Jasper Smith

Commentary on politics, economics, culture and sports.

A false choice?

with one comment

Will Wilkinson is skeptical of Ezra Klein’s claims about middle class economic anxiety. He also believes the benefits flowing from globalization strongly outweigh the negatives:

I think lots of firms will be seeking less-expensive foreign labor, that this will have a significant effect on the jobs available to Americans, but also on the price of many goods and services (down) and on the incentives to acquire new and/or improved skills (stronger).

Although I don’t disagree with any of this, and although I’m a committed fan of globalization, I’m skeptical that a government guarantee of health insurance, say, or a dollop of wage replacement insurance for those too old to make the transition into a new career would do all that much to blunt the incentives to upgrade skills. Moreover, I’m increasingly convinced that lack of health/economic security is exerting at least some negative impact on the ability of Americans to fully partake of the so-called “Ebay economy.”

I guess what I’m saying is that I suspect to a substantial degree we can have our cake and it eat it, too: Sam’s Club protections combined with Brave New Economy opportunities and efficiency. I reject the notion that we must choose either/or because it least appears to my eyes that a number of other places (New Zealand? Ireland? Canada?) are rejecting this false choice to their great benefit.


Written by Jasper

September 3, 2007 at 4:34 pm

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  1. […] A false choice ? […]

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