freejung - 7:41 pm on Mar 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
So, should we have kept the embargo against south Africa in place out of "social responsibility" for the American workers who lost their jobs?
Sometimes it makes sense to protect domestic industry, other times it doesn't. It might actually be a good thing for the health of the US economy to have a steel manufacturing industry.
But that's not the point. This has nothing to do with national economies, it's just that some people gained and others lost. That is an inevitable consequence of the dynamic nature of the universe, and should not in itself be cause for alarm.
There should be a general disclaimer that applies whenever someone argues that a change should not be made because it will reduce their ability to make money by doing what they are doing now. The fact that you are currently making money by doing something doesn't mean that it's necessarily a good thing to do, nor does it mean that you have a right to continue making money by doing it.
People always make the same sort of argument about environmental issues: we can't change anything, we can't stop polluting, because we'll lose jobs. I say so what? Those jobs may have been doing things that should not be done in the first place. If your job is cutting down trees or writing crappy content for a content farm, maybe you should find another line of work.
Now, you can argue in particular cases about whether the content was actually crappy, that's fine. My point is that just the fact that a change caused job losses in some companies does not make that change socially irresponsible. The economy might be better off with those people working on doing something else. You have to consider the health of the whole system.