Re: Markets and employment

From: Patrick Wilken (
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 15:59:48 MST

Can someone post some evidence one way or the other to clarify Mike's
claim that software jobs flowing to India from the USA are caused by
a distortion of the free market, as opposed to natural market forces?

The strong US dollar has certainly benefited the local film
industries in Australia and New Zealand (and Canada). The fact that
the Aussie dollar is worth about .50c to the US dollar makes us very
cost competitive for film production (e.g., The Matrix). It would be
interesting to work-out how much the Lord of the Rings would have
cost if it was filmed in the USA rather than New Zealand.

On the surface it would seem to me that software jobs in the US would
be even more vulnerable to the strength of the US dollar. Why pay
someone X US dollars to hack in LA when a perfectly competent
programmer can be paid closer to half-X in Melbourne (and still be
afforded the same lifestyle -- the cost of an espresso is about $A2
in Melbourne or $US2 in LA). Presumably the same $$$ will go even
further in places like India (and Israel)?

I would have thought that it was a great success of both technology
and the free market that programmers in New Delhi, Tel Aviv, or
Melbourne can benefit from competing directly with programmers in
Maine. Onward! TANSTAAFL!


Patrick Wilken
Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology, Caltech

Editor: PSYCHE: An International Journal of Research on Consciousness Board Member: The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness

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