Which Jobs Should We Protect?

by Patrick Appel

Mike Masnick adds his voice to those finding Andy Grove's article wanting:

How do you pick the "good jobs" from the jobs we're actually better off offshoring. Nearly every day we hear stories about attempts by the US government to protect jobs in a particular industry. Just look at US telco policy or US copyright policy -- both of which are very much designed to prop up less efficient companies in the industry, at the expense of more innovative, more efficient upstarts. Protecting jobs comes at a cost to efficiency. If we always had a policy of "protecting jobs," then we never would have automated the telephone switching system, which put tons of "operators" out of work. But that also opened up massive new innovations, including the internet. I don't think anyone would argue that the jobs created due to more efficient telephone switching have so far surpassed the jobs lost from no longer needing operators to connect one party to another.