White collar professionals are not going to like it

Alan Blinder said:

American computer programmers have already felt the sting of offshoring. But as of now, accountants, lawyers, editors, radiologists, and the like really have not. So this will be a new experience for them, and it is predictable that they will not like it.

In Offshoring of American Jobs: What Response from U.S. Economic Policy? (p. 42)

Every day, the knowledge and skills necessary to justify the premium wages and benefits of workers in developed countries get ratcheted up a notch…

One Response to “White collar professionals are not going to like it”

  1. Disclaimer: I have not read the book, but almost everything in those three sentences is incorrect (possibly it was closer to being true at the 2009 publication date)

    Radiology has been heavily outsourced (since X-rays have gone from film to digital, they can be read anywhere in the world) and is in fact now/soon looking at replacement with AI systems which, at least for cancer screening are as accurate or more accurate than experts.
    Lawyers and law professionals have had their employment numbers lowered by search systems taking over much of the research work in the field https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-law_school_employment_in_the_United_States#Employment_statistics_and_salary_information
    Accountants took it on the nose back in the 80s when VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 got computers into the business office, and the green visor and pencil crowd to the unemployment line.
    Editors have been laid off and replaced with… um, no one.

    The fact is that many cognitive jobs are being, or going to be automated or electronically shifted to lower cost markets. Labor intensive jobs such as construction and seasonal farm work are being taken by non-union, low-paid labor (migrant or domestic). The fact is that we need to re-think not just our training system, but our whole economic system. As the agricultural gave way to the industrial age and industrialism is giving way to the information age, we need to address that there are simply not as many jobs in an automated information economy, and that we are leaving a trail of destruction through much of our country by our policies.

Leave a Reply