06 June 2008

Expensive Oil and the Analogue World

Fascinating stuff:

We usually think about technological improvements in productivity as benefiting the highly skilled and educated, and disenfranchising the poorly skilled and uneducated, but what I find most interesting about globalization in an era of $127 dollar-a-barrel oil is that blue-collar workers who make physical things in the West will stand to benefit, newly protected from foreign competition by energy tariffs, while white-collar workers who live off their wits will still feel the immense pressure of competing with everyone else in the world.


Anonymous said...

An excellent point, considering oil jumped over $10 today, and you're reading a guy who has a PhD! This is also true for basic services involving homes, for example, in the US. Try getting someone to come to your house — a plumber, carpenter, roofer, or gutter-cleaner, or simple repairman.

You can't: they're all busy! And in 2008, they can name their price. If you don't like it, the next guy will estimate his cost even higher. "Doing-it-yourself" is only viable to the amount of time and money you have available to learn to do something, often only once — how many times are you going to need the siding on your house repaired in a few places? And if you're like me and not mechanically inclined, then you're not having much fun doing everything yourself (eventually).

Glyn Moody said...

Interesting, isn't it?