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November 25, 2013
The new oligarchs move to protect their turf
Posted by Staff

Ever wonder why tech Boy Wonder Mark Zuckerberg is so insistent on immigration amnesty?  He just declared amnesty the "civil rights struggle of our time."  Big words for the big billionaire. Few writers have captured the growing inequality brought on by globalization.  Few have made the connection between the open borders movement (that's what people like Zuckerberg would prefer if they had their druthers) and the desire to preserve the status quo (stagnant wages, manicured lawns).  But this is what the Weekly Standard's Charlotte Allen brings us in her latest report from Silicon Valley.  She describes companies whose vast market cap doesn't translate into American jobs:

Google is visually impressive, but this frenzy of energy and hipness hasn’t generated large numbers of jobs, much less what we think of as middle-class jobs, the kinds of unglamorous but solid employment that generates annual household incomes between $44,000 and $155,000. The state of California (according to a 2011 study by the Public Policy Institute of California) could boast in 1980 that some 60 percent of its families were middle-income as measured in today’s dollars, but by 2010 only 48 percent of California families fell into that category, and the income gap between the state’s highest and lowest earners had doubled. In Silicon Valley there has actually been a net job loss in tech-related industries over the past decade. According to figures collected by Joel Kotkin, the dotcom crash wiped out 70,000 jobs in the valley in a little over a single year, and since then the tech industry has added only 30,000 new ones, leaving the bay region with a net 40,000 fewer jobs than existed in 2001.

The big names in tech might be awash in capital and might have made their founders billionaires (New Economy founders typically retain large blocks of their own stock), but they employ surprisingly small numbers of U.S. workers. Google, the valley’s largest employer, has 46,000 people on its payroll. Facebook employs only 4,600, and Twitter, in San Francisco, fewer than 2,000. Apple claims 400,000 people putting together components and creating apps and other extras for its iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and desktop computers. Yet only 16,000 of those are on the payroll in Cupertino. Another 31,000 work at Apple operations in Texas and other states, but the vast bulk of manufacturing is outsourced abroad via contractors to China and other cheap-labor purgatories. Yet those 16,000 in Cupertino make Apple the second-largest employer in the valley. Kotkin compares those numbers to the 212,000 employed by GM, the 170,000 employed by Ford, and the more than 100,000 employed by Exxon Mobil, all three presumably Old Economy dinosaurs. The New Economy generates prosperity all right, prosperity that mostly flows to those in the upper echelons.

The Weekly Standard is smart enough to realize that globalism is not good for conservatism. 

11/25/13 11:46 AM
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