How is the economic downturn affecting the rise of right-brain thinking? It seems to be accelerating and deepening the three forces — Abundance, Asia, and Automation — that A Whole New Mind argues have been tilting the scales in favor of artistic, empathic abilities.
Take Asia. As companies cut costs to stay alive, more and more routine work is heading overseas. That’s true even in august, intellectually sophisticated fields such as, er, law and journalism.
The Wall Street Journal reports that cash-strapped clients are “pressuring the law firms they hire to trim fees.” And that has meant:
“More routine work like legal research, due diligence and document review is being done in India at roughly half the cost as in the U.S., outsourcers say. Starting associates at big U.S. firms often bill more than $200 an hour. But an experienced lawyer in India bills at $75 to $100 an hour, roughly the bottom rate for some U.S. paralegals.”
Meanwhile, NY Times’s Maureen Dowd leaves her comfortable Beltway bubble for the mean streets of Pasadena, where she discovers James McPherson, whose news operation outsources much of its basic reporting to six people in Bangalore. A one-thousand word article pays $7.50.