Monday, April 16, 2007

Greenspan needs to shut up.

Ever known someone who knew everything, but didn't know when to keep quiet about it? Alan Greenspan was that guy this month. It's true when he says that increased competition in any industry invariably leads to innovation and progress. It's true that competition leads to lower costs, and a healthier economy. But as an aspiring doctor with 10's of thousands of dollars of debt, I'm not too happy about him pointing out the inflated salaries of my medical colleagues.

As members of a civilized society however, we cannot draw lines when it affects us personally. We cannot condemn the moral incongruity of other protectionists while at the same time defending our own turf. Still, it would be nice if some truths took a little longer to come to light.

Perhaps while he's on the subject of perceived income inequality, he might suggest some international competition for the Christmas bonuses of friends at Goldman's Sachs. Or better yet, stop by Cato and check how much incomes are really diverging. Or best, next time he has an epiphany like this one, keep it to himself...
clipped from
Greenspan's solution to America's wage disparity is thus: "Our skilled wages are higher than anywhere in the world. If we open up a significant window for skilled workers, that would suppress the skilled-wage level and end the concentration of income."
After all, less-skilled and less-educated workers, primarily in the manufacturing industry, have been subjected to direct competition with lower-paid workers overseas. In return, the United States has received less-expensive goods at big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco.
In 1997, Congress tightened the licensing rules for foreign doctors entering the country because of concerns by the American Medical Association and other doctors' organizations that the inflow of foreign doctors was driving down their salaries. As a result, the number of foreign medical residents allowed to enter the country each year was cut in half.

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