Actually the most significant American 'export' to China US dollars, as consumers in the US buy the cheaper Chinese products. As I said above, if our economy gets worse China could all but lose its biggest 'customer.'American exports to China are insignificant when compared to imports. The USA would have far more to gain than to lose in a trade war with China. Trade with Mexico is somewhat different. I do not like it, for several good reasons, but it is far better than more unemployed Mexicans illegally entering the USA to work, so one cannot begin to argue against trade with Mexico until the problem of illegal immigration into the USA has been delt with.
Yes it could however, we (US) are not in that position at this time in history because of many things, not the least of which has been a more 'protectionist' approach to both human and environmental resources in our own country.The USA is a huge country with enough natural resources and a huge, specialized, labor force, and diversified industries. It could get along completely fine without any trade with outside world, with the possible exception of its insatiable addiction to petroleum. Lack of free trade certainly is not, and would not be, a real cause of lower living standards.
Last edited by RPA1; Jan 02 2012 at 05:51 PM.
Energy goes where intention flows.
And we go back to similar basic problems, from the supply side, most folks can not sufficiently change / improve their skill set / orientations during their career, at least in a relatively quick fashion, if the demand side is in a strong mismatch situation from the supply, then we're pretty much stuck. the only solution seem to be that you either try really hard to force / help those folks change their skill set or you change the demand set to fit with the supply.
Also, isn't many industry need an entire chain of workers? aka everything from low waged / low skilled folks to those in higher end? wouldn' the effect of reducing the demand for the former also play a part in reducing the demand for the later as well?
Last edited by RollingWave; Jan 02 2012 at 06:13 PM.
All countries can claim skills shortages. That includes those with a low skilled equilibrium. We can't ignore supply-side constraints, but to suggest that they can be used to explain the low wage abundance is inappropriate.From what I've read there is actually a strong demand for skilled labor in the US RIGHT NOW, but most of the unemployed folks simply do not qualify for them.
This doesn't account for the lack of skills, particularly the lack of upskilling. It only accounts for structural flaws in the 'primary sector'. However, those flaws are actually encouraged by internal labour markets (as there is a deliberate shift away from basic supply and demand criteria)And we go back to similar basic problems, from the supply side, most folks can not sufficiently change / improve their skill set / orientations during their career, at least in a relatively quick fashion, if the demand side is in a strong mismatch situation from the supply, then we're pretty much stuck.
A skills distribution will always exist. The issue is the over-reliance on low paid labour and the lack of skills investment by employersAlso, isn't many industry need an entire chain of workers?
No. We'd have production shifting to a more consistent high utilisation of more skilled labour. In simple buzzword terms, a shift to product with higher income elasticity of demandwouldn' the effect of reducing the demand for the former also play a part in reducing the demand for the later as well?
I must disagree: you cant protect the simple from the simple.
Thus your going to get in trouble by simply adjusting demand and the labor simply don't match the level . sure, the guys still employed might be better off as a whole, but you'd likely get a lot of folks unemployed, this seems like what is happening in the US anyway. where education havn't changed signficiantly over the last decade but the employment structure have, while the 06-08 run was generally using a bubble to mask the problem where as the current situation more closely reflect the reality of the disparity between a relatively fixed supply of labor versus a demand curve that is simply above the optimal level of said supply curve.
Unless you manage to change the structure of the supply considerablly, your stuck, what's worse is that the folks most in need of upskilling tend to be the same folks that are least capable of doing it espeiclly on their own.
I'd think we'd agree that no matter what the total number is, if a society is signfiicantly struck by unemployement or even underemployment it's going to be in huge trouble, and we'll potentially see destablizing factors which throws all stats out the window (aka revolutions or major riots etc..)
Last edited by RollingWave; Jan 06 2012 at 12:52 AM.
Would that create some structural issues? Certainly. However, we're referring to economies that already exhibit structural deficiencies. The low skill equilibrium is effectively a demand-led market failure created by labour exploitation.