Free trade/currency devaluation [merged Le Jacquelope threads]

Ah hah, so that’s why Europe, which has been affected heavily by free trade, doesn’t have any long term unemployment problem.

Oh wait, I’m sorry, it does. Silly me!

This is the sort of ludicrous straw man comment that gets all of your rants dismissed as ignorant rants.

No one is paying anyone a mere $30K to write code in the U.S. The comment was directed toward less skilled occupations where a $30K job in the U.S. was moved off shore to become an $8K (or some less pay) job. And it does not make economic sense to continue to pay $30K for labor and then charge customers a price to recover the $22K (or whatever) difference.

This is not to say that programming jobs have not also been lost in the U.S., but you completely misrepresented what msmith537 was saying and then went on with your bullshit “bet” that simply displayed how badly you missed the point.

Pretty much.

Women drivers . . . it makes a difference?!


Uh, yes they are. Lower end web programmers get that salary range. Exactly the kind of job that’s moving overseas. Those are what you call entry level web jobs, not the SQL, Ajax and Flash type jobs that high-end sites use.

Before you accuse me of ignorant rants you should try not posting ignorant rants of your own. First try getting educated about the job market, and also bone up on your reading skills. I said HTML code. Lots of low end sites don’t need more than that. Why would anyone pay more than $30K to do that? That’s entry level work for high schoolers - that is, if they can find it in this “global” economy.

Actually I have to go interview a candidate for my company in a few minutes. It’s a shame I have to tell him we can only pay $30k because I have a bet with someone.

That’s not fair. We all know Europeans don’t want to work. They’re all so goddamned lazy, it’s no wonder they’re rich. Wait . . .

Those are the sort of jobs that went to coders, (not programmers), in the old days. They were already replaced once in IT history between 1978 and 1982 without a single job going off shore. With the advent of GUI, the “coder” position returned, briefly, and now it is going away again as the software development tools make it easier for less-trained people to carry out the same jobs. It is no different than COBOL programmers of the late 1970s spending 40 hours to create a report, only to be replaced by users at their own desks creating the same (or better) reports using more user-oriented software. It is not a big deal and you pretending that it has something to do with Indian or Chinese jobs simply indicates that you don’t know what you are talking about.
You might make a case for a problem with actual programming jobs going overseas*, but they are not the $30K coder slots that you pointed at.

  • I’ve seen this go both ways, with generalized development being handled quite nicely at lower pay on off shore locations while specialized needs for specific departments failing. However, that is a matter of the user/client selecting the proper personnel for the approprite job rather than trying to shoehorn all applications into some pre-defined category based on a false assumptions that either “anyone can do it” or “we’re special.”

For those following along at home, note the use of the word “any” in that phrase.

Dr. Love linked to a cite, that presented data showing that increased trade openness decreased long term unemployment. Le Jaq then tried to dismiss this by sarcastically pointing out that Europe still has long term unemployment, failing to notice the word “decreased” and instead skipping right over to “doesn’t have any.”

Let this be a lesson in what not to do.

They want to work. There’s just no jobs for a lot of people there.

You’re still not good at reading what I said. I mentioned Dreamweaver and its species of software. You still need training for that, and few people will get a job using that here. It’s not something you can learn just walking off the street, but for small businesses that need a simple page, $30/year for such mass production work is a sweet spot. High schoolers can be trained to use it and it’s a good teenage or entry level job.

Speaking of which, we’re losing a ton of our entry level jobs. Doesn’t make for a fertile environment for people to reach high level experience, does it?

Maybe in the future simple web design will go by way of the COBOL story, but not now.

Actually, anyone who has a rudimentary training in current computers can pick up Dreamweaver with no serious effort. Why should I pay some kid $30K to do that full time when I can get my administrative assistant to do it as just part of his or her existing job? What company actually has a need for massive quantities of web pages cranked out for forty hours every week? If there is some outfit in India that wants to mass produce web sites while paying employees less than $30K, (and you have not produced any evidence that such is actually happening), then they are more than welcome to it.

You don’t read well, either. It was not COBOL that went away. In the ancient years, in large shops, programmers wrote meta code and it was re-written as COBOL by coders. That limited function of coding handled by less trained individuals to do the grunt work disappeared when better text editors and automated code generators made them unnecessary. Serious COBOL continued for years, (and continues, a bit, today); only the “coder” function–equivalent to your HTML kid–disappeared. Again, without any overseas involvement.

But even that excludes any ol’ person that comes off the street.

You’re not as good a reader as you think. I said “go by way of the COBOL story”, I did not say “COBOL went away”.

The Korean free trade agreement is going to pass soon.

