examples are all around us.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-22-2003, 05:09 PM   #28
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Hey, you should read Wealth of Nations. I'm STILL WAITING to see some of that. SO far it's been like the weather. People talk about it but nobody ever does anything about it. All we keep getting is Lefty Big Brotherism and Righty Big Brotherism. And of course it's always called "freedom" of some kind
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-23-2003, 05:00 PM   #29
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

The "freedom" you speak of is textbook
"groupspeak". And, you are correct in that "lefty"
big brotherism is as bad as "righty" big brotherism.
Alas, I see no end to this. Examples are everywhere
so I assume I need give none. I would like to be more
optimistic (like Rush Limbaugh for example). The rugged individuals who founded this country are gone. In their place are a bunch of touchy feely do-gooders, with no
principles other than how to stay in office, or to pass
more laws for the dopey masses who need protection
from big business, bigots, conservatives, and anything/
anyone who might in some way dent their self esteem.
The system is sick. My diagnosis is that the illness is terminal with the length of time before death indeterminate.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-23-2003, 08:46 PM   #30
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

You folks on the left and right can generate doomsday scenarios faster than I care to spend the time to refute them with economic logic.

But the fundamental situation is this. The U.S. has the world's highest percentage of educated workers, and probably the worls's highest level of capital investment per worker. This gives the U.S. the world's highest productivity per capita, which translates into the world's highest standard of living. This cannot be "stolen" by foreign competition, but which can be and is being "leveraged" by foreign trade, to the benefit of both the overall U.S. economy and foreign economies.

A significant problem being faced by the U.S. and other industrialized countries (to an even greater degree) is the growing ratio of retired "consumers" to younger "consumers." While a truly free market economy is always capable of providing "full employment," there will be a particular need and incentive for younger people to work (and to defer retirement) in order to satisfy the consumption of those who are retired.

Another significant factor in this equation is the declining birth rate. The good news is that relatively less of working people's production will need to be devoted to educating and otherwise supporting children (who, like retirees, consume a lot and produce wirtually nothing of economic value). It is also good news that the lower overall population that will eventually result will have less competition for limited resources such as fossil fuels and desirable land for housing and recreation.

The down-side, however, is that the lower birth rate will eventually continue the shift towards there being fewer workers to support each retiree.

And another important factor is that, even though free trade benefits most Americans, there are some who are hurt by it. The challenge is to transfer some of the "winnings" of those who benefit to compensate those who lose. Taxing people's incomes, and providing unemployment insurance and subsidized retraining tends to accomplish this, but perhaps could do so more effectively with some modifications.

Anybody who isn't smart enough to recognize these fundamental demographic/economic trends is not very likely to come up with any good ideas for dealing with them. "Protecting" certain American workers/industries from foreign competition (at the expense of all American consumers and taxpayers) is certainly is not one of them.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-24-2003, 10:55 AM   #31
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

It doesn't seem that a lower birth rate necessarily translates to a declining population as long as we have a liberal immigration policy or continue to be unable to effectively regulate illegal immigration.
Those who work above the table at least are paying payroll taxes and doing a lot of the low wage and undesirable work as well.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-25-2003, 04:47 AM   #32
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Just briefly re. "doomsday", dealing with economic/
demographic trends, and "protectionism". I am totally
opposed to protectionism. Compete or die is a fine
system IMHO. As to dealing with the economic/
demographic trends, I am happy to leave that to others.
I have dropped out and intend to stay that way.
Refuting "doomsday scenarios" is easy since in the end
we are all guessing. My prediction of crushing
government intervention into every aspect of your
life (including areas you can not even imagine now)
is based on 60 years of living. During that time I can not
see a single significant period where the march toward
more government/less freedom has been slowed. A reasonable person might conclude that
this will continue to its logical conclusion.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-25-2003, 10:23 AM   #33
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

It's like garlic. Too much or in the worng place and you've busted your cornflakes. But where is it when you need it in that bland spaghetti sauce?

Nobody likes "too much Government" or anything else. WHat's the "right" amount? Well if you're into the Jeffersonian idea of freedom and Adam Smith style capitalism, it's whatever The People want even if it's not what the observer might find optimal.

Let's face it, all this "government" and the need or perceived need for any government programs wouldn't even be a topic of discussion if the Libertarian model of "freedom" and economy worked. People would reject any Gov intervention out of hand. But they dont. Tells ya something

Is teh Gov always right or good? No way. But why should the majority have to roll over for "mob rule"? You either belive the Gov is ultimately The People or or dont. If The People are so good and righteous and all those "ant-Big Givernment" things what's the worry? If you belive the Gov is something separate and apart from The People I dont see how NOT letting The People do something about it is gonna fix it.

