We are not an economist, but apparently it is clear that despite the best efforts of rational economist and republican conservatives, economies move in cycles.
Now with the prospect of millions of americans losing their jobs, the democrats have stepped into the fray with their hand wringing over the human cost of this latest debacle. And make no mistake- this debacle happened on the watch of conservative republicans. These "conservatives" were nothing of the sort. No free enterprise capitalists they, Bush and Cheney and their party were just the same statists as their democratic counter parts, the difference only being in which statist goals they sought.
The democratic response is our current crisis is to impose strict government controls over free markets and business. Two articles in the NY Times today highlight the problems with this approach.
The first article, entitled Where is Sanjay? deals with the difficulties a 28 year old Indian (India) has with working in the US. He has a work visa, but his wife does not, so he resides in Canada and flies into the US when needed.
Sanjay happens to be Sanjay Mavinkurve, who as a 28 year old student at Harvard laid the technical foundation for Facebook. Now Sanjay works for Google, and flies into Silicon Valley as needed. Sanjay cannot live in the US because despite his enormous talent, his wife cannot get a visa. So they live in Canada, which has accepted them with open arms.
This problem actually is a result of the republican conservative statists, who in an attempt to win the votes of the vast uneducated and unwashed masses of religious conservatives, pander to the "americans won world war two so we can do anything" blabbering of high school drop out convenience store clerks and their fast food server spouses, who go to church on Sundays and tremble at the first sight of immigrant brown skin. ***
Query: What if Bill Gates was, in 1970, named Sanjay, and was from India, and couldn't get a visa? Where would Silicon Valley be today?
When we start rewarding and valuing intellect and accomplishments, and not nazi-ethnic based valuations of a person, perhaps we will have more jobs and industries. Just how many other Bill Gates or Sanjays can't get visas to live in the US?
The second article in the Times, entitled in part, Big Banks Lose Talent, deals with the loss of talent at banking firms, as start up small firms, and foreign banks, neither of which are constrained on issues of pay because they took taxpayer bailout money, recruit the very best minds on Wall Street.
Now to the extent small firms move to take up the space left by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the capitalist system is working. One company failed because of mis-management, and new competitors are vying to win the business and fill the gap. But to the extent our talent is being syphoned off by foreign competitors, who do not answer to outraged congressmen and senators on the issue of pay, this is bad.
When we wake up from this malaise in a decade or so, and see half our financial industry in Berlin and London, just don't start wondering why the unemployment rate in New York can't get below 15%.
And on the issue of pay, just why should any private company ever answer to anyone on what they pay their employees? (And by private we don't mean some Frankenstein hybrid of a dead company sewn together by public money.)
To put the issue of pay into our legal context- do you think David Markus's client was correct to pay Markus and his legal team over a million dollars to defend him against a coven of vindictive prosecutors?
Can you imagine if before he was allowed to defend his client, Markus had to justify his fees before some soviet style citizens board, who purported to speak for the conscience of the community in legal matters?
Just look at what is going on around you.
Doctors, lawyers, engineers, venture capitalists; we're all under attack from the statists for one reason or another. And in a few more years when you need one of us, and cannot privately hire the person of your choice, at least you'll understand why.
See You In Court with our well thumbed copy of Atlas Shrugged.
***I do not mean to denigrate convenience store clerks, or people who work in McDonalds. My point is that if we don't change our way of thinking, and fast, the only job opportunities for people who are less educated will be those types of jobs. But if we value and encourage entrepreneurs, we might just have more job choices for people. Wouldn't they want the choice of building laptops, or green cars, or IPods, or wind turbines, or solar panels, as well as working in a convenience store or fast food restaurant?