As a result, will Koreans need any Trade Adjustment Assistance, or will American workers need it?

Funny, how free trade always means jobs leave America, but do not come here.

Both countries will need it.

Also, considering how much you talk about hating free trade, it’s shocking to me that you aren’t aware of the basics of the economics behind free trade. I’ve already linked you to the Wikipedia article that gives you an outline of how the argument works —pity you didn’t read it.

Uh, no, S. Korea won’t. This is going to be a major job boom for them and will mean more Americans on unemployment.

I read it. History doesn’t support the argument you’re trying to make. Globalism has meant stagnating wages and stagnating job growth for America, and prosperity for all our trading partners.


Actually, it’s better and more obvious than you even considered. The existence of the TAA shows that there are jobs for which people need to be retrained. Similarly, if there are new jobs to be done in South Korea, how are people supposed to do them? Perhaps they’ll need ( :eek: ) retraining.

You mean as far as wages stagnating?

As you can see this has been going on long before the recession. It’s worse now.

Tell me something. When Whirlpool shut down a thousand jobs and sent them to factories in Mexico, where did those unemployed American workers go besides the welfare line? When Hewlett Packard eliminated thousands of jobs in California and replaced them with workers in China, where did those 30,000 people go? Did they get better paying jobs or worse paying jobs?

Your wiki cite means fuck all if you can’t show where people got better paying jobs when their jobs moved overseas. That’s just one of legions of lethal holes in the free trade argument.

uh huh. And when people get retrained through the TAA I’m sure you can cite that they actually get jobs in any meaningful number. Right?

Which is probably provided by the employer because they desperately need workers. That tends to happen in an employee’s market - something America has not seen in decades. Now please, ask me to cite something that hasn’t even existed in decades. (Like an employee’s market in America.)

We don’t need the TAA either. What we need is a massive currency devaluation so that we are putting the unemployed back to work to service the global economy. Or we can continue to have 40, 50 or 60 million Americans on welfare and an exploding homeless population and a TAA that does little or nothing to put people back to work. Which do you want?

I don’t know. Why don’t you tell us? Since neither straight man’s wiki citation nor my citation of a peer-reviewed research is good enough for you, please tell us exactly what happened to those 30,000 people. Unless you can find something better than a peer reviewed study, I’m going to take it as a tacit admission on your part that all of those 30,000 people eventually found better paying jobs.

Firstly, the cites you provided do not say what you wanted them to. Correlation does not prove causation, especially when you only look at one country over time, and both trends are fairly homogeneous in that time. Moreover, the basic economic conclusion about free trade is that consumer prices go down more than income — so real income goes up. The point of programs like TAA are to spread out the costs of jobs lost by making the newly-unemployed workers capable of doing different things. Social welfare programs also spread out the cost by providing for livings during the transition. Remember, labour is a factor of production; the natural tendency goes toward full employment, limited simply by structural factors. The time it takes to be retrained is just one of those factors, and the cost of that time normally does not exceed the benefit of lower-priced consumer goods. This is basic stuff. Also remember that free trade flows in both directions; new jobs open up in exporting industries.

Secondly, it is not my job to do your homework for you. You cited the TAA as evidence of free trade failing, even though pro-free trade economists explicitly say that organizations like the TAA must exist in a free trade system. However, since you can’t be bothered to do research that might oppose your preexisting ideology, here are the stats. Assuming I’m reading this correctly, about 50,619 trainees exited the TAA between October 1, 2009, and September 30, 2010, of whom either 53% or 58.83% (depending on how you count) found jobs by the time states finished getting info for the November 17 submission, of which either 86.23% or 80.47% retained their jobs through the same period, with an average six month earning of either $14,213.60 or $14,696.21. So yes, particularly when the data is for the depths of America’s recession, that’s far more than just “a meaningful number”.

Finally, your last point simply makes no sense. The whole point of outsourcing is that the workers abroad cannot demand anywhere near as high a wage as the workers here. Therefore, no, it is not an “employee’s market” abroad, and if the company provides the training (which, except for assembly-line-skilled sorts of jobs, seems unlikely), it could only occur when the lower cost of labour more than makes up for the cost of training.

Oh, right. Since this is board is all about educating the masses, the Wiki to which I was referring is just the Wikipedia section on the economic model of free trade. To really make sense of it, you have to have some foreknowledge on supply/demand curves. I can try to go through that, if anybody’s interested, or we could get another Doper to do it (since I’m not an economics student, much less an economist), but in the meantime I’ll just assume anyone reading this knows the basics.

ETA: In my last post, I forgot to mention: that link to the TAA page took me literally ten seconds of Googling to find. So I assume, Le Jacquelope, that you just don’t have ten seconds.