Politics and IT

I watched most of the debate the other night on CNN. It was appalling. The matter of IT came up:
Candy Crowley:
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?

Mitt Romney:
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.

President Obama:
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.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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7 Responses to Politics and IT

  1. ram says:

    One reason the Chinese enjoy much lower tax rates (and hence lower expenses on just about everything) than the English speaking world is that the Chinese are willing to arrest, prosecute, and execute high government officials guilty of corruption. When is the last time you saw a high level official get punished for corruption in the USA, UK, or Australia?

    Corrupt in China ==> shot by firing squad

    Corrupt in Australia, UK, USA ==> get rewarded with estate home, yacht, private jet, yada yada

  2. ssorbom says:

    Believe me, I wish the US had coalition governments. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to happen. No matter who people vote for, IT IS NOT THE PEOPLE WHO ELECT THE PRESIDENT.

    The popular presidential vote elects a “Superdelegate” (republican or democrat depending) who is sent to the capital to vote. The candidate DOES NOT need to cast their ballot in line with the popular vote. Secondly, we have a winner take all system where presidents are elcected on a state by state basis. If a 3rd party candidate has an overall majority of the popular vote over the whole country, but no majority in any single state, they will not receive a single superdelegate representative. States have a variable number of superdelegates that cast votes depending on their number of repressentatives in the lower house of congress (which is itself determined by population). If a candidate wins a state, all of the superdelegates are chosen from that candidates party to cast votes.
    However, none of what I just said applies to state govenments some states allow the people to elect senators and house reps directly (both federal and state). The only way to generate enough interest for a 3rd party candidate would be to build it at a state level. But even if you could build interest at the level of state governments, you would need to have interest in MULTIPLE states before you could break the 2 party duality. Unforunately, the 2 parties also have a lock on most media outlets (Read about the commission for presidential debate), so we generally never even see the names of other candidates until we literally go into the voting booth.

  3. kurkosdr says:


    I love how Americans still think two-party terms (Republicans vs Democrats) when voting. Hate the one? Then you must vote for the other. Look folks, it’s only a matter of time before these two start forming coalition governments, and you will bang your head against the wall for have been so naive to believe the are “enemies”.

    You do understand that Obama is a millionare too? And he receives juicy “donations” from all kinds of dubious groups and companies too?

    Basically the Northern Europeans had sniffed the fake rivarly years ago, that’s why they were the first to have coalition governments, and citizens are starting to vote for alternative parties like the Green Party or the Pirate Party, which unlike your Den/Rep vote, their vote is going to make a difference.

  4. lpbbear says:

    “The USA is financially broke with $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities. How would you correct this?”

    Oh…I don’t know. I suppose U.S. Citizens might start by not electing spoiled rich preppy greedy idiot morons like Romney who made his millions shuttering U.S. businesses and shipping the jobs formerly held by U.S. Citizens overseas. That just might be a good place to start. Just an idea. (ya think?)

    (or for grins and giggles they could just go ahead and elect a Fox to run the Hen House. I’m absolutely sure now that he is a multi millionaire made wealthy from earlier Hen House raids he has completely changed from his old Foxy ways. Just ask him….. )

    (rolls eyes)

  5. Dougman wrote, “Candy Crowley, is an idiot for asking that question”.

    There are an infinite number of questions that could be asked. She did alright. It was rather strange that she spoke up for Obama at one point but she had heard the speech in the Rose Garden September 12 so she had personal knowledge. At one time or other both candidates challenged her management so it was a difficult task.

    The journey of repaying the accumulated deficit begins with the first step of balancing the budget. As long as USA runs a bunch of wars and floats boats and planes all at the same time, it’s hard to see how a deficit could be avoided. If they had left Iraq’s military in charge of cleaning up the mess and left promptly after deposing Sadaam and left Afghanistan after a few months of killing they would have saved a bundle of dollars and many more thousands of lives than 9/11.

  6. dougman says:

    Candy Crowley, is an idiot for asking that question.

    In 5-10 years time the human assembly lines will become automated.

    She should have asked the following two questions.

    “The USA is financially broke with $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities. How would you correct this?”

    “Under The Federal Reserve system, the U.S. Dollar has lost 90% of its value since 1913. What is your solution to fix this?”

  7. kurkosdr says:

    With the madness that is software patents being upheld in the USA, you ‘d be crazy to start a software company there. Why? So you can run the risk of been peskered by LodSys and other trolls?

    US software companies are either there because they have been there for years (MS, Apple, Adobe etc), when the US was actually a good place to start a business, or offer cloud/internet services or cloud apps, where the software is typically hidden and noone can scream “patent infringement” at you, because they don’t have a copy of your software to examine it.

    Chip companies are gone because Obama AND Romney are both financed by the same Rotchilds and megacorps, and they are both too cowards to implement an “inflato-tax” to counter China’s currency games (aka a tax slapped on goods imported from countries that purposely undervalue their currency), because that would risk alienating the Rothchilds and corps that fund them. They have invested big in China and their investments are worth only if Yuan stays undervalued.

    But hey, happy voting. And don’t vote for a third party, it’s what eeeviiill people do (sarcasm)

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