July 8, 2012

"U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there."

"Although jobs in some high-tech areas, especially computer and petroleum engineering, seem to be booming, the market is much tighter for lab-bound scientists — those seeking new discoveries in biology, chemistry and medicine."

57 comments:

chickelit said...

Chemistry jobs still exist--there are just fewer of them. The industry began leaving a while ago; invention and innovation will follow. People want the sausage but not the sausage factory.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Although jobs in some high-tech areas, especially computer and petroleum engineering, seem to be booming, the market is much tighter for lab-bound scientists — those seeking new discoveries in biology, chemistry and medicine."

The bourgeoning field of homeopathy has sucked all the air out of that stuff.

You've really got to keep up,...

edutcher said...

Is this another one of the things we see now that ObamaTax is Constitutional?

Roger Sweeny said...

Academic labs run on the relatively unpaid labor of graduate students and post-docs. Shrinking outside support for grad programs would put a major crimp in tenured professors' work.

So the science establishment is constantly crying wolf.

Pastafarian said...

Probably because the amount invested in such new products will be sharply reduced as companies realize that when the government pays for all health care (and they surely will now, as ObamaCare's primary purpose was to destroy the system we've had), then price controls won't be far behind, so there's much less potential for profit.

Hiring expensive new talent is a leading indicator for the coming downturn in medical tech advancement.

I'm not sure that many people have an adequate sense of just how bad this whole debacle will be for all of us. This isn't just about having a 6 month wait to be put on dialysis -- it goes deeper than that.

Of course, Althouse might ask me to come up with a better alternative. How about nothing at all?

Does anyone remember the days when "better than nothing" was "a high standard"?

And we didn't have to choose to do nothing. We could have reduced medical costs with tort reform, tax cuts, and by making it more profitable for insurance companies to primarily offer high-deductible insurance, removing the disconnect between consumer and producer that's distorted pricing.

But doing nothing would have been better than what we'll now have.

America's Politico said...

The Obama-Biden Administration, the best so far in our history, has inspired more scientists than before. It is possible that should Romney win (perish the thought) there will be no scientist in the WH.

If you believe in the POTUS, accept him and support his campaign.

If you believe in science, re-elect the POTUS.

If you love American and want American to be better (and number ONE), contribute to the campaign for the greatest POTUS.

Join the movement. Be part of it.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pastafarian,

Of course, Althouse might ask me to come up with a better alternative.

Fiddle with the V.A. - which is already under government control - until you get it right, and then offer the successful result to the rest of us.

I know - that's too simple and logical to be considered seriously.

Silly me,...

Chip S. said...

This is what bending the cost curve looks like.

Hagar said...

This kind of "scientists" are hired by business people. Successful business people, i.e., those that make profits.
You discourage profitmaking, you should not be surprised that the profitmakers stop hiring.

Gabriel Hanna said...

The demand for jobs for scientists has outstripped supply for as long as I have been alive.

Tank said...

What effect has our immigration policy had?

Oh, wait, STFU.

Damn, did I say that out loud?

William said...

I have devoted my life to the design of hadron colliders. It has long been my dream to build an affordable, portable hadron collider made of organic materials. In such a way, one can bring particles to the masses while at the same time improving the environment. I had the vision, but, as of yet, I do not have the reality. Nonetheless, I am grateful to the Obama administration for the funds that they have made available for this research. I'm particularly grateful to Michelle Obama's brother in law who did so much to find and sublease office space in Flint, Michigan where I hope to make the dream happen.

Zach said...

I'm on the job market right now, and it can be brutal. I'm not sure if it's really a function of the economy, though -- older people insist that it was always brutal. I have something like ten first author papers (ie, finished projects where I did almost all the work -- minor contributors will be listed later, while the big boss is listed last) and I barely drew a sniff on the job market last year.

Part of the problem is that the job market is so fragmented -- nobody hires a physicist, they hire an experimentalist in cold quantum gases, so if you're a theorist in cold quantum gases, you need to hope that somebody will look for a theorist next year.

