Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sounds Good On Paper, But...

Today, I was Stumbling around when I came across the New York Times article titled "Average is Over". It does make an interesting point about how, when your labor pool is global, any given labor resource needs to have something that makes them a more desirable source of labor than any other given worker.

I think what the author fails to factor in with this race to the bottom for labor is, "who are you producing for if most people have no worthwhile jobs, and therefore no money, to be able to afford those low labor-cost products?" I mean, it's great that you've got nearly a billion Chinese to produce low-priced goods for consumers throughout the globe, but who's gonna employ that cheap labor when the people elsewhere in the world can no longer afford those goods? Eventually, while chasing the cheapest labor, you reach a point where no labor is cheap enough. Then you have lots of idle people out there who can't afford, not only those cheaply-produced goods, but things like entertainment, healthcare and food. It's not a "sustainable" model.

And those idle people that can't afford anything - how do you think they're eventually going to react? What do people with nothing to lose - jobs, ready ability to purchase food and healthcare, etc. - do with all the free time you've given them? If they don't end up dying from their lack of access to food, healthcare, etc., they end up pissed off with a feeling of having nothing to lose. Shortly afterwards, even if your economies haven't failed due to there being no one capable of buying things, your societies fall apart from all of the crime and violence caused by the people with nothing to lose and everything to gain by forcing a change in the new status quo.

Interesting times ahead, folks. It's either gonna get extremely ugly or there's gonna be a sea-change in how the global economy works. Then again, outside factors (such a a global pandemic) might remove this excess and under-utilized global population. 

Clock's ticking. Hopefully, the bell goes off after I'm not around to care about it.

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