Friday, May 24, 2013

Closing the Gender Gap Isn't Going to Help Japan

Goldman Sachs with an utterly fanciful report about how closing the 'gender' gap in the workforce will help move Japan's economy forward.  Increasing the number of women in the workforce will yield no long term benefit for Japan, and the same can be said for western countries. At best such a move will be a net neutral. The reason is that technological innovation, the regulatory environment and demographics matter far more for the prospects of long term economic growth than the percentage of your workforce is men or women*.

Goldman Sachs is simply peddling whatever bit of 'information' they find that is positive. The financial industry has long given up prudent fiscal and economic forecasting long ago.  The very survival of the mega-financial institutions depends on the continuation of the economy as it's currently structured.  I am not surprised by this but I it still irks me nonetheless.  Companies and intuitions shouldn't focus on diversity for diversity sake.  They should focus on attracting the best talent possible regardless of gender, race, ideology or religion.  If in the pursuit of an effective business you end up with a fruit salad of employees of different races, religions and genders then great but in actively trying to achieve a people of the world workforce you are wasting time and energy better spent elsewhere.

You'd think companies organized around making investments would know this, but then you would also think those very same companies wouldn't leverage themselves to near oblivion. Eventually this lesson will be learned and it is going to be a costly one. As for Japan, their fate is pretty much set in stone.  Even technological advancements in robotics aren't going to eliminate the need for a very painful correction for the Japanese.

*I am familiar with division of labor and the arguments that having more women in the workforce has hurt society overall. I agree that, ideally, the man should be the bread winner and the women the care taker of children during their earliest years of development. At the same time I don't have a problem with women entering the workforce if they choose to do so.

1 comment:

  1. A lot of the arguments for women keeping out of the workforce are throwbacks to an earlier era. With advancements in household technology (dishwashers, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner), I could see most homemakers being bored after a while. Appliances have become so productive that traditional responsibilities have become less tedious. A lot of mothers would probably prefer some part time work just to keep their sanity.

    I think the problem comes in when careerism becomes a bigger priority than family. Civilization has historically been centered around the nuclear family, and social structures have formed around the functions that suit each gender the best.


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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.