The fragmentation of the job market is part and parcel with the postdoc circus. Everything is so dependent on grants, every new hire has to contribute to the team in some way. If you hire someone good who's not in your field, you miss an opportunity to build a really convincing team. In the end, everything except for what you're already doing gets squeezed.

Ultimately, if you want to do original science, you've got to have sharp elbows and go against the grain a little. You do the big boss's work as your main project, and the interesting stuff as a change of pace.

bagoh20 said...

Everybody needs a scientist. Didn't you ever watch Gilligan's Island? Those dudes are cool to have around, and damned useful, unless you want off an island. I guess it's kind of a blind spot for them. I'd like to have one around to do research on crazy shit I think up or dream about.

I would wake up one day and say: "Hey Einstein, figure out how we can make lettuce taste like beef jerky", and then I could go lay in the Jacuzzi and wait. Cha ching!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Pasta nails it.

Government control of the delivery system and the prohibitive process to bring new products to market = cost controls = less use of existing product =less R&D money being spent= less new development= less need for researchers = We. Are. So. Screwed

Zach said...

At some point, postdoctoral work will become its own career path -- in fact, you could argue that this isn't happening fast enough. The pretense that a tenure track professor can be a professional researcher and a full time teacher has been slipping for years, and the workload those guys go through is intense. Postdocs fill a huge niche because they can do a project from start to finish with minimal oversight. In a perfect world, that would be a job in its own right, and they'd do away with the idea that you're spending a couple of years polishing off your education and gaining experience.

Right now, a good postdoc is simultaneously extremely valuable, very sought after, often with significant supervisory responsibilities -- and a low paid employee on a temporary contract who will have to move in a couple of years. There's a huge opportunity for institutions to grab good people by offering a better salary and a little bit of security. Of course, like a lot of good ideas in science, it won't happen any time soon, because the huge flood of low cost labor means there's no pressure to innovate.

Jane said...

So far as I undesrtand, there are two different worlds: academic research and R&D at chemical, pharma, etc. companies. The academic world is a messed-up pyramid structure where "professors" (who don't really teach) rely on the cheap labor of grad students, so want more of them. But shouldn't the bulk of the jobs be in the private sector? If not, this is all just a scam.

ed said...

@ The Crack Emcee

"Fiddle with the V.A. - which is already under government control - until you get it right, and then offer the successful result to the rest of us."

Amusingly enough the VA's solution was Tri-Care ... e.g. health insurance with private health providers.

"I know - that's too simple and logical to be considered seriously."

Yeah because wounded & retired veterans LOVE being guinea pigs for politicians monkeying around with vital, if not life-saving, healthcare.

X said...

it's hard to miss something you don't know about. would you miss the internet if AT&T's monopoly hadn't ended? when single payer comes the young and the people of the future won't miss the medical innovations that don't happen or are delayed. which I find hilarious because they might have lived and been young forever.

Michael K said...

"The bourgeoning field of homeopathy has sucked all the air out of that stuff.

You've really got to keep up,..."

Yes, the teachers' unions have made homeopathy commercially viable with their teaching of math and science. When graduates of US public schools don't know anything about science, vaccine alarmism and "alternative medicine" and homeopathy are free to prosper.

"The fragmentation of the job market is part and parcel with the postdoc circus. Everything is so dependent on grants, every new hire has to contribute to the team in some way."

Pay attention to the story of Craig Venter. He went to private, entrepreneurial way in genomic research. He had to fight the government funded "Human Genome Project" which was the grant funded big government project that was going nowhere. Venter got private capital and went his own way.

James D. Watson was head of the National Center for Human Genome Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States starting from 1988. Largely due to his disagreement with his boss, Bernadine Healy, over the issue of patenting genes, Watson was forced to resign in 1992. He was replaced by Francis Collins in April 1993, and the name of the Center was changed to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 1997.

Why was Watson finally kicked out ?