I;ve been in the Gov. The kost Totalitarian part of it, The MILITARY and I've been in private industry. And now I'm a freewheeling capitalist making money for nothing watching the stock ticker. In most cases I have not seen a dime's worth of difference between The Gov and unelected private operators and their wealth redistribution machines that seem to function best (for them) when in strategic alliance with Big Gov. They're called businesses.

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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-25-2003, 04:43 PM   #34
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Hi Makeitwork! The thing is, if you are still in business
and want to stay there, it is difficult not to ally yourself
with big government. You take my position
(stay the hell out of my way) at your peril. I am very lucky in that I was able to get out and now I do what I want, when I want. However, even now with minimal
oversight by the "authorities" (of whom I have no
respect), I am continuously annoyed by the rules
and regulations imposed upon me. I believe I was born at least 100 years too late. I actually am the real life John Galt, except unlike my fictional doppelganger, I am never
coming back.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-27-2003, 09:46 AM   #35
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

johngalt,

As far as government in our lives, you are probably right. More people = More Government.

There are still places in the World that you can go and find very little Government at all. There are Thousands of small Islands in the Pacific that are unihabited that would have no Government control. No Taxes - No Services either, No Social Security. There would be none of the niceites of our civilization either. like Medical Care, Dental, resturants etc. - But there would be no Government control either! We all make choices and if you choose to live where there are other people, there is Government control - The other people demand it! That's what causes Government Control - People Do!

You obviously don't like Government in your life. Just curious - Since you feel so strongly about this, what is the one thing that you would get rid of as far as Government Control in your life?
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-27-2003, 03:06 PM   #36
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Hello Cut-throat! Good question! Although this could
result in an essay, I fear some readers may tire of
my rants. Thus I will be brief. Although I will
accept any and all government benefits coming my way(I feel I am
entitled), in a perfect world I prefer that the federal government confine itself to national defense, international relations/trade and maintaining federal infrastructure. I am quite self sufficient and I
deeply resent most any intrusions by government at any level. Once at a business dinner, I was pontificating
on this subject. One of the attendees said that surely
I wouldn't give up the modern health care available
to us, as opposed to living 100 years ago,
with the reduced level of government at that time.
I thought about that. I answered that I would take my chances health-wise if only the oppressive hand of
big government was lifted from my shoulders. This was
maybe 20 years ago. I still feel the same. I don't need
them, but they need me (or people like me). Otherwise,
capitalism as we know it will eventually disappear, which of course
I expect to happen. Whatever happens will happen
without me. I'm on strike and am not returning.
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-28-2003, 09:11 AM   #37
 
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Quote:
I answered that I would take my chances health-wise if only the oppressive hand of
big government was lifted from my shoulders.
Johngalt,

I'm a little confused here. How is Government controlling your Health-wise situation?

Still trying to understand your position here. So I'll ask my question again. What one area of your life would you like 'big government' to get off your shoulders?

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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-28-2003, 11:45 AM   #38
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

Okay, Cut Throat, I will expand on my comments
(always enjoy my own stuff .

I was explaining to my dining companion that I would be
willing go back in time (thus giving up 100 years of
advances in health care) to an era whcih did not have the plethora of laws, rules and regulations which we
labor under today. I think I said I wished I had lived
100 years earlier and this person questioned whether
I would really go back if I could. I thought it over and said yes, I would. Of course, in addittion to modern health care I would also give up
income taxes, pollution, automobiles, air travel,
a whole host of new diseases, the threat of nuclear
disaster, etc etc etc. If the government would just stay
out of my way I am sure I would be happy living a
19th century lifestyle. Re. your query about specific examples of government controls which I find burdensome, I would rather not go there as the list is quite long. I will say that my frustrations with government
(all levels) had as much to do with my early retirement
as any other factor. Of course, I never had any
respect for authority, so..........................
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-29-2003, 08:20 AM   #39
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

WOW!!!! Talk about different strokes for.....well, you know.

I would NEVER want to go back to even the automobiles of 15 years ago, much less a life style 100 years ago!
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........
Old 10-29-2003, 09:15 AM   #40
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Re: Lot's of folks will be retiring early.........

I know how you feel Jack, but I would give it all up in a heartbeat. While happy with my personal life (the part I control), I am
already weary of living in the new millenium. Pop culture, politics, pollution, and population proliferation (not necessarily in that
order) are mostly offensive to my eye. Small
government, limited rules/regulations, less people,
a cleaner environment and no Britney Spears or P. Diddy
seem awfully appealing.
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