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There’s NO business like SLOW business!

Politically and economically, the United States sometimes seems a little bit like a seesaw – the radical swings in motion on either coast find themselves damped by the solid, level-headed people with a lot of common sense, in the middle.

I was surprised to see that someone had come to my site, probably mistakenly, from the Harvard Business School pages, and in particular from a page that is a June 2008 “replication study” of a 2007 study to determine how many U.S. jobs are “offshorable.” The 2008 MBA student (Class of 2009) “working paper” (PDF; actually, after the offshoring, this should be called a “nonworking” paper :-) ) is from the Harvard Business School. The web surfer probably viewed my blog entry on “Insourcing and Onshoring” (which was strictly an opinion piece without statistical data).

The 2007 study, by Alan Blinder (no, I will resist the urge to make a pun about the man’s name) estimated :-) that between 22% and 29% of all U.S. jobs were potentially “offshorable.” The 2008 study estimated that between 21% and 42% of all U.S. jobs were “offshorable.” Imagine. Forty-two percent! The correlation between Blinder’s study and the new student study was 0.6 (which, as correlation coefficients go, is actually pretty “ho-hum“).

Who HIRES these guys? :-)

Theoreticians are a lot of fun! :-) I am an experimentalist. Some of the nice things about a lot of branches of science (in contrast to business) are that correlation coefficients are recognized for what they are (nobody would be bragging about a “0.6”) and that running the experiments can often be accomplished without destroying a company, a state, or a country.

Perhaps for some reason (personal wealth?) these business theoreticians with their models are insulated from the effects of the economies that they destroy. Perhaps they can expatriate to a better economic climate, if necessary. I am not sure that a lot of us would miss them….

It is wonderful to know, in today’s slow economy (some say “recession”), that things can always get a lot worse as the direct result of suggestions from our business “thought leaders.”

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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