Thank you for your comment, Bert.
No, I don't think we can suppress developing countries. We Japanese ourself have enjoyed our own development throughout 1950-1980s, but we can't keep it forever.
We Japanese have been good at improve things. We did produce high quality products in low cost, however now we have to admit that Koreans and Taiwanese are much better doing that. Days of mighty "Made in Japan" mass production export may be going to end.
Just as you said, the basis of engineering won't be changed - working hard, finding joy in producing better product - however, the definition of "better product" may be changed. We can't be competitive by producing "better and cheaper" products anymore. We need to be more creative and innovative- it is not easy thing, of course.
You left out one important factor: our "progressive" tax system! When wages go up, tax receipts increase faster than productivity OR wages REGARDLESS. Hence the leftist desire for MORE inflation. Indexing can help, but a total revamping of our tax system is the only long-term fix. FAIR tax, flat tax, or a hybrid.
I've read this about the Japanese scene before. So it seems to me, it's not much different from what's happening in the US and in any other developed country now.
In my view, you have to work at what you love, to be happy. You don't choose engineering for any other reason. And furthermore, if you can't earn the salary you think you deserve, it's better to earn less and do what you are passionate about, than earn more at some job you hate.
Of course, this does assume you can find work at all.
To sum it up, while I think mostly the current job situation is temporary in the short term, in the longer term I think we are seeing the leveling of the playing field that globalization causes.
The upward trend on salaries for high paying jobs, in developed countries, is mitigated by globalization. In developing countries, instead, the salaries for engineering and similar jobs are rising appreciably.
Not all bad, in my view. Makes one wonder why the "no global" movement, mostly self-described lefties, is so much against globalization. What's the alternative that they prefer? Prevent the developing countries from ever hoping to catch up?
It is interesting to hear what is going on in another country. Here's my view of situation in Japan. We Japanese were traditionally told there is only one way to be happy - study hard to attend nation-class collage, study harder to top-name company like SONY or HONDA, then work hard to be promoted. It is the way we had produced great products, however it sounds like distant dreams today. Many of those great engineers who have been dedicated their life for the company had been layed off because of economic situation. Those once "great" companies are keep shrinking facilities in Japan, relocating their factories to overseas. For collage graduates, even for top-national rated collages, it is very though to find jobs today. Kids in Japan today have seen all that. They don't believe it is the way to be happy to study hard/work hard anymore. But what is the way to be happy? What is the happiness after all? Everybody seems struggling to find the answer.
It’s not quite too late. America could still fight back if its citizens woke-up. In fact it is actually really rather simple, all ordinary Americans need to do to win is:
1) Stop blaming Obama, the banks or anyone else for their economic misery and recognise that Chinese Communism is the economic enemy, and that it is their own purchasing habits that are to blame for destroying the American economy.
2) Check the label on everything you buy to see what country it was made in and simply don’t buy goods that say “Made in China”
3) Boycott (or refuse to buy shares-in) companies who deal-with and import Communist-made products and components.
4) Buy goods made in American from American made components.
5) Start manufacturing companies and export your American made goods.
6) Educate your children properly in STEM subjects and in business economics.
The government cannot do all of this for you as imposing unilateral trade sanctions on China would not be legal. There needs to be groundswell of resentment against communism amongst the American citizens in order to make it work.
If American civilisation falls then it will only have its own citizens to blame.
I am pro-America, pro-capitalism and the American dream, so I am deeply concerned about the way the US is sleep-walking into economic defeat.
Historically US Capitalism defeated USSR Communism, not with tanks or bombs, but with economics and by undermining their social structure by instilling greed for the western lifestyle amongst their populous. Sadly for the Russians, they ended up with a mafia government rather than a democracy, but at least the US came out on top.
The new economic world-war is between US Capitalism and Chinese Communism, and so far China is winning.
China knows they are at war and they have learned the lessons from the USSR’s defeat. I am not even sure that the average US citizen has even noticed that they are at war, despite the number of casualties (aka unemployed people) around them.
The Chinese can make long-term economic battle plans that western democracies cannot do due to their regular changes in elected leadership. They can undercut US manufactured good prices by brutally oppressing their workers. Now China is using its financial might to buy up bankrupt US companies at rock-bottom prices. Soon the US trade deficit will reach unsustainable levels and then China will be in a position to dictate American policy. Once the US industry and major financial institutions are all owned by China, China will then be left as the world’s only superpower. America will be left as just a political puppet-state of China, populated with lazy and badly educated citizens who will be viewed by their Chinese masters with the kind of distain that Americans all-too-often currently reserve for Mexicans.
EE is alive and well but the thriving areas aren't in consumer electronics, which appears to be the heart of EE and is all coming from China. To name a few, military, medical, automobile & network communications are growing so fast, there are jobs a plenty. A problem is most US graduates want to go were they want, not where they are needed. Whereas immigrants are far more flexible and are immediately employed, finding the US dream easy to obtain once the hard to obtain J1 visa is done. Look at the actual federal stats, not the opinions of others, me included:
I believe this country has the resources, material and willing people if only we start to believe in ourselves that we need to innovate to stay ahead of the curve but share the rewards too. To become richer, we have to make co-workers richer too other wises we will continue to struggle and only answer than is to outsource for cheaper labor
As for the Obama’s administration, they can help raise the spirits around the nation and make it easier for start-up. We have brilliant ideas that are waiting to be cooked but continue to struggle to raise funds and hire talent locally.
The American dream is not dead but most citizens want it without innovation i.e word these days is cheap, no investment and as the top management, want to own it all which is killing the drive.
The silicon valley was built on creativity, large stock handout, hard work & mostly run out of a garage operation with cost cutting as much as possible – success examples are Intel, MS, ROHM, AMD, HP and the list goes on that made even the people down the ground level somewhat richer but more so motivated individuals.
The model today is opposite of that made this country a success with each wanting total ownership. Engineers are treated like the AT&T’s phone installer, like back in England 20yrs ago where I came from. Which makes it very hard to find investors even for ground breaking ideas? So, with little VC capital and older rich Engineers coming back as angel who what to own 99% of the company, there is little or no motivation for a new candidate other than the privilege of having a job.
Totally owner owned company, a typical model in Asian countries, will also eventually breakdown as we evolve the technology and it gets easier for anyone to jump in.
Bottom line, work intelligently and keep mind open for new ideas so we can achieve more in less time.
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