In 1998, a similar, privately funded quest was launched by the American researcher Craig Venter, and his firm Celera Genomics. Venter was a scientist at the NIH during the early 1990s when the project was initiated. The $300,000,000 Celera effort was intended to proceed at a faster pace and at a fraction of the cost of the roughly $3 billion publicly funded project.

So the private project, at 10% of the cost of the public project, won the race to sequence the human genome. You wouldn't know it from the Wikipedia article.

Venter has since built a huge research institute at US San Diego and has recruited scientists from all over the world, many of whom are now driving Ferraris. He is the first biotech billionaire and has many more discoveries to his, and his group's, credit. What has the public grant funded project to show ?

In March 2000, President Clinton announced that the genome sequence could not be patented, and should be made freely available to all researchers. The statement sent Celera's stock plummeting and dragged down the biotechnology-heavy Nasdaq. The biotechnology sector lost about $50 billion in market capitalization in two days.


A stock market crash. Sort of a parable to match the the AGW story. As the government runs out of money, grant funded research will too.

Zach said...

So far as I undesrtand, there are two different worlds: academic research and R&D at chemical, pharma, etc. companies. The academic world is a messed-up pyramid structure where "professors" (who don't really teach) rely on the cheap labor of grad students, so want more of them. But shouldn't the bulk of the jobs be in the private sector? If not, this is all just a scam.

Some of both, honestly. Most of the jobs are in the private sector, which pays considerably better. But there's a widely held opinion that the academic jobs are more attractive -- you have at least the possibility of doing your own projects and making a big impact. And if you go into industry, you're always going to be working for somebody else -- if you're working for Bausch & Lomb, you're going to be doing skincare projects, and that's that. If you come up with a new theory of relativity, your boss is still going to have you doing skincare, because that's what the company does.

If you recall that anybody making the decision has already invested their 20s in getting the PhD, and figure that it's much harder to move from industry to academia than the other way around (it is), it makes sense to spend a while as a postdoc hoping that your best case scenario will fall into your lap. But the cost of that is that you're delaying your life even further, at a time when your contemporaries are getting married, having kids, buying houses, etc. It's possible for things to simultaneously be rational and not very much fun to actually go through.

Paco Wové said...

"older people insist that it was always brutal"

I'm one of those older people, and yes the job market, at least for academic scientists, sucked all the time that I can remember, too. I think the last time it didn't suck might have been the 60's - early 70's. My Ph.D. advisor got his job about then, and his reminiscences sounded like a whole different world -- much more informal, relatively few applicants per position.
By the mid-90's, when I was on the market, 300+ applicants per position was the norm. And even so, we were very blinkered with regards to non-academic employment -- private sector? What is that? Not done, old boy.

Patrick said...

It seems to me that Ph.D's, by the time they are earned, have such a narrow focus as to risk making the candidate irrelevant, even in the hard sciences. It looks like a person is putting all of his chips on something at age 28 or so, betting that it will still matter enough to make him employable at age 50.

Cedarford said...

The great folly of Reagan's Free Trade for Freedom Lovers! and Bill Clinton's Globalization Lifts All Boats! policies was they assumed that
1. Factories and whole industries would move overseas, but all good-paying supervisory, tech support, engineering, and science R&D associated with those factories and industried would magically stay in the US.
2. That of course...new miracle high tech like computer manufacture (Reagan) or miracle financial services jobs (Clinton) or miracle new nanotechnology and biotech jobs or hero military weapons (Bush) or miracle new Green Energy and Helping Government Hero jobs (Obama) would replace all those "old industry jobs best left for chinese workers to do".

America has been fed lies by both Parties after Nixon...who was the last President that truly believed in protecting US jobs and technology from being lost and the imperative to have a trade balance in the black.
3. That consumerism - giving the Hero American shoppers more to spend - on would mean Walmart purchases of chinese goods would somehow end up creating the same American worker demand as Sears purchases of US-made goods once did.
4. That we could lose most of our wealth from US goods manufacture by allowing US technology and capital to site that tech and production overseas..with no impact on US jobs, standard of living.

