Monday, March 28, 2011

Making Money Job

Gov. Perry Talks Up Job Creation As He Prepares To Lay Off One-Third Of Texas’ Teachers

During a speech last week, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) “pledged to continue strengthening the jobs climate” in his state. His director of administration added later that “the governor has put a priority on bringing jobs to Texas.”

However, jobs teaching Texas’ children to compete in the 21st century evidently don’t count:

Gov. Rick Perry can’t quit talking about jobs. He used the word 19 times in his recent state of the state address and has made it a top spending priority.

But if Perry realizes his vision of a budget balanced through cuts alone, 100,000 teachers could lose their jobs. That’s about a third of the 333,000 teachers employed by Texas public schools.

“If you lay off 1,000 teachers you’re going to have some greater number of that jobs loss because, presumably, those teachers are not going to be spending money in those communities,” said Terry Clower, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. “That’s going to flow through the economy.” Indeed, the Center on Public Policy Priorities has estimated that Texas’ proposed cuts to public education will result in the loss of more than 100,000 private sector jobs.

Making matters worse, just a few weeks ago, Perry was actually extolling the virtues of education as one of the “building blocks of the economy“:

As our economy continues to reflect advances in technology, our educational approaches must do the same with an increased emphasis on the science, technology, engineering and math skills that Texans need to compete for future jobs. These are the basic building blocks of an economy that has drawn new employers to our state and our calling is to fortify them.

Of course, Perry could accept money from a bill passed by Congress last year aimed at preserving teachers’ jobs: Texas’ share of that money comes to $830 million. However, Perry is standing firm in his conviction that he should be allowed to spend that money on whatever he wants, going so far as to sue the Department of Education over the bill’s requirement that Texas use its share of the funding to maintain education spending. Previously, Perry has accepted federal education spending, only to cut state education spending by the same amount and use the saved money to bolster Texas’ Rainy Day Fund.

For Every Entertainment Industry Job 'Lost' To Infringement, Could 12 Jobs Be Created Elsewhere?

from the fun-with-stats dept

For years we've debunked various entertainment industry studies claiming ridiculous job and economic "losses" from copyright infringement. These studies tend to have all sorts of problems; ignoring the ability to adapt and to introduce new business models, using "ripple effects" in just one direction to double, triple and quadruple count the same "losses" over and over again, and counting every download as a "lost sale." The ripple effects one is especially pernicious because the industry likes to pretend that the impacts of infringement only go in one direction. They ignore that the money not spent on such content doesn't disappear from the economy but can be used elsewhere -- perhaps in areas that provide greater economic growth.

A few years ago, the folks at CCIA smartly took the copyright industry's exact methodology and showed that for all the claims of how much copyright contributed to the economy, exceptions to copyright contributed even more. While the copyright maximalists totally missed the point and attacked the methodology -- not realizing that, in doing so, they had undermined their own methodology -- the point was made. If you believe the claims from the copyright industry, then you also have to believe that the exceptions are more important. The methodology is the same, so either neither are right or both are right.

It looks like Rick Falkvinge, of The Pirate Party, has now done something similar on the "job loss" side of things, and concluded that, using similar methodology to the industry reports, for every job "lost" by copyright infringement, the positive ripple effects in the other direction mean that 11.8 new jobs are created. So if we accept the claim that 1.2 million jobs can be lost due to infringement, it would mean that a separate 14.2 million jobs were created elsewhere.

The report broke down the "creative industry," by noting that (contrary to copyright maximalist claims), most of that industry doesn't actually rely on copyright to make money. In fact, certain "creative" industries could be seen as "copyright-inhibited." For example, advertising. As we constantly hear from copyright maximalists, various sites are making big bucks by using advertising in association with file sharing. So based on the industry's own argument, it seems that the advertising market is clearly copyright-inhibited, and it would grow if there was greater infringement. After going through the numbers, it was determined that the majority of GDP, by quite a bit, are likely in the "copyright-inhibited" arena.

Now, you can certainly argue with the methodology here. I don't think anyone actually believes these numbers are accurate. But it's using the same basic methodology, assumptions and thought processes behind the studies in the other direction. You can also, obviously, claim that Falkvinge is biased. He is. But is he more biased than the entertainment industry legacy players who do the other studies? It seems clear that the industries are likely to be more biased, since they have billions of dollars bet on keeping the old structures in place. I think both studies are probably far from accurate in all sorts of ways, but if you're going to cite the entertainment industry's claims based on this kind of methodology, it seems you should also have to accept these claims. Not doing so suggests serious cognitive dissonance or someone who is paid not to believe the truth.

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