Monday, September 03, 2007

US Workers Most Productive

Well, this comes as no surprise. Study shows US workers most productive. And Asia is accelerating its productivity growth--which is interesting, because as its workers become more productive, China in particular will have to pay them more, which will reduce the disparity in costs between China's good and those manufactured elsewhere.

Some choice statistics and quotes:

The average U.S. worker produces $63,885 of wealth per year, more than their counterparts in all other countries, the International Labor Organization said in its report. Ireland comes in second at $55,986, followed by Luxembourg at $55,641, Belgium at $55,235 and France at $54,609.


America’s increased productivity “has to do with the ICT (information and communication technologies) revolution, with the way the U.S. organizes companies, with the high level of competition in the country, with the extension of trade and investment abroad,” said Jose Manuel Salazar, the ILO’s head of employment.


And perhaps most amazing:

The vast differences among China’s sectors tell part of the story. Whereas a Chinese industrial worker produces $12,642 worth of output — almost eight times more than in 1980 — a laborer in the farm and fisheries sector contributes a paltry $910 to gross domestic product.

The difference is much less pronounced in the United States, where a manufacturing employee produced an unprecedented $104,606 of value in 2005. An American farm laborer, meanwhile, created $52,585 worth of output, down 10 percent from seven years ago, when U.S. agricultural productivity peaked.

AT&T 1993 "You Will" Ads - Inspirational, and Probably Copyright Infringing

I'm not sure if this is copyright infringement (probably is), and I know I shouldn't link to it, but this AT&T ad from 1993 does show how much has been accomplised technologically in such a short time. I suppose, that includes being able to commit copyright infringement with millions of accomplices.

Sort of a "good news, bad news" sort of scenario.

Ars Technical - Just a Little Hypocritical

Here, Ars Technica complains about the MPAA buying some "private" TorrentSpy e-mails to use in its case against the organization. Now, I don't remember them complaining when any other set of "private" emails have been released to show some questionable activity by companies like Microsoft, Intel, or whomever.

In fact, I can remember them being all over such emails, with no compunctions whatever.

Another "Bioshock" Review - Oddly Pro-Atlas Shrugged

Here's another review of "Bioshock" that unfortunately implies that the game accurately depicts Atlas Shrugged, even while calling the book "excellent." This quote is most interesting:

BioShock is set in a crumbling underwater metropolis created by Andrew Ryan, an industrialist who felt there should be a place for the greatest minds in humanity to come together without fear of having "the sweat of their brow" taken away from them, by Washington, Moscow or by God. In its pomp, Rapture was a glorious, thriving city, taking this hidden-away section of mankind to extraordinary new heights. Key developments in technology and genetic engineering took place way ahead of the work being carried out on the surface. But then it all started to go wrong and Rapture fell apart. Sounds like a good time for the player to show up.

Up until the last two sentences, that description does sound a bit like "Galt's Gulch" from Atlas Shrugged. Since this is all the review actually says about the storyline, it's a positive review from my perspective. It's only unfortunately that the game doesn't live up to it.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 4572 Diggs, is about Digg (almost?) adding a pictures section to the site. Big news in Diggland, apparently. Little news anywhere else.

Bush to Attack Iran? If Only

Here's a report from a Lefty blog referencing another Lefty blog that references a Sunday Times of London report that says, and I quote, "(T)he Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days." One can only wish.

Interestingly, the Lefty blog that's referenced had posted the following at the Daily Kos:

The U.S. cannot mount a ground invasion or occupation of Iran, but it might be capable of an air attack and sea embargo. The administration has prepared a legal justification by floating its plan to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Since the IRGC is under the command of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, the administration, with its usual legal acuity, could claim legal authority for an attack on Iran under Senate Joint Resolution 23 of September 18, 2001,which authorized the use of military force against "those who plan, authorize, commit, or aid terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests -- including those who harbor terrorists."

Now, because that was posted on the Daily Kos, I'm taking all of that to be a negative. But, if one didn't know it was posted by a Lefty, it could actually be taken to make perfect sense. After all, there's incontrovertible proof that Iran has been fighting a proxy war against the US in Iraq. Hell, Iran's even admitted it, and promised that things would only get worse if Iran is attacked.

It's odd how one can take a single paragraph and, without changing a word, perceive it in two completely different ways. On the probability of Bush actually taking action against Iran, I think one only has to look at his recent actions to know that he has no plans to do so. Unless they've all been smokescreen, which would be a bit of a surprise.

Ahmadinejad Brags About Nuclear Success

It was only back in early August that the IAEA was touting as success the fact that Iran had "only" 2000 uranium-enrichment centrifuges in operation. They called that success, because it showed that Iran had "slowed" its activity.

Now, however, Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is) has pronounced that in fact, Iran has over 3000 centrifuges in operation, and is adding more every week. And he gloats over the fact that with every sanction, Iran makes another stride in its program.

As Gateway Pundit quotes, "Western experts have said that if Iran can get 3,000 centrifuges to work smoothly it would need only nine to 11 months to produce an atomic bomb."

Now, we really have two choices. One, believe that Imajihadi is speaking the truth when he says the uranium is only for peaceful purposes (even when he's been offered just that sort of uranium from other countries). Two, believe that he's lying through his teeth, as he has so often, and truly intends to build a nuclear weapon.

I say, anyone who places their money on choice number one is a fool.