We have been lied to since the days of Carter by both Parties.

Oso Negro said...

The problem with pharma is that all the easy molecules have been done.

Original Mike said...

We are destroying our future. In the last six months I have watched three very promising students in our department decide to go into clinical scut work rather than a career developing the technologies of the future.

jimbino said...

I trained in physics, but came to find out that a great many of the jobs involve working for the gummint, which I won't do. Computer hardware and software always seem to have openings for STEM folks, however.

Just as important as STEM training nowadays is proficiency in several foreign languages. Of course, most engineers, as opposed to scientists and mathematicians, of STEM haven't mastered English.

Joe said...

Destroying industries by playing favorites, creating uncertainty by rejecting oil exploration contracts and then tentatively allowing them, refusing to okay thinks like a pipeline.... Then there is the corrupt and broken patent system which encourages companies to compete in the courtroom, not the marketplace.

Joe Schmoe said...

The bogeyman in the article is Big Pharma. According to the author they did everything wrong. Probably most of it on purpose, for some hoary and nefarious reason.

What part did government's demonization and regulation of Big Pharma play in this tale of the underemployed scientist? We'll never know, if we just read the Washington Post.

When Big Government threatens an entire industry with price and product fixing, massive regulatory costs, and lengthy approval times for new drugs, what the hell did they think would happen?

Original Mike said...

"When Big Government threatens an entire industry with price and product fixing, massive regulatory costs, and lengthy approval times for new drugs, what the hell did they think would happen?"

Starting the study of medicine and biology now is a very high risk venture.

James Pawlak said...

The over-production Vs. jobs issue is even more relevant, unreasonable and dangerous-to-the-economy as to the grinding out of lawyers.

Joe Schmoe said...

Original Mike, what's 'clinical scut work'?

Original Mike said...

Service jobs at hospitals.

AJ Lynch said...

"Clinical scut work" I am guessing means treating patients for rather humdrum aliments in exchange for a salary? IOW, giving up the dream of making an exciting discovery by staying research.

Original Mike said...

"IOW, giving up the dream of making an exciting discovery ..."

If I'm understanding you, I think you are looking at this the wrong way. Forget the individual. It's honest, satisfying work (I shouldn't have been so derogatroy). It's society that is the big loser when the best talent is not put to good use.

Joe Schmoe said...

Developing boner drugs doesn't sound glamorous, but it seems to have provided a lot of PinheaDs with decent jobs.

cubanbob said...

Zach said...

And your point is what? Einstein made his major discoveries while working as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.

C4 goes on his rants about offshoring jobs. Of course stupid policies and regulations that encourage shifting jobs overseas never enters the mind of a populist. He is of the mindset that businesses exist to create jobs and profits are secondary and not the other way around.

US corporations are sitting on a 2 trillion dollar mountain of cash overseas because nothing they can invest in the US will give them a better than 35% ROI.
Thats a boatload and then some of stimulus and R & D that isn't being invested in the US. Hopefully the next president and congress will have the common sense and the testicular fortitude to stop taxing foreign earnings on corporations like just about every other country in the world. Imagine that, a sensible policy that would actually promote exports and manufacturing at home. Heck that might even result in higher job opportunities for scientists and engineers.

Dante said...

There are a lot of possibilities for why pharma is putting in less into R&D. One is that it's getting more expensive to produce drugs new drugs, perhaps because the problem is getting harder. Megan Mcardle has many posts on this, here is one interesting one:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/06/pharma-spending-less-on-finding-new-drugs/241161/

My pet peeve is putting federal dollars into expensive nonsense "Climate Science." Many, many billions of dollars are going into Climate Research and projects. Yet, the earth isn't warming up for 12 or 15 years and counting.

cubanbob said...

Dante said...

