SFGate.com has a story featuring Carly Fiorina, head of Hewlett-Packard-Compaq-Digital, telling the information technology professionals who are watching their profession awaken after the party that was the Internet boom and stagger into the developing world for a quick bit of relief from burgeoning labor costs. Fiorina says:
“There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”
Right on, sister. Capitalism keeps our prices down as consumers, so as long as we continue to adapt as producers, we can continue buying stuff and make the whole world go around. I’m all for that, because I realize once all the jobs are overseas, the board of directors will realize CEOs will be cheaper over there, too. No, no, they tell themselves, it won’t happen to us…. just like the myopic IT career counselors told their charges in the 1990s.
But that’s the way business works, and society and government ought to let the businesses do their thing. I’m with you, Carly. Of course, I wouldn’t invest money in that sinking ship you’re piloting towards the crumbling glacier, but I’m with you.
Well, no, I’m not. Because the solutions she proposes are not laissez-faire capitalism solutions:
They outlined a list of objectives, including a doubling of federal spending on basic research in U.S. universities. Barrett derided Washington’s decision to spend as much as $40 billion a year on farm subsidies and just $5 billion on basic research in the physical sciences.
“I have a real degree of difficulty with the fact that we are spending some five to eight times as much on the industry of the 19th century than we are on the industry of the 21st century,” Barrett said.
The executives also urged a national broadband policy to allow more homes and businesses to quickly take advantage of high-speed data networks, much as Japan and Korea have done.
They also called for dramatic improvements in K-12 education in the United States, saying schools act more to block budding math and science students than to foster them.
Federal government should start throwing money to the technical industry the same way it throws money to all industry. Fiorina and her buddies don’t want laissez-faire capitalism. They want crony capitalism and are auditioning for the roles of “cronies.”