Saturday, January 17, 2015
The Desirability of Controlling Markets
Contrast is always a good way to gain perspective on a given issue. Take price controls for an example. Proponents of free markets are always quick on the draw to shoot down such ideas when the Government considers weighing in to keep inflation in check.
The situation is quite different, however, when Big Money decides, on its own, in various private meetings, to control the price of your skill as a commodity. And certainly they have more than one tool to accomplished this.
The traditional method of destroying unions so that a skill set can't bargain with the leverage of collective strength is but one. Another is to simply work with other skill consumers to forge agreements to not poach talent from each other; even though you may well be desperate for it. That companies do this despite it's being illegal isn't surprising. That they get caught occasionally certainly is. Which brings me to the report from NBCNEWS.com linked below.
What is also interesting, when you step back and look at the bigger picture, is how the demands for more B1 visas correlates with the general disinterest Big Money has to help support education in the very states they play the "lowest taxing environment" game with. Why pay taxes to create workers who will demand significantly more for the utilization of their skill than those from some third world country? And let's not even begin to talk about the benefits savings that B1 workers can made to endure.
The sad part here is that folks might think that the fine these companies may end up having to pay (big as it may seem to us) for the wage collusion charge is going to stop any further efforts to accomplish more of the same. You might as well be wishing for the ability to poop lumps of gold, in comfortable sizes, as well as on a regular basis.
The other consideration that ought to concern us is the fact that, at some point, even very high end IT development work will be abstracted to various kinds of context intelligent processing systems. Humans then will not be valued for a skill well done, but simply for the cost benefit ratio within the simplest of service tasks. The trick then, of course, will be to see if they can keep these servicers working hard enough to continue supporting a consumptive economy. Who knows, maybe they'll come up with a way to have robots take over that part as well.
Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe Reach New Deal in Employee Poaching Suit