Part of the problem is the free rider problem. The rest of the world imposes price controls to mitigate their health care costs leaving the US market to absorb the bulk of the R & D costs and those coats are now getting harder to do in the US.

Zach said...

And your point is what? Einstein made his major discoveries while working as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.

Well, Einstein wasn't happy about his situation, either. He applied for lots of academic jobs, he just didn't get any.

I don't mean to complain here. The subject of the article is the tough situation that postdocs find them in, so I'm giving further information on the topic at hand. The fact is, I am employed -- lots of people aren't. I'm employed as a scientist -- lots of people aren't. I'm directly using the skills I spent so long developing -- again, a lot of scientists find themselves underemployed when they get a permanent job, even if it's something like finance where the wages are high.

The facts of life are that the postdoc is the point in a scientist's career when skills are farthest out of line with rewards. Every scientist knows this, every scientist wishes it were different. Once or twice a year you can pick up Science or Nature and see some editorial bewailing the current setup. I don't mean to whine, I'm just telling you how it is.

chickelit said...

From the article: Largely because of drug industry cuts, the unemployment rate among chemists now stands at its highest mark in 40 years, at 4.6 percent, according to the American Chemical Society, which has 164,000 members.

If you're an old fart like me, you'll remember the big push about 20 years or so ago towards "combinatorial chemistry." In broad brush strokes, this was supposed to more or less automate drug discovery: enormous "libraries" of drug candidates were assembled systematically like arrays with each row and column a variation in chemical structure. The driving force was that drug discovery was essentially serendipitous such a systematic approach "covered more conceptual space" and wouldn't overlook potential missed candidates. I personally witnessed PhDs being awarded degrees who knew next to nothing about chemistry but who could ride the machines. The downside to the approach was that generations of chemical intuition, carried inside minds (and also laden with high overhead costs) became redundant overnight. A few of them survived--tenured academics, for example--but the industry did itself in for the long haul.

Another annoying trend was the switch about 20 years ago from an emphasis on industrial chemical research to academic chemical research. The American Chemical Society promulgated this change as it tried to improve the image of chemistry in American minds. Editorial changes at their flagship publication Chemical & Engineering News also reflected a growing emphasis on promoting diversity in a dwindling American workforce, instead of a focus on rebuilding that workforce in general. I resigned my membership over 10 years ago.

Cedarford said...

cubanbob - "C4 goes on his rants about offshoring jobs. Of course stupid policies and regulations that encourage shifting jobs overseas never enters the mind of a populist. He is of the mindset that businesses exist to create jobs and profits are secondary and not the other way around."

--------------

1. I am of a mindset that whatever model the economic system America has, exists to serve the American people as a whole 1st, then the "individual hero John Galt type or clever Wall Street financier" 2nd.
If capitalism and free trade fail 99% of the American public, that system will not last. I think it will last, but we have seen far too much greed, concentration of wealth in a near-oligarchy, and destruction of US industries to enrich the pockets of a few in recent decades..
Apres mon, le deluge! We should all seek to fix the broken system we have.

2. Economists that have examined offshoring, the transfer of technology and destruction of US insustries with nothing to replace the lost income - have determined it is 1st and foremost driven by economic Elites in America that seek short term wealth in their hands by replacing US labor with cheaper foreign labor.
It will eventually end when joblessness and increased government transfers and inability to borrow Chinese money finally kills off the consumer market that the whole rotten New Economy rests on, but perhaps the Plutocrats still think they will just move on to a new land to exploit.

3. The argument that all this is somehow driven by Evil Gummint Regulations and meddling with the Freedom LOvers at the international banks and Wall Street and on Hero Factory Owners is pretty much specious drivel, economists have concluded..as the reasons why electronics, textiles, R&D, light manufacturing, high tech manufacturing went away had little to do with our government "clamping down on Freedom" forcing manufacturers to go to lands of even more Freedom! - like China.

Cubanbob is having a debate based on 1980s beliefs, with no facts of what happened in the last 30 years getting in the way.

roesch/voltaire said...

