Saturday, 11 August 2007

Self-Interested Selective Protectionism

Many programmers are not happy that they may have to compete with lower cost programmers from other countries. They argue that there should be trade restrictions to protect local programmers. If there is free trade, they argue, local programmers will lose their jobs.

The problem is that programmers themselves cause other people to lose their jobs. For example, in the past cars were assembled by hand. Mechanical engineers and software engineers created robots and machines that assembled cars and what this did is caused many workers who assemble cars to lose their jobs. The workers could not compete with the machines developed by software and mechanical engineers.

If programmers and software engineers are serious about protection, they should give up their jobs and let companies go back to the days when machines, computers, etc didn't exist. Then those workers who did routine tasks that is now replaced by computers can continue with their old jobs.

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