Jacob J. Walker's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

My Comment on an Economist Article

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The Economist has an excellent article this week about African universities.  I have thought for some time that an African nation could “leap frog” part of its economic development by “virtual onshoring” intellectual goods to more developed economies, such as the United States.  I wrote about this in 2008, in an open letter to Paul Kagame.  And one of the areas that I think is most ripe for virtual onshoring, is that of having an online university from Africa enter into the U.S. market.   Unisa would be the most poised to do this, but I am afraid that their bureaucracy would hinder them, so when I found out about Gossy Ukanwoke from the article, I posted the following:

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 13th, 2017 at 11:59 am

Posted in Virtual Onshoring

Life Long Learning at 65 Miles per Hour

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I am a believer in getting “more effect for your effort”, as we only have 24 hours in a day, and no more than about 100 years of consciousness with a contiguous self-identity.   Learning, teaching, and creating are some of the most valuable things we can do to have the possibility that our life’s impact will be more than just dust of this planet.  So I am spending more time in my car listening to books, and less listening to news.  These are some practical tips that I have found using an Android phone as my main learning tool.

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Written by Jacob Walker

February 12th, 2016 at 11:59 am

Two Quick Case Studies of Where Virtual Onshoring has Come to Fruition

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While no university has truly worked to virtual onshore itself in a major way into the U.S. market, there are two places where I have seen virtual onshoring take off since I coined the term (although I won’t claim anyone uses my term!).   These are in physical goods that can be shipped internationally, and in services that can be delivered via the Internet.

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Written by Jacob Walker

February 10th, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Virtual Onshoring

How a Virtual Onshored University can break into the U.S. Market

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Yesterday, I posted about the concept of Virtual Onshoring, and how I believe that a university from a developing nation could use this concept to serve the U.S. market, which could lead to significant economic gains for the developing nation.  But how can they do this, and what is stopping them right now?  The following is a summary of what I see would be necessary to succeed.

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Written by Jacob Walker

February 9th, 2016 at 11:59 am

What Virtual Onshoring Is, and Why Higher Education is Ripe for Virtual Onshored Universities

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I first coined the term Virtual Onshoring in an Open Letter I wrote to Paul Kagame of Rwanda, in 2008. The idea is simply that with power of the Internet, we are now a “global village”, and anyone who has intellectual goods or services in a developing nation, can sell them to customers in more developed nations, in a manner that would be no different than if they were actually located in the developed nation.  This could be very lucrative in the online higher education market, since the University of Phoenix alone makes over a 1/2 billion dollars per year in profit!

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Written by Jacob Walker

February 8th, 2016 at 11:59 am

My comment on an Economist article about Virtual Onshoring Universities

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A few weeks back, The Economist had an excellent article talking about students going to college in other countries, and it surprised me that they didn’t talk about the idea of virtual onshoring (which I will be posting a series of articles about starting tomorrow.   Here are the comments I posted to their article:

It still seems amazing to me that there hasn’t been more “virtual onshoring” of online universities to lucrative markets, such as the United States. For instance, while the University of South Africa offers relative high quality doctoral programs at a fraction of the cost of U.S. universities, it has not done many of the relatively basic things (such as gaining U.S. accreditation) that would allow it to be much more successful, and potentially earn millions of dollars. Thus, I believe that whichever developing nation realizes that they could dramatically improve their economy through the virtual onshoring of education, they have a chance to dominate this niche.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 7th, 2016 at 5:37 pm

I registered for my Research Proposal Module with UNISA, costing $231.34

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I was successful in registering for the Research Proposal Module for my Doctor of Education degree in Comparative Education at the University of South Africa.  Amazingly, while this module will allow me to work with a high quality mentor professor for a year, it only cost me $231.34, due to the exchange rate between the South African Rand to the U.S. Dollar.  It is this cost differential between developing nations (such as South Africa) and the U.S. that has continued to bring me back to the idea that these nations should be doing Virtual Onshoring of their schools.

Written by Jacob Walker

February 6th, 2016 at 11:59 am

How should we Engineer the Automated Economy?

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In my recent commencement address to the Sacramento Stride Center graduates, I talked about how truck driving is a good job now, but I worry it will be going away.   I am not alone in this concern, as a few days later, on “The Take Away” that I heard listening to NPR, there was a whole news story titled: Self-Driving Trucks Take to America’s Roads.

There is a bigger issue afoot from this: will we be slaves to the automation or will it set us free? Because without deliberate action in the shaping of our economy, economic forces could very well push us to complete monopolies in the means of production.  (Yes, I know you say that we already have government legal safe guards…  but the Citizens United ruling shows a trend towards eroding these to non-existence.)

The following are some proposals for shaping our economic system:

I will discuss each of these in future posts, but it is the last one that I believe would be best for society (as it is best for individuals), and that could be accomplished by strengthening some of the current trends.

Written by Jacob Walker

June 24th, 2015 at 11:59 am

Chat Log with OOMA Sales

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I recently posted about my poor experience with AT&T, but the VoIP provider Ooma is not much better, as the following chat log shows.   (I probably got a little snarky in the end, but it is clearly frustrating to ask for one thing, be given another, and when they give you a URL in their brochure, it doesn’t work!)  I should preface this, with the fact that I didn’t see a link to their complete pricing on their business page (http://ooma.com/products/business) so I went into their chat to ask them where I could find it…  This is what ensued:

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 7th, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Economics

What to do about AT&T and other companies that lie?

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As can be seen by the chat log I posted yesterday, AT&T is blatantly lying in their advertising, knowing they can get away with charging customers nearly 25% more (over $80 per year), to force customers to lease their equipment.  Although I suppose this is not as bad as them charging $139 per month to not steal your private information.

So what can be done about it?  I am a tad disillusioned and cynical about the ability to stop companies from doing this.  At one time I would try to do a boycott, but when there is an oligopoly, this is not quite so easy to do, and my one-man boycott of In-N-Out Burger for bullying small businesses didn’t do anything. (They forced Woody’s In and Out in Loomis to change their name, despite Woody’s being legally in the right to have the name. They have done this type of thing to many other businesses also.)

I could try to go through the regulators, and I plan to send my chat log and info to the FTC and FCC.  But again, I doubt much will happen there.

The biggest problem, is we are slipping on the slippery slope.  As businesses have impunity to lie, and we as the public don’t catch them or do anything about it, then other businesses will follow suit to stay competitive.  This is why they must get called out on it.  But how does one get public outrage against a systemic problem?

 

Written by Jacob Walker

April 4th, 2015 at 11:59 am

Posted in Economics