A negative technology shock for JOE

by on August 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm in Current Affairs, Economics | Permalink

Job Openings for Economists has been published only electronically for the past decade. Starting with the August 2011 issue, the Association resumes publishing JOE in print format, in order to ensure compliance with Department of Labor regulations for obtaining work visas for non-citizen economists.

1 TallDave August 3, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Sigh.

2 Sunset Shazz August 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Deadweight loss.

3 Matthew C. August 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Multiply that idiocy times the cost of all the millions of other regulations and market distortions that the Federal glioblastoma has inflicted upon this country and you’ll understand why our current political and financial system is in hospice, waiting for its last breath.

4 jb August 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

5 Dan D August 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Print it in triplicate. Use the old non-standard Federal paper size. Send certified copies to an office in Charleston, WV if the job opening is east of the Mississippi, to Pueblo, CO if west of the Mississippi. If the job is located on the Mississippi, it must be filed in person at the DOL offices in Washington, DC. Bring your passport and another form of identification to make it past the security desk.

6 JimH August 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Have they created the form yet indicating compliance to be sent in on a monthly basis including a scanned copy of the printed document saved on a 5.25 inch floppy disc and delivered by Pony Express?

7 Foster Boondoggle August 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Not very nice leaving off this last part of the announcement: “Print issues will be distributed via the U.S. Postal System two to three weeks after they are published electronically.” In other words, electronic delivery will continue.

I’d love to hear from libertarians in this context how they imagine
1. continuing to get services from the government (in whatever minimal and pinched form they envision)
2. that said services be provided without Huey Long or Chicago ward style patronage
3. that said services should be provided transparently and as cheaply as possible
4. that there be zero compliance overhead burden on private providers of support for these services
5. that human beings, with all of our penchant for self-dealing, can make this happen without any restrictive regulatory structure

Maybe the paper job posting requirement is stupid, and maybe there are a gazillion other stupid rules out there. It seems like it probably made a lot of common sense once. Revising it means someone has to sit down and think through all the implications, and their thinking through has to be reviewed by some other people to make sure the new rule is better. Then all the interested private parties have to have a chance to look at the change and chime in. (Because corporate america wants to make sure it gets a chance to block regulatory changes that might affect its ability to extract rents.) And this has to be a better use of everyone’s time than continuing to require job providers create hardcopies of job postings.

It’s a good example for preaching to the choir, but it doesn’t really do much to persuade.

8 Matthew C. August 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Maybe the paper job posting requirement is stupid, and maybe there are a gazillion other stupid rules out there.

Ya think?

It seems like it probably made a lot of common sense once.

No, common sense is the exact opposite of relying on millions of rules to dictate how everything is done.

Revising it means someone has to sit down and think through all the implications, and their thinking through has to be reviewed by some other people to make sure the new rule is better.

I must admit some degree of gladness that the era of centralized bureaucratized rule-based stupidity is shortly to collapse under the weight of its own excesses.

9 Foster Boondoggle August 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm

So, Matthew, when IBM contracts with suppliers for a product, do they just do it with a verbal agreement over the phone? Or do they have a procurement process with a “paper trail” requirement? (Possibly electronic, OK.)

I mean, lets get concrete. What requirement do YOU think the State Dept. and Dept. of Labor should impose on companies or organizations that want to bring in a non-US citizen to work here? Is the problem that they have any requirements at all? Or is the problem that there’s a requirement for documentation, and due to the cumbersome nature of the rulemaking process it still says “paper”? Or do you have some magic wand that makes it much easier to change the rules and get new rules that are better for everyone, always?

10 Andrew' August 4, 2011 at 3:51 am

Changing dumb rules is always hard, and this is our fault?

11 Tom August 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

“It seems like it probably made a lot of common sense once. ”
You seemed to have missed that this is a NEW requirement.

12 Anon August 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Get a brain moran.

13 asdf August 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm

> that human beings, with all of our penchant for self-dealing, can make this happen without any restrictive regulatory structure

It’s called the Invisible Hand. Have you heard of it?

14 TallDave August 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I think you’re missing the point — the argument was not that they would be forced to stop electronic delivery, just that they have a ridiculous requirement to also provide print delivery.

The answer is, you have this problem whenever the gov’t tries to do anything, so logically the solution is to have the government do as little as possible.

Now possibly, this is just a bad regulation in support of what is a highly essential and very necessary government function (it isn’t, in the view of most libertarians, but surely some such do exist). Libertarians wouldn’t argue on that basis that the service itself not be performed, but certainly at 40% of GDP government is doing a lot of things that, given its penchant for this sort of thing, it’s probably not in our best interests to have gov’t doing.

15 Andrew' August 4, 2011 at 3:43 am

Sometimes thinking is a good thing.

16 Andrew' August 4, 2011 at 3:55 am

Being that the government is the main way that people extract rents from eachother, I would propose that the rules changes for reducing requirements on people should be easier than those increasing requirements on people. The government is not a neutral broker.

17 Andrew Sabl August 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

The American Political Science Association thought of making its job ads exclusively electronic several years ago–but shelved the idea because of similar concerns. Certain equal employment rules also played a role I think. (Perhaps I misremember and APSA went all-electronic for a quarter or two, but it sure wasn’t for long.)

I don’t think political scientists differ with economists on the substance of how silly these print-favoring rules are. The difference is that political scientists (1) thought of these silly rules, and the possible violations, sooner, (2) complied with them more spontaneously, and (3) automatically assumed they were likely to persist indefinitely.

I don’t know if all this makes me proud of political scientists’ realism or ashamed of their conformism. A bit of both, I think.

18 Douglas Knight August 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I imagine that the political scientists are complying with the same rule as the economists, that for a visa to be granted to a foreigner, the job must be advertised publicly, and electronic ads don’t count. So if the visa-granter is denying visas, putting pressure on those advertising jobs, who in turn put pressure on the publisher of ads, it has nothing to do with what political scientists or economists think of. It is odd that the visa-granter didn’t apply pressure to both at the same time.

19 agawji August 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

lol try using the Dept of Labor’s online job posting system some time.

20 Peter St Onge August 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Uh…we have sort of a problem here. Yeah. You apparently didn’t put one of the new coversheets on your TPS reports.

If you could just go ahead and make sure you do that from now on, that will be great.

And uh, I’ll go ahead and make sure you get another copy of that memo. Mmmkay? Bye bye.

21 Mr. Econotarian August 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

You are charged with the following: Attempting to disrupt the Ministry of Information Retrieval’s internal communicating systems; Wasting Ministry time and paper.

22 mulp August 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

The publishing industry hasn’t created an equivalent to the proof of publication on a certified date for public access and record that does not involve printing and distribution in the form of a regular publication.

The news paper industry has good reason to object to an alternative to print publication.

My guess is JOE wants to capture the revenue that would otherwise go to the WSJ or Economist or the professional journals for economics.

What other method exists for proving a job posting was published for the required time period that is required by law to demonstrate no suitable US citizen was available to fill a positions to be filled by an immigrant who needs an H1B visas?

Unless you think the millions of people shouting “close the border” are nuts, why should a job in the US go to an immigrant when thousands of Americans can do the job? I think they are nuts, and I find their claim that this and that is unconstitutional because its not in the Constitution, without pointing a single clause in the Constitution that even hints at closed borders, but Congress writes the laws, so take up your complaints with Congress which writes the restrictive immigration laws, and those who want the restrictions are overwhelmingly conservative.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: