Google Glass Will Be Made in the USA
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  • “while automation makes US-based labor costs less burdensome . . .”

    In two ways. First, because you need less of it. And second, because the little you need is cheaper when there is less demand for it. This would be true even if we were not trading with China. If we had a balance of trade with China (exporting as much as we import) we would manufacture more than we do now, demand for labor would rise, and wages would be higher. If we placed a tariff on Chinese imports we would import less and manufacture more here at home, which would increase the demand for, and the wages of, labor. Or, alternatively, we could trade with China but tax capital and subsidize labor, thereby sharing the gains of trade. In the case of automation, considered by itself, the only way to share the fruits of advancing technology between labor and capital is to place statutory limitations on the length of the workweek, thereby artificially restricting the supply of labor and raising its price. Even so this would not address the problem of mass immigration, which increases the supply of labor and thus lowers its price.

    Without addressing all three of these factors simultaneously the problem of low wages in America cannot be solved. And, no, I don’t buy the argument that the abundance of cheap labor in China — much cheaper than in the US that is — is about to dry up. That will take generations.

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