I watched most of the debate the other night on CNN. It was appalling. The matter of IT came up:
“iPad, the Macs, the iPhones, they are all manufactured in China. How do you convince a great American company to bring that manufacturing back here?”
“The answer is very straightforward. We can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. China’s been cheating over the years. One, by holding down the value of their currency. Two, by stealing our intellectual property, our designs, our patents, our technology — there’s even an Apple store in China that’s a counterfeit Apple Store, selling counterfeit goods. They hack into our computers. We will have to have people play on a fair basis.”
“Candy, there are some jobs that are not going to come back,” he said. “Because they are low wage, low skill jobs. I want high wage, high skill jobs. That’s why we have to emphasize manufacturing. That’s why we have to invest in advanced manufacturing. That’s why we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the best science and research in the world.”
Still the polls have those two neck and neck… One has no clue how emerging markets work. After China raises wages there will be India and other SE Asia countries, and finally, Africa. Even South America will eventually be a force in IT. Obama is right. Some of those low-wage jobs will never come back. Neither will there be enough high-wage jobs for everyone in USA. The whole structure of the US economy must be changed. Obama seems willing to do some of that. Romney seems intent on preserving the tip of the pyramid and leaving the rest to drown.
That’s just in hardware. In software the same thing applies. The world can make its own software and share it at much lower cost than M$ and Apple do (well, Apple is not that bad but bundles the software with expensive hardware for the same effect). Sooner or later China will be exporting CPUs competitive with Intel. They do already with ARM. They have good volume but not the highest throughput CPUs yet. That will take a few years but it is inevitable.
Wintel is becoming legacy industry and not competitive on price/performance. There is no way that it can compete relying on a crumbling retail monopoly when many millions already use FLOSS and love the price/performance. It’s just a matter of time before OEMs and retailers desert M$ and Intel. The world wants small cheap computers and Wintel cannot/will not supply them.
Then there was the budget. Romney seems to feel the budget is only numbers and that he can fix it by adding and subtracting. He has not divulged a budget of any substance yet. He is going to make tax cuts and invest in war and he’s telling the middle class they won’t be harmed… That does not add up. Still the voters like Romney’s style.
Obama has opened the gates of government to FLOSS. He understands but do the voters? They seem not to be there yet. The voters sampled seem hung up on style and not on substance. The election will be critical for the possibility of a fool or a wise man to run things for a few years. I dread Romney taking office. He could well undo adoption of FLOSS in USA which will damage the US economy upon which my country depends and he could plunge the world into yet another economic or violent war for no good reason. We live in dangerous times.