Arnold Kling  

My Jobs Speech

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Wages, Welfare, and Elderly Im... Old-time Religion?...

I figured I would talk before the President does. Here goes. Let me know what you think.


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COMMENTS (10 to date)
James Miller writes:

Excellent. I just put this on the required "reading" list for my intro micro class at Smith College.

Kenneth A. Regas writes:

Dr. Kling,
You may need a category for people whose personal qualities, rather than government-enforced credentials, protect their wages by making them useful to the other sectors of society regardless of the direction that public policy takes. Think scientists and engineers like me. We don't need, expect, or get much help from government. Our role in your story is to bankroll government for little in return. Globalization (an element of the ruthless invasion) is our friend. It brings world-wide markets for our skills and cheap foreign workers to supply us our shirts and shoes. You referred to the workers as American. If the welfare of American, as opposed to foreign, workers is a legitimate end (not obvious here in EconLog), then the government could use tariffs to suppress the offshoring of low-skill work. At the cost of a lower overall standard of living, per David Ricardo, the more helpless of the helpless peasants would do a little better, taken out of the hides of foreigners and the other American players.
Ken
p.s. By the way, Kublai Khan actually did employ foreign experts widely in the administration of his empire. Marco Polo, his father, and his uncle performed in that role for some two decades.

Kenneth A. Regas writes:

It goes almost without saying that the government can also repatriate those foreign workers here who never got or overstayed their permission to live and work here. This can only help their competitors in the labor market, who are among the more helpless of the helpless peasants.
Ken

Ash writes:

Dr. Kling,

Insofar as this is a speech in the same sense as President Obama's (i.e., directed to the electorate), perhaps you should pick a different metaphor; I'm not sure the public would take too kindly to your proposed notion that "ruthless invaders" ravaging a population of "helpless peasants" is good or necessary. At the very least, you ought to explain why the Schumpeterian creative destruction which apparently harms the "helpless peasants" ultimately serves to increase sustainable employment--after all, this is a jobs speech. Nevertheless, for someone who is savvy about your ideas on PSST, this video is excellent.

Joey Donuts writes:

Very nice piece Arnold. However, I'm somewhat troubled by the ending where you state "This isn't inspiring". I was inspired but what would an inspiring piece with your take on things be like other than this.

Or does inspiring mean a talk that stirs the emotions but has no substance or has no chance of working? I think that's what we'll here tonight, but I won't find it inspring.

Matt C writes:

Can we get a transcript? I'd love to read it, but video doesn't work for me. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

Nice video!

But you might need better handwriting if you are going to compete with Kahn Academy :)

ThomasL writes:

Great speech. And on top of that, I am officially a "Ruthless Invader," which I think I will smile about for the rest of my days.

Another ruthless invader writes:

Do you have a Wacom tablet yet? That may help with the handwriting. More precision and familiar feel.

Shangwen writes:

You forgot to mention that the fortified city is governed by a sheriff who keeps everyone in golden handcuffs.

The videos are great, but I urge you to spend some money on a graphic designer.

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