Thursday, March 07, 2013

Two Americas

Yesterday's WSJ included "More Americans Working Remotely ... Some 13.4 million people, or 9.4% of U.S. workers, labored at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million people, or 7% of U.S. workers in 1997 ..."  But The Economist (and some others) editorialized against Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, and her policy inisting that employees come to the office ("Corralling The Yahoos").

"Creative destruction" is never simple.  There has to be trial and error and learning.  This is why we have markets and private enterprise.  We lose the learning opportunity when we politicize.  Cutting hundreds of federal programs by 2+% -- from a moving (undefined) "baseline" over many years -- was going to be disaster.

Talk about "Two Americas." The contrasts will only get sharper.  There are now approximately 700,000 smartphone apps and people are just discovering the possibilities. "Apps Are Creating New Jobs ... A year ago, Ashley Diedrich worked 12-hour shifts at a psychiatric hospital near her home in Hot Springs, Ark., making $1,700 to $2,000 a month. Today she makes as much as $3,000 a month peddling women's clothing from home. The career change was spurred by an iPhone app...." (WSJ, March 6).

What direction it will take?  No one knows. This is why shake-out and trial-and-error learning are essential.  This is why the politicized part of the economy should shrink.