Tech Jobs Follow Talent. . . Overseas

This according to today’s New York Times:

In the past, the American jobs most susceptible to being shipped abroad were lower-skilled positions. But now emerging economies have been harvesting their long-term investments in math and science education and attracting high-tech firms — and not just textile factories or call centers — to their shores. . . .

In addition to lower wages, developing countries offer significant consumer growth, giving businesses a reason to make more products closer to the buyer, and hire locally.

And increasingly, these new, lower-cost research centers, while perhaps initially intended to adapt products for local use, are becoming sources of innovation themselves.

This last sentence would tend to undercut the justification for focusing on high-skill jobs, that the US would always be the hub of global innovation.  The Times article suggests this is no longer as true as it once was.  If we can’t count on technological innovation to drive our economy, then what can replace it as America’s growth engine?  The article cites several economists calling on the US to focus on health care, since those jobs can’t be exported.   Hmmmmm. . . .

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