Saturday, January 21, 2006

The transformation of the American economy

Another economist wonders what the heck Americans are going to do with themselves:
Exporting Expertise, if Not Much Else - New York Times:

.. The share of the economy devoted to medical care services has grown by eight percentage points in the past four decades, with commensurate changes in employment. But this isn't necessarily great news for the economy. With exceptions like online consultations and robotic surgery, medical care services are not as easy to export as, for example, medical equipment.

The leisure and recreational industries have also expanded, with the share of employment up by four percentage points. Here, too, exporting is difficult: after all, gambling, artistic performances and restaurant dinners usually take place on site.

More promising, management and professional services like law and finance resumed their strong growth after taking a hit in the recession. These areas are the ripest for exporting. Need some business advice? No problem. Want some derivatives structured? Great. First, however, we need to train those consultants and bankers.

... We are becoming a nation of advisers, fixers, entertainers and high-tech engineers, with a lucrative sideline in treating our own illnesses...
In my own world I've seen job opportunities for US citizen software engineers shrink radically in just a few years. On the other hand, it's very hard to outsource plumbing.

This is great news for most of the world. The best thing we can do for most of humanity is to facilitate globalization, but we should balance that with aid to those in the US who will be displaced. The trick is figuring out how best to provide that aid.

In the Futures market both "US Socialism" and "Servants are US" are up 20 points.

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