Funds for basic research have been drastically cut because often it does not start out out with a specific application, but may lead to major discoveries years later. And of course the great Bell Labs have long been dissolved. For an example of the time and money involved in this type of research, I suggest reading about professor Barry Ganetzky's work at this link tgo clear up ideas about research at the university level: http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/uncategorized/lord-of-the-flies/

The Crack Emcee said...

ed,

Amusingly enough the VA's solution was Tri-Care ... e.g. health insurance with private health providers.

There's a difference between "fiddle with the V.A." and going with "the VA's solution,..."

Wounded & retired veterans LOVE being guinea pigs for politicians monkeying around with vital, if not life-saving, healthcare.

As a veteran, I know exactly what it means - we're owned by the government - so quit your bitching. Improving V.A. care is of vital interest, and beginning to improve healthcare, there, would not only be an excellent place to start, but would spare the rest of the country the wrenching load of bullshit we face now.

Go back to Hippieville,...

Bruce Hayden said...

I can't get too upset about this. Anyone who actually believes anything that the President says, likely deserves the results.

I also question the prudence of working along side and for post-docs, while working on a PhD, and then not realizing that their plight is likely not going to be any better than the post-docs.

Realistically, they should have been working along side and for grad students and post-docs during summer internships while undergrads, and asking the right questions. The NSF and several other government agencies offer REUs (Research Experiences for Undergrads) that are, essentially, paid summer internships in the hard sciences. It is much closer to a peer relationship than they will typically see during the school year, and these undergrads can (and should) ask the grad students, post-docs, and professors they are working with the sorts of questions that would tend to minimize this sort of heartbreak.

Gary Rosen said...

"C4 goes on his rants about offshoring jobs."

C-fudd has no more clue about economics and business than he does about where to find the clitoris. Amusingly, his rants now sound like the "Bolshevist Jooooos" of his other tirades, further confirmation of my suspicion he is a self-loathing Jew. But then who *wouldn't* loathe Fudd?

AJ Lynch said...

Orig Mike:

I knew what you meant and you meant no disdain for the clinical treament career path. My nephew [BS in Bio-Physics] is doing a 2 year internship at UPenn while he applies to Med School. Then he will have to decide where he goes next > research path or treat patients path. Each, of course, has different risks and rewards. I also encourage him to read articles like this one we are discussing.

Dad29 said...

The WaPo report skipped--entirely--the impact of H1-B's on the marketplace.

That's despite the fact that they interviewed people who know about the problem.

H1-B's work for (relatively) nothing, which forces rewards for STEM students down. So how do they repay student loans, much less eat?

Kids get Econ 101 very well, and flee STEM programs.

bagoh20 said...

". I am of a mindset that whatever model the economic system America has, exists to serve the American people..."

This mindset seems to imply that you decide which system works based on which one you have feelings for. The system that works best doesn't care if you like it or not, or if it meets all your needs. Choose it or don't, but don't blame the market because you don't know how to capitalize on it, or have your own reason for rejecting it.

The best system is free markets, because it the natural system that all others either accept to some degree or fail. If you aren't using that, you have chosen something inferior. That's our problem, we keep trying to improve it, by changing it instead of accepting it. We are fighting the wave instead of riding it.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@roesch-voltaire:Funds for basic research have been drastically cut because often it does not start out out with a specific application, but may lead to major discoveries years later.

In what country was this? NSF funding has increased in almost almost every year, so you aren't talking about the US. Maybe you mean Sweden.

Michael K said...

"Starting the study of medicine and biology now is a very high risk venture."

Everything is a high risk venture, especially in Obamaworld. Craig Venter applied to USC medical school while majoring in biochem at UCSD. He didn't get in but found a friendly professor mentor who encouraged him to do genetics. The rest is history.

Petroleum engineering would be a good field right now. Nuclear physics can thank the greenies for the present dearth of jobs. When you have insane people setting priorities, you tend to get insane results.

Big Mike said...

Gabriel Hanna nailed it at 11:03.

But if you're a bright enough to genuinely merit a Ph.D., then you will not starve. One fellow I know has a Ph.D. in one of the biological fields -- I'm going to say microbiology but I could be mistaken. He is head of R&D at a computer firm and is arguably one of our top experts in cloud computing. What he learned was how to lead researchers (like herding cats, only much more complicated) and how to read very technical papers and how to reason creatively. Nothing takes those skills away from you (except disuse).

dvlfish13 said...

From the article:

"Michelle Amaral wanted to be a brain scientist to help cure diseases.

From the blog of Michelle Amaral:

"In the future, I would like to learn how to utilize functional magnetic resonance imaging to learn more about the effects that meditation and yoga have on the brain."

Paging Crack, paging Crack.

Andy Freeman said...

> Fiddle with the V.A. - which is already under government control - until you get it right, and then offer the successful result to the rest of us.

You can also fiddle with the folks on Medicaid and govt employee healthcare.

If the latter don't like it, they can always go to the more lucrative private sector....

However, please don't screw with the folks on Indian Health Service (or whatever the call it) until you put Congress on it.

Rusty said...

Cedarford said...
cubanbob - "C4 goes on his rants about offshoring jobs. Of course stupid policies and regulations that encourage shifting jobs overseas never enters the mind of a populist. He is of the mindset that businesses exist to create jobs and profits are secondary and not the other way around."

--------------

1. I am of a mindset that whatever model the economic system America has, exists to serve the American people as a whole 1st, then the "individual hero John Galt type or clever Wall Street financier" 2nd.
If capitalism and free trade fail 99% of the American public, that system will not last. I think it will last, but we have seen far too much greed, concentration of wealth in a near-oligarchy, and destruction of US industries to enrich the pockets of a few in recent decades..
Apres mon, le deluge! We should all seek to fix the broken system we have.

2. Economists that have examined offshoring, the transfer of technology and destruction of US insustries with nothing to replace the lost income - have determined it is 1st and foremost driven by economic Elites in America that seek short term wealth in their hands by replacing US labor with cheaper foreign labor.
It will eventually end when joblessness and increased government transfers and inability to borrow Chinese money finally kills off the consumer market that the whole rotten New Economy rests on, but perhaps the Plutocrats still think they will just move on to a new land to exploit.

3. The argument that all this is somehow driven by Evil Gummint Regulations and meddling with the Freedom LOvers at the international banks and Wall Street and on Hero Factory Owners is pretty much specious drivel, economists have concluded..as the reasons why electronics, textiles, R&D, light manufacturing, high tech manufacturing went away had little to do with our government "clamping down on Freedom" forcing manufacturers to go to lands of even more Freedom! - like China.

Cubanbob is having a debate based on 1980s beliefs, with no facts of what happened in the last 30 years getting in the way.


Have you met Bob?
I think you two would get along very well.

Robert Cook said...

"Of course stupid policies and regulations that encourage shifting jobs overseas never enters the mind of a populist."

Yeah...can you imagine stupid policies that encourage or require employers to pay living wages to American workers! Why, it's absurd to burden big corporations enjoying record profits with the obligation to pay decent wages to Americans when they can hire wageSLAVES overseas who will do the job for pennies on the dollar!

If only Americans would suck it up and accept the fact that we must compete with slave labor and accept wages that will still keep us under the poverty level--and give up selfish expectations of benefits--then overburdened corporate slave masters might be encouraged to bring work back to the "homeland." (How I hate that Nazi Germany-sounding term!)

Ken said...

crack,

Fallacy of composition fail: Fiddle with the V.A. - which is already under government control - until you get it right, and then offer the successful result to the rest of us.

Even if the VA somehow managed to pull its head out of its ass, the idea that a model for veterans (a self selecting group substantively different from the general population) would be good for everyone is lazy thinking at its best. Congratulations of reaching the height of thought used by politicians.