Sunday, October 8, 2006

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Counterpunch (remember to consider the source readers) has a story on how outsourcing of manufacturing has lead to the decline of the middle class and how the touted "new economy" is even easier to outsource than the old one was. The article is somewhat flawed in that it baselines its statistics in 2001, which is the year the "Internet bubble" burst. That said, I find his points about free trade and the decline in salaries in the Information Technology fields to be accurate. He gives pretty good coverage to the whole range of issues, from H1-B visas to the loss of manufacturing leading to the loss of engineering.

It seems there are pressures on America's supremacy in the science and engineering fields all over the place. And most of them are being generated by us. We have an apparently increasingly dysfunctional primary education system. Corporations are optimized for short term growth without a care to employees, product, or customer as a primary economic factor. The technological and economic power of larger, less free countries is on the rise. Will we continue to sustain ourselves in spite of these pressures, or will we give way to someone else?

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