Monday, June 23, 2008

Zero-Sum Fallacy Watch

Man, pointing out how stupid other people are is providing plenty of content, huh? Here's the stupid headline: Can the U.S. Bring Jobs Back from China? Uh, if our jobs went to China (whatever that means), how has unemployment stayed so low? Phrasing the question differently, if everyone who "lost" a job to China got another job doing something else here, as years of stable, low unemployment would seem to indicate, then...where's the problem?

There isn't any, unless you ignore the facts and buy into the idea that the global economy is zero-sum. When a magazine called BusinessWeek does that, we might actually be in trouble.

Unintentionally hilarious quote:
Her company, Boston-Power, would like to make the batteries in the U.S., which she says is feasible despite high American wages.
Feasible in the sense that there is a rapidly growing, highly profitable company making batteries for diverse purposes which, I am sure, would have jumped at the chance. In other words, you tried nothing and you're all out of ideas.

Of course, didn't we all lose our jobs in the 1960's due to automation? Right after we all killed each other for food (hi Malthus!).



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