feared the Japanese in the 1980s, as they were taking away a large
number of jobs and were able to generate products less expensively than
the United States. The standard of living quickly skyrocketed in Japan
and the outflow of jobs and trade imbalance wasn’t as bad as we first
who understand international economics better than I do tell me that the
same will happen with India and China. I am concerned that it will take
an immense about of time to improve the standard of living for billions
of people while US jobs disappear. Today’s Wall Street Journal article
titled China’s Workers Demand Perks, Better Salaries, focuses on a group
of senior auditors at the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Beijing office, who
complained about excessive overtime, working extended hours, some until
2 AM during the week and on weekends, yet weren’t financially
compensated in the same fashion as the junior auditors. The company
eventually conceded, granting overtime pay with bonuses.
goes on to discuss how professionals in China are aspiring to a more
middle-class lifestyle, which, consequently, is good news for those
companies competing with the Chinese. Still, the salaries are amazingly
low. Multinational companies pay a receptionist about $5,000 per year
while an engineer will receive $42,000. State run companies pay anywhere
from $600 to $2,400 per year. These numbers seem out of whack, but I
trust the integrity of WSJ’s editorial here.
possible, then, that the trend towards higher salaries and an increased
standard of living is beginning to take place. I am told that India call
center outsourcers are already outsourcing their low paying jobs to the
Philippines. It seems that as the world is connected to the Internet,
the global standard of living will also increase in near real-time.
happens, America and other countries will benefit. We will sell more
microprocessors, operating systems, sweaters, cars, jewelry, etc. The
humanitarian side of me is all for the standard of living increasing in
India and China, and the capitalist in me hopes for the same.
Rich Tehrani is TMC's president. He welcomes your comments.
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