By Eugene J. Koprowski, Esq.
January 28, 2012
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R) are both ratcheting up the job creation rhetoric on the campaign trail in Florida, as the GOP presidential primary looms next Tuesday.
Speaker Gingrich told the media in Miami this week that President Obama's policies constitute the "most anti-job" agenda ever pursued by a U.S. president. Gov. Romney called on Obama to stop blameshifting and do something dramatic to foster job creation. "Aren't you the leader of the free world," Romney in Florida yesterday morning told reporters. "Why don't you draft some legislation?"
U.S. job losses in recent years – especially in high-paying technology jobs – are a startling reality that even the Obama administration is having to acknowledge, however reluctantly.
The U.S. has lost nearly 30 percent of its technology jobs in recent years, according to a new report by the National Science Board, an advisory panel for the National Science Foundation. China has become the world's technology job leader, the report indicates. The report tries to portray the decline as having happened over the last 10 years. But other new job figures discredit that spin. According to a new report released today by Simply Hired, the world's largest job search engine, U.S. technology jobs decreased 18 percent from January 2011 through December 2011.
Enter the Dragon
"The Chinese have been surging ahead of the U.S. in creating and nurturing startups and encouraging innovation for the past several years," Darah Roslyn, a spokesman for Simply Hired, said. "And even with President Obama's administration recognizing and investing in technology as an essential ingredient of economic growth and job creation, the Chinese have continued to surpass us."
Hans Bader, an economic analyst and commentator, trained as a lawyer, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, calls Obama the "outsourcer-in-chief," noted as jobs that could have been done here in the U.S. are increasingly outsourced overseas, during the three years of this administration.
But what would the leading GOP candidates – Gingrich andd Romney – do if they were elected president?
During the WMUR debate in New Hampshire on Jan. 7, Speaker Gingrich said that the U.S. needs to focus on developing technological infrastructure for economic reasons. "You cannot compete with China in the long run if you have an inferior infrastructure. You've got to move to a 21st century model. That means you've got to be technologically smart and you have to make investments," he said.
Romney has also written and spoken about improving America's technology infrastructure, but focuses mostly on lowering tax rates and reforming the tax code so more can prosper.
During the Yahoo.com "Your Voice, Your Vote" debate in Iowa on Dec. 10, the former governor said that he disagrees with Gingrich's views on the government's role in tech job creation.
"Speaker Gingrich and I have a lot of places where we disagree," said Romney. "We can start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon, I'm not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that."
Gingrich retorted, "I'm proud of trying to find things that give young people a reason to study science and math and technology and telling them that someday in their lifetime, they could dream of going to the moon, they could dream of going to Mars. I grew up in a generation where the space program was real, where it was important, and where frankly it is tragic that NASA has been so bureaucratized. Iowa's doing brilliant things, attracting brilliant students. I want to give them places to go and things to do. And I'm happy to defend the idea that America should be in space and should be there in an aggressive, entrepreneurial way."
Jeff Manber, a former Reagan administration appointee, who worked on science and technology policy, and author of Selling Peace: Inside the Soviet Conspiracy that Transformed the U.S. Space Program (Apogee Books Space Series, Jan. 1, 2010), commented that "Newt gets it" on technology policy; as government investments in computing by the Defense Department led to the creation of the consumer Internet, and government spending on NASA during the 1960s powered growth in computer chips and satellites.
Along these lines, the New Scientist, a leading science journal, based in London, recently called Gingrich "Newt Skywalker," after he won the S.C. GOP primary, no doubt alluding to the former speaker's passion for big science projects. (One wonders if President Obama is Darth Vader, if the playful analogy is continued, or if George Soros, is the Emperor?)
There are splits in the business community – reflected in these different approaches to jobb creation in the GOP primary – to be sure.
Some want a focus on from-the-bootstraps entrepreneurialism.
"It is not realistic to compete with China, India and Korea in heavy industry since the wages are really different," Leonid Shtilman, is former professor of Tel Aviv University and the City University of New York, now the CEO of the tech firm Viewfinity, said. "The attempts of some presidential candidate to point to unfair trade are not serious since even if you devaluate Chinese currency by 100 percent, the wages in China will be much lower than in USA. The only way to compete is to create a new agenda for development in potentially growing areas, like new energy, nanotechnology and material research. We should focus on industries, which cannot be easily copied (software), and we need to create an atmosphere of respect for the sciences and as opposed to idolizing fast money that is created by smart websites and gadgets."
Others seek more government investment, and advise the president to act on that now.
Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and founder of tech firm Yubico Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., said that he "advises" the White House to speed up government spending and regulation to "drive innovation and mass implementation" of online security for Internet companies. Ehrensvard reckons that creation of firms like PayPal, Facebook, as well as Google, are today what Apple and Microsoft were during the 1980s – engines of ggrowth for the U.S.
But American students are not prepared to take many of those jobs today. Todd Brabender, a spokesman for Neumont University, a technology college in Utah, said there has recently been a marked "decline in qualified and engaged U.S. students exploring tech degrees and careers." The school, itself, is starting to recruit in China for interested students, he said.
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Some do not think the apparent decline in tech jobs, or those interested in pursuing them, is all that bad, in the end. "America has not declined in technology, but has achieved a bittersweet victory of sorts in multiple dimensions via its outsourcing arrangements to both China and India," Phil Lieberman, CEO, Lieberman Software, Los Angeles, said. "In return for peace and the promotion/insertion of capitalism and a mutated form of democracy into these regimes, America has achieved peace and cooperation from former serious combatants. America has also been the recipient of below domestic market value products and services."
© 2012 Eugene J. Koprowski, Esq. - All Rights Reserved
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Eugene J. Koprowski is founder of Conservative Young Guns Interactive, a digital political advertising agency, with offices in Washington D.C. and Chicago, which aims to keep the grassroots pressure from the Tea Party movement on the GOP through the 2012 election and beyond. He holds a law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate work at Northwestern University. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Koprowski earned an Emmy Award Nomination in 2008 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for his work for FoxNews.com..
See some of his opinion pieces/columns for Fox News.