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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Congratulations, JJohn. You are the recipient of my monthly plug for The Clock of the Long Now [amazon.com]!

    The reason why there is high unemployment is because of the business cycle. Whoever is in office can do very little to change that, and close to nothing during four years in office.

    The bad economy in 1992 was the result of plans and policies from the late 1980s. The seeds of change that Clinton put into place didn't really take effect until his second term. The long term economic instability that W had

    • You are the recipient of my monthly plug for The Clock of the Long Now!

      Thank you for the nod, Zig.

      Normally, I'd agree with you. Bush seems to be more culpable than other presidents for the regression in jobs, particularly in the tech market.

      • Rather than discourage or stay neutral, Bush has given tax credits for companies offshoring jobs
      • His Commerce Secretary Don Evans suggested that those who have lost jobs to offshoring "stop whining"
      • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives advice to companies
      • I respect your position, but I'm not going to get involved in the offshoring debate (again). It's an easy issue to take a shallow sound-bite of a position that is easy to express and fundementally wrong. I am not accusing you of being simple-minded here, but I've heard a lot of people equate no jobs at home == jobs going to India == very bad policy. And that bothers me.

        But offshoring is also about sending jobs to Ireland, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Most detractors conveniently forget this part of the discussion when they oversimplify the issue into jingoistic sound-bites. And with IT, it's easy to forget that the US does not have a lock on smart people. By employing people all over the world, companies have a chance at increasing the number of brilliant programmers they can hire. And getting a critical mass of great hackers is a stronger predictor of future success than hiring-by-body-count.

        I won't argue whether Bush has accelerated the trend; his policies surely have helped. But what we can't know is how big the outsourcing/offshoring trend would be without his policies. Nor can we accurately assess how many job losses are directly due to stupid hiring practices in the boom -- paying $100K and more for effectively unskilled college dropouts. Many of those jobs are easy to send to a low-wage environment, but aren't truly necessary in the first place. For example, why complain when a single Bricolage installation replaces a room full of "HTML Programmers" and offers a trouble-free, predictable workflow? Jobs are lost (or maybe sent offshore in the interim), but were they really necessary in the first place?