Musings

Adam L. Beberg beberg@mithral.com
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 00:40:03 -0700 (PDT)


On Sun, 14 Oct 2001, Lisa Dusseault wrote:

> (1): "services can .. be performed by.. someone way way cheaper" Huh?
> If services could be performed by someone cheaper, they would be, to the
> extent that we have a certain amount of free trade.

We go to to GREAT lengths to restrict immigration. So yes.

> Clearly aggregators of cheap goods provide a valuable middleman service:
> Target, Safeway or Macy's all have a bunch of related things under one
> roof, even though those things come from all over the world.

Yes, they do, and they also create many low paying jobs :) They are an agent
of efficiency, I love them.

> "Wages are also showing signs of rising faster than expected. Unit labor
> costs, one gauge of rising wages, increased by 2.7 percent, not 2.1 percent,
> in the second quarter compared with the first. Unit labor costs are rising
> at 5.1 percent rate among manufacturers, much faster than in the rest of the
> economy. " Sept 2001

OK, this i have to object to, the "Unit Labor Cost" is one of the most
cooked, convoluted, and discredited numbers the government puts out.
Composed of many factors like "productivity", and far more sensative to a
rise in health insurance costs then wages. What I can get paid in a contract
or day job has dropped to about 1/3 of what it was a year ago. Noone with
any contact with reality thinks wages are rising.

- Adam L. "Duncan" Beberg
  http://www.iit.edu/~beberg/
  beberg@mithral.com