Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Happened to 15 Million US Jobs?

A friend sent me this article from NationalJournal.com. It opens with this sub title "Taming unemployment starts with solving the mystery of the jobs that were supposed to have been created in the past 10 years but weren’t."

I read quickly looking for why these new jobs were not created.  The answer was we do not know, "Before we can fix our jobs machine, we must figure out what broke it. As several economists noted, anyone who says they’ve solved the problem is lying."  Well count me in for finding out why.

Following are a couple quotes trying to find out why

Perhaps, some economists theorize, the United States isn’t creating innovative jobs because its workforce isn’t up to the challenge. For probably the first time in history, our young adults are no better educated than their parents. Nearly all our international rivals, in developed and developing economies alike, continue to make generational leaps in college graduation. Brainpower is still our comparative advantage with the rest of the world, but the advantage is shrinking.
“It is the best educated and those with the highest skills that derive the most benefits from a globalizing economy,” says Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics who studies global labor markets. “As the U.S. workforce becomes relatively less skill-intensive vis-à-vis the entire world, the broader benefits of the global economy, both in terms of job creation (and national well-being), are going to decline.”

A second quote:
Some free-market economists say that we could encourage more domestic investment by cutting corporate tax rates, although it’s fair to note that the jobs breakdown of the 2000s coincided with hefty tax cuts under President Bush. Still, liberal and free-market analysts alike have argued for a sweeping reform of America’s corporate tax code—one that would reduce rates while eliminating many deductions and provisions that give companies incentives to spend their global profits outside the United States. More narrowly, groups such as the Association for Financial Professionals have urged Congress to lower America’s tax rates on repatriated income, to levels closer to international competitors.
I am  not sure why this is happening.  It does fit in with my general malaise feeling I have had for quite a few years about the US economy.  In particular, I look at the society I live in and what they produce or the services they provide.  Are the things they are employed at something of intrinsic value or have we been riding a wave produced by giants before us?

I think of the space program, the marvels in manufacturing, in communication.   What is my generation, what am I doing to contribute to the real value of the goods and services I am providing?

Perhaps the advances in manufacturing, transportation and communication is leveling the playing field of the earth.  Those in much poorer places are much more hungry to work hard and get educated.  Perhaps the leveling is allowing them access to opportunities to gain the necessities and even niceties of life.

I will continue to watch this and recommend my children and anyone else to not be satisfied just because they are at the top of their class.  There may be a much bigger pool of of employees and entrepreneurs to compete with.  I am confident that as we all (the whole globe) work hard and work smart there is an abundance of livelihoods that will be earned.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Will the laws of God will be suspended?

I just read Dependence Day By Mark Steyn from a link from Hugh Hewitt.  The first thing that caught my attention is what we said about our debt.

Within a decade, the United States will be spending more of the federal budget on its interest payments than on its military.
According to the cbo’s 2010 long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the U.S. government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of its revenues in debt interest—whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent. America will be spending more on debt interest than China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel spend on their militaries combined. The superpower will have advanced from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers.
The tone of the article does not get better after this.
One-fifth of British children are raised in homes in which no adult works. Just under 900,000 people have been off sick for over a decade, claiming “sick benefits,” week in, week out, for ten years and counting. “Indolence,” as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a free society, but rarely has any state embraced this oldest temptation as literally as Britain.
He concludes with a dire prediction.
Without serious course correction, we will see the end of the Anglo-American era, and the eclipse of the powers that built the modern world. Even as America’s spendaholic government outspends not only America’s ability to pay for itself but, by some measures, the world’s; even as it follows Britain into the dank pit of transgenerational dependency, a failed education system, and unsustainable entitlements; even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap Chinese trinkets, most Americans assume that simply because they’re American they will be insulated from the consequences.
Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it? Great convulsions lie ahead, and at the end of it we may be in a post-Anglosphere world.
This article brought to mind something I read a month ago, Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators
“Fifty years later, our generation’s Sputnik moment is back,” Mr. Obama said. With billions of people in India and China “suddenly plugged into the world economy,” he said, nations with the most educated workers will prevail. “As it stands right now,” he said, “America is in danger of falling behind.”

If Shanghai is a showcase of Chinese educational progress, America’s showcase would be Massachusetts, which has routinely scored higher than all other states on America’s main federal math test in recent years.

But in a 2007 study that correlated the results of that test with the results of an international math exam, Massachusetts students scored behind Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Shanghai did not participate in the test.
We are being surpassed by countries with the will and work ethic to succeed in math and science.  Is it so important that America be the best at everything? No. What concerns me is that we are selling ourselves into slavery.  What I want is a world of independent, hard working, free people.  Free to pursue happiness unchained by debt.  Free to achieve great heights, free to help those in less fortunate circumstances to rise up and become self sufficient.  What we need is a revolution in commitment and work.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When We Left Earth

My wife and I just finished When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions on Netflix.  What a history lesson! It was inspiring.  I haven't paid that much attention to what we have planned for future manned spaceflight.  It looks like we changed our direction recently.




Here is a link to the Netflix page for the shows.  You will have to be logged in for it to work