Very good sentences

by on January 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

From Tim Harford, about the UK:

…as Mr Summers pointed out, even China seems to have been shedding manufacturing jobs over the last couple of decades. Perhaps the data deceive here, but the Chinese manufacturing boom seems to be more about increasing output per worker than employing more workers. If the Chinese can’t generate jobs through manufacturing I am not sure we should be expecting too much from that strategy.

1 Mark Thorson January 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm

If you don’t have suicide nets, you aren’t getting maximum productivity from your workers.

2 Cliff January 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Isn’t their rate of suicide lower than the public at large, though, even lower than in the U.S.? I think they just don’t want the bad publicity.

3 bluto January 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I happen to enjoy shows like How It’s Made. Almost everything aside from art objects and a few specialty jobs (things like knife sharpening and lens assembly) it’s rare to have a person do anything beyond show something to the camera. The idea that manufacturing jobs were only going overseas is a nice story but it’s not very accurate.

4 Dave Hansen January 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm

+1 to Mr. Summers

5 infopractical January 31, 2012 at 2:02 am

It strikes me that this statement is probably true (though I have no specific data to look at — just an impression of the way the technological world is moving in general), but that its psychological effect is far more important than its truth (which is I suppose why it’s the MR VGS). But that this statement is important for psychological reasons shows how many people poorly understand the current economy — not the future technological economy, but the economy in which we all work. An entire generation has grown up in a Western world that taught it to value the wrong skills according to the wrong vision of what is important.

My last sentence is impossibly true/untrue. Don’t take it as an overgeneralization, though it is one. It’s just that…where it’s true…which is at the margins…it’s very important.

6 Willitts January 31, 2012 at 2:59 am

Through China’s export promotion policies, they keep domestic consumption artificially low, their currency artificially weak, and subsidies for manufacturing keeps output artificially high.

With all these artificial adrenaline shots in the arm of manufacturing, the fact that their production is becoming more lean is even more emblematic of serious imbalances that will topple their house of cards.

7 Ken Rhodes January 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Hmmm … perhaps all that “artificial” stuff isn’t “artificial” at all, but merely the observable behavior in conformance with a sensible plan for economic growth starting from somewhere behind Silky Sullivan.

8 iamreddave January 31, 2012 at 3:31 am

If manufacturing workers peaked globally in around 1995 when will we reach peak global farmer?
I think around 2015

9 Urso January 31, 2012 at 10:45 am

Peak blogger, 2016

10 anon January 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

Here is a very good post with a very good question:

Outsourcing vs technological innovation, by Steve Hsu, from 2004

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