Monday, March 31, 2014

The "skills zombie" - catching up on my Krugman

Krugginator - the skills zombie. I'd simply point out to Dr. K that everyone on the capital side of the argument is always going to complain about skills shortages.

Because the ruling class doesn't want to participate in a free market in labour.

So, e.g., Gates was complaining years ago (publicly, in the media, to government) about how he needed hundreds of thousands of worker visas immediately or else he'd move Microsoft to the technological and intellectual backwater of Bombay. It's not that he couldn't find enough software engineers in the US; it's that he didn't want to pay them what they were worth to Microsoft.

This sort of capitalist kleptocrat blather should be thought of as nothing more than propaganda and lobbying.

Business leaders are always against a free market in labour. Note, I'm not saying just that they're against unions; they're against a free market in labour. Thus, and I didn't think this still existed til I read it, some US employers actually have a rule that you're fired if you tell your fellow employees what you're being paid.

The employers want to maintain information asymmetry, which goes against having a free market.

That's why you never see a job listing that tells you how much the job offered is going to pay. They want you to waste your time on a job interview, and they hope that the sunk cost of your valuable time and the half-hour of loyalty brainwashing that comprises the interview will force you to accept a bullshit wage offer.

You want 100,000 new machinists, USA? Then pay the ones that you have enough money (and let it be known they're paid enough money) that young people suddenly realize what a great career it is to get into. It might take 5-10 years, but eventually you're going to get a swarm of new machinists.

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