Archive for April, 2004
My father gave me a set of used Titleist 962 irons as a graduation present! I've scratched the Mizuno MP-30s off of my wishlist. I haven't tried them out yet; my first round will probably be on Sunday. I think I'm also going to get my driver re-shafted (steel instead of graphite) and shortened by one inch. It's too big for little ol' me.
Jeffrey Simpson's editorial on the subtle change in press releases announcing the CRC awards is good. I'm suspicious of MPs who congratulate universities for winning peer-reviewed chairs (i.e., the MPs had nothing to do with them). Universities and profs win all sorts of other awards — interestingly, these MPs don't comment on them.
Team Martin seems worse than Team Chrétien. Amazing what a looming election will do to otherwise good people.
Just checked the stats for helmer.ca. Where are all these distinct hosts coming from? What are they looking for and what do they want? Soon I will publish my thesis and scare them all away!
"Citizens need to realize that when they start complaining about their property taxes going up, there are a lot of decisions being made down there at City Hall that are bad decisions," says Patricia Petersen, director of Urban Institute at the University of Toronto.
"And they're being made because the people who are making them don't know what the hell they're doing or they're being paid (off) by someone to make them."
Next Friday and Saturday, I'll be in Kingston with Adina for the 2004 MPA Policy Forum and Donald Gow Lecture [pdf]. The keynote lecture will be given by David Miller, Mayor of the City of Toronto. I'm looking forward to the conference: I don't know much about cities and I expect to learn a lot about them. I haven't arranged accommodations yet. Any suggestions? I'm cheap.
Offshoring looks to be an important issue in the upcoming U.S.A. Presidential election. I've read a few articles and editorials about the issue—in its current form—and I'm amazed at the reactions of many anti-offshoring proponents.
A few things should be cleared up, since it appears that these anti-offshorers have forgotten them:
- The U.S.A. is the third-largest country—in both size and population—behind Russia and Canada in the former and China and India in the latter. There are 1,286,975,486 people living in China (86% of whom are literate), almost 4.5 times as many as there are living in U.S.A. India's not far behind, at 1,049,700,411 (59.5% of whom are literate).
- In terms of gross purchasing power parity, the U.S.A. ($10.45 trillion) leads China ($5.99 trillion) and India ($2.66 trillion).
- The gap widens significantly anent GDP per capita: U.S.A., $37,000; China, $4,700; and India, $2,600.
In light these numbers, why are the anti-offshorers surprised to see jobs flowing to these countries? Perhaps they are ignorant of the numbers. Perhaps they are aware of the numbers and cannot believe that a non-American could do an equivalent job for less pay. Sadly, I think it is the latter in most cases.
Consider the issue in the context of the world economy rather than in the context of the U.S. economy. Investment and wages are shifting from the U.S. to economies with lower GDP/capita PPP. This is a good thing: it increases the the standard of living of people in these relatively poor countries and helps keep prices down. The question really boils down to this: would you rather have the current numbers or numbers like this: U.S.A., $14,760; China, $14,7600; India, $14,600 (of course this simplifies matters quite a bit by just reallocating the same "pie" to different dinner guests).
Even in the U.S. economy, offshoring is a good thing: by keeping prices down, firms are able to produce better returns for their shareholders or make larger investments in new directions. Consumers benefit from lower product prices.
Granted, the coder who loses his job to someone in India is worse off, temporarily, than he or she was before. But that's just temporary.
I understand that offshoring is a politically-sensitive issue. But it really shouldn't be. Educated people should be able to see the real benefits—for foreign and domestic firms and consumers—of offshoring.
The planning mantra of NIMBY is instructive here: Not In My BackYard! This wouldn't be a U.S. election issue if U.S. voters weren't losing their jobs (it hasn't been in the past when they weren't).
If you know of any good arguments against offshoring, please refer me to them.
Jeffrey Simpson's editorial about the Armenian genocide of 1915 is well-written. Provisionally, I agree with him that the Canadian Parliament should not have passed the motion. I just don't see what benefit there is to Canada to make such a statement. It's not like the Canadian Parliament can make the genocide go away. Making statements about on-going or contemporary issues is one thing; making a statement 89 years too late is just—well—weird.