Uh-oh, New Economy redux

I thought the term “New Economy” died along with the dot-coms a couple of years ago. Then it meant a cornucopia of growth and prosperity from technological evolution. But now the New York Times is using it to mean global competition for jobs and outsourcing. I guess we didn’t perceive that the New Economy is a Janus-faced proposition and now we—in the US—are experiencing the ugly side.

“Offshore outsourcing is mainly the tip of the larger issue of American competitiveness,” said Bruce P. Mehlman, a former official in the Bush administration who is the executive director of the Computer Systems Policy Project. “But we’ve got to think through and do better at helping people make the transition to new jobs.”

So what’s the angle?:

…”personal re-employment accounts” that would give unemployed workers up to $3,000 to spend as they wish on training, education or counseling.

“Wage insurance is something we haven’t really tried, but its day has come,” said Robert B. Reich, the former labor secretary and a professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

I love it! Now while you are putting away income for you kid’s college education, you can take out an insurance account for your own eventual re-training. Maybe you and your 20-something can matriculate together.