« Branson Edge: Liberal/Conservative "Trash Talk" | Main | Branson's Great Southern Bank: A "Loan Standards" Case Study »

Fareed Zakaria's interview with James Dyson and Michael Spence

    Yes, we all know that Fareed and the "$250k+ people" like to talk about how better science/engineering education will redeem America.  This morning James Dyson, of vacum cleaner fame, added his sensibility to this restoration talking point.  However; after Fareed's next guest, Michael Spence, the Nobel Economist, spoke to America's "manufacturing wage disparity conundrum", the Dyson amplified education/invention prescription seemed to loose it's luster.

     Let's assume that somehow the US education systems is overhauled and the US is able to turn out large numbers of inventive technocrats, such that continuing and increasingly the "stuff" needed/desired by humanity is design emergent in the US.   So what?  Surely, Apple, GE, Northrop, etc. will not require multi-millions of these technocrats to explore/invent//design this awaiting  "stuff".  Indeed, we all know that in our "www.culture" the creative force is essentially free to Corporate Interests, who need only refine/optimize the ideas happening "out there in cyber space"  

    So, the inescapable catch is:  .... so what if we add a few million more technocrat elites to the Corporate Rosters, how the hell is this going to help the rest of our children who didn't  get a Masters from MIT.  American Corporations can only pay these new technocrats if they make a profit, which they can only achieve if they use cheap foreign labor to produce that which their "homie technocrats" claim they invented.  Anyway you cut it, it's better for Elites, but worse for Main Street .

    Fareed must of course know that this "science achievement strategy" is a "red herring" solution.  Michael Spence suggested to Fareed that perhaps the US government could ask, the Corporate  World to investigate if there were any products where that the wage disparity was relatively low, implying that perhaps the US Government might consider subsidizing some "least unattractive"  domestic production.  His inflection suggested that it would be a short list.  Otherwise he saw only the short term necessity  to extend/expand unemployment.

    I don't know Fareed's audience profile, except to note that today's presentation was apparently paid for by an Import/Infomercial Company selling foreign made pillows in four sizes.  Regardless, my sense is that not only Fareed's audience, but everyone out here on Main Street, already knows that it's about time to choose a new irreversible path.  The choices appear to be two.  First, we can accept the tide of Globalization, negotiate our wages down toward parity with the rest of the world labor pool, and start competing, even if "reduced living standards" are the consequence.  Or, second, we can lock our borders, both geographically and digitally, toward an experiment to prove that America is a sufficiently robust  "evolutionary space" that we can go "full isolation" and still prosper.  Either way, we will manifest more  John Wayne/ Galt self-satisfaction than by perpetuating this self deluding dream state we now embrace.


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>