My Nomination for Blog of 2011firstquarter
I am starting nominiations for best blog for each quarter by each Scatablog colleague. Kissweb is first up and here is my nominiation for him. Look out Waldon is next.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Greedy workers and unions keep us out of global competition? Or Not!
Someone please explain this to me: With about one-fourth of the population (82 million vs. 310 million), and a labor cost -- according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data as reported by our own Bureau of Labor Statistics -- that is 50% higher than the cost of labor in the U.S., Germany nevertheless manages to export approximately 20% more than the U.S. On a per capita basis, German exports are more than four times greater than U.S. exports. Wait a second: German labor cost is 50% higher than in the U.S.? That must be a typo. But no, that’s what the world comparison data actually says. In dollars the difference rounded is $48 per hour for manufacturing industry employees in Germany compared to $32 in the U.S. But I thought our labor costs are just so high. Nope, in most of northern Europe they are higher than ours. You can look it up. The EU as a whole, with a population of 500 million that is 60% larger than the U.S. population, manages to out-export the U.S. by 5 to 1. How can the Germans do it? How can the EU as a whole do it? In the last 10 years, German employment in manufacturing has dropped a couple of percentage points. Here it has dropped about 30%. Oh, and by the way, that 50% figure is 2008 data. With manufacturing employment continuing to plummet, and with employees thrilled to have a job period, bet it's even a bigger difference in 2010. Hey, I thought the real reason we can’t compete with the rest of the world is because our labor costs are just too high. We’ll put that one in the category of myth -- and another right-wing myth bites the dust. Actually there are two myths built in there: our costs aren’t all that high in the first place, and it apparently is possible to compete in the world economy without squeezing employee’s income. Well, that’s Europe. It must be some Socialism thing -- not something we would consider in our superior country where freedom reigns supreme -- especially freedom for the corporate governance class. P.S. Is there a Big Media organization that is telling you